People protesting over nursing home

By Maurice Garvey

RESIDENTS in Clondalkin haven’t given up hope of scaling down proposals for a 155-bed nursing home on the grounds of the Presentation Convent in Clondalkin Village.

Plans by Bartra Property Ltd were granted permission by South Dublin County Council, but appeals have gone into An Bord Pleanála (ABP), which is expected to make a decision by October 21.

Outside Church 2 1

Save Clondalkin Convent activists hope to get An Bord Pleanála to change its decision

On Tuesday at the Village Parish, members of Save Clondalkin Convent, marched from the church gates to the convent entrance via the village, to raise awareness of their campaign.

“We are holding a public meeting in early September, and are trying to mobilise people, who can still make observations (to ABP),” said Eddie Murphy, a member of the campaign, which is a coalition of resident’s associations, community groups and local politicians.

The plans, which include a proposal to build a four-storey nursing home on green space beside the church car park, led to over 80 submissions, mostly objections, lodged with the local authority.

“They [the submissions] were totally ignored,” said Mr Murphy.

“SDCC are not taking into account the local habitat and nature. We understand the convent is not fit-for-purpose, and it is not the Sisters living there making the decision, but their head office. Elderly nuns are not going to be dealing with the fallout in ten years time.”

A joint residents’ appeal to ABP, cites “overdevelopment of the site” which would “negatively impact” the character of the area, protected structures, local wildlife species, and local schools.

Residents also worry about the potential for increased “traffic hazards” in the bottleneck village.

Scoil Mhuire, which adjoins the convent grounds, also raised concerns about the loss of a longstanding “right-of-way” from the church to the school.

Proposed Nursing Home site 1 1

Proposed Nursing Home site

Bernie Cronin, a St Brigid’s resident and member of the campaign, questioned “what criteria the council are applying” in planning decisions.

“We had some element of success seven years ago with plans for the Boot Road primary care centre and nursing home. They agreed to take a storey off each building.”

Mr Cronin pointed out the Boot Road site a short step up the road, which lies vacant since the HSE clinic closed last year, alongside businesses, long since closed down.

The campaign manifesto sent out this week declares they want to “save historic Clondalkin Convent” from a development “that would completely obscure the convent and undermine the important heritage of the village.”

The group have written to the Presentation Sisters in an effort to discuss the plans but are awaiting a reply.

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