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GAA club asks members not to get involved in political campaigns to save its home from Metrolink route

“Any campaign currently ongoing using the Na Fianna logo is not doing so at the request or on behalf of Na Fianna.”

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Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

A DUBLIN GAA club which faces losing its pitches for six years due to Metrolink works has asked its members not to get involved in political campaigns.

The route for the €3 billion rail system was unveiled last week which showed that Na Fianna and Home Farm FC’s pitches on Mobhi Road in Glasnevin are set to be both the site of a new underground station on the route and a “tunnel boring depot” – used as a storage facility for equipment.

The announcement led to establishment of a number of petitions and campaigns to save the grounds, but in a statement, the club has asked members not to make these political.

“Members are advised that there are a number of unsolicited campaigns currently ongoing purporting to be on behalf of Na Fianna. None of these are official Na Fianna initiatives despite the fact that the club logo features prominently in one particular campaign. Use of the Na Fianna logo for any promotional or informational purpose can only be sanctioned by the Club Executive Committee and this permission has not been given to any third party at this time.

“In short, any campaign currently ongoing, online or otherwise, using the Na Fianna logo is not doing so at the request or on behalf of Na Fianna.

“At a time when we need to demonstrate strength in unity we ask all members to refrain from engagement with any unofficial campaigns or attending any public meeting arranged by third parties.”

The club says that the plan will mean it will:

  • Lose the use of the main Mobhi Road road pitch for a minimum of three years and potentially for six or more years
  • Lose both all-weather pitches for the same time
  • And lose “significant” revenue from clubhouse activities

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock, whose campaign uses the club’s logo, says that he established it quickly but will now comply with the wishes of the club. He added that he has urged the Oireachtas Transport Committee to invite Na Fianna and Home Farm to give a presentation.

He says the campaign will “evolve” and he will continue to work with the club if needed.

“I think I acted proportionately and correctly, but am happy to have the club pursue this whatever way they see fit. They have a meeting (tomorrow) night and after that, if they want help, I will be there.

“We need all strands working for this to reach a fair conclusion. This can be avoided – we all know that sacrifices have to be made, but this is one that doesn’t have to be made.”

PastedImage-387 The map shows in yellow where the underground stop is planned - right below the playing fields. Source: NTA

Rock says that local reaction to the plan has been generally warm, but that enthusiasm has been “dampened somewhat” by the realisation that the pitches would be affected.

At last week’s launch of the proposed route, Aidan Foley of Transport Infrastructure Ireland said that the disruption would be temporary and playing pitches would be “returned to an immaculate position” after the works.

Anne Graham of the NTA told TheJournal.ie that disruption was unavoidable.

“There obviously has to be some disruption when you’re building a project of this size. There is disruption particularly around the stations and where you’re launching the tunnel boring machines.

“We want to minimise that and Metrolink is designed to do that. I understand the concerns people have and would encourage them to engage with TII.”

The Metrolink plan would commence construction in 2020 and be completed by 2027.

Read: The ‘Metro North’ is now the MetroLink – here’s what it’ll look like

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