Metro planners must go back to the drawing board- Costello

23 March 2018

Statement by Joe Costello

Commenting on the newly published plans for the MetroLink, Labour spokesperson on Urban Regeneration Joe Costello said:

"The inclusion of the Metro Link Rail Line in the National Development Plan and in the National Planning Framework which were launched by the Government last month has now been followed by the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) launch of the metro construction programme.

"The metro project is due to start in 2021 and be completed in 2027.

"The metro project was launched originally in 2005 as Metro North and over 50 million euro was spent before being mothballed in 2005.it was announced again by the present minister for finance in 2015 and promptly forgotten.

"In 2018 it has been resurrected again. Now it has morphed into a cross city metro line. Now, inexplicably the optimal route of 2005 has changed from Drumcondra to the new optimal route of Glasnevin! In the process the price tag has increased by an extra billion euro to over €3billion.

"The changed route is creating a whole new set of problems. Some 100 houses, including over 20 in Glasnevin, will have to be demolished along the route to make way for the metro. Furthermore, a major GAA club , Na Fianna and a major soccer club, Home Farm, will have their grounds ravaged by the metro developments.

"For example, most of Na Fianna club grounds and pitches will be appropriated for the development for up to six years to facilitate the construction of the new Griffith Park station and it is not clear what will happen to the Na Fianna lands after the construction phase.

"Thousands of young men, women and children will be deprived of their sporting facilities and the immediate future of the club will be placed in jeopardy.

"To compound the situation the National Transport Authority (NTA) and TII conducted all their planning in complete secrecy only now opening up the consultation process after the major decisions have been made. Na Fianna were kept completely in the dark in relation to the drastic plans for their grounds and pitches.

"It is totally unacceptable for any state body to deprive this city centre club of its sporting facilities and the essential services it provides to the local community and beyond.

"The NTA & TII must go back to the drawing board and find an alternative solution to the appropriation of Na Fianna grounds and the destruction of a great GAA football club."