School appeals for work to start on playing pitch

By Maurice Garvey

A PRIMARY school have appealed for work to start on playing pitches that were promised to them ahead of a council housing development last year.

The Part 8 housing development Letts Field was completed six months ago, but the surrounding landscape works which includes the junior playing field area for the local school St Peter Apostle SNS, is still not completed.

St Peter Apostle play pitch compressor

Pupils from St Peter Apostle with their letters

The school used the pitches prior to the development for their GAA teams and other activities, but although South Dublin County Council appointed a subcontractor last year, the playing field remains a swamp and the school have no pitch to play on.

Currently, the school have to fork out up to €160 for every ‘home’ GAA match, to hire a bus to bring boys and girls teams to Collinstown Park, “a small fortune”, according to a St Peter Apostle spokesperson.

“We have asked parents for a small contribution but it doesn’t come close to covering it,” said the spokesperson.

“The children love the football. We have 291 pupils in the SNS and used to play all our games on the field beside the school, but now it is hard for a teacher to spare an hour going over to Collinstown to put up the nets and everything else.”

Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward says the pupils of St Peter Apostle “feel very let down by the process.”

“During the part 8 consultation process, residents and the neighbouring school St Peter Apostle made submissions asking for the football pitch to be retained. The council agreed to this and the 37 new houses were built,” he said.

“However, the surrounding landscape works which includes the junior playing field area is still not completed.”

Letts Field compressor

TD Mark Ward at Letts Field

Deputy Ward had a motion on the issue at a council meeting in October, and despite assurances that work on this pitch was imminent, he said it is “very disappointing” this has not yet happened.

“Housing developments can sometimes cause upset within communities and when the council come to an agreement with the community and then break it, the trust breaks down. When this happens, it makes getting the next housing development from the council through the process more difficult”

Deputy Ward has received a number of letters from the pupils to have the sports pitch completed and they “are the only school in North Clondalkin to take part in GAA sports.”

“St Peter Apostle were victorious in Croke Park last year and it is important they keep this momentum going.”

A spokesperson for SDCC said: "A football pitch was due to be delivered as part of the social housing development at Lett's Field and the contractor engaged a landscape sub-contractor to carry out this work.

Unfortunately, the work was not carried out on schedule and the sub-contractor is being replaced with works now being re-scheduled to coincide with the growing season with a view to having the pitch in place by spring of this year."

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