Croke Park and an angry meeting

14th July, 2009

Attended a packed meeting last night regarding the effect that Croke Park is having on the local community of Clonliffe Road, Ballybough and beyond. This meeting was really stormy given the recent decision by Dublin City Council to grant permission to the U2 concerts with very generous planning conditions. Local residents feel that no balance is been maintained between their rights as residents and the development of Croke Park as a commercial entity. The phrase ‘prisoner inside my own home’ is used again and again.

There must have been 300 people at the meeting and the vast majority of them were just furious. A similar meeting to this was organised around 2 years ago. Promises were made and the local community believed that not enough had happened, in fact most of them believed that nothing had happened.

My own contribution to resolving these issues is clear. The fact that a forum like this only meets in private is part of the reason that this problem is festering. No plans are agreed in public and then nobody is clear what is implemented (or not). I recommended that the liaison group draw up an action plan based on last night’s meeting and then that this plan be reviewed in public with the local community. This approach works in dealing with organised crime in the same area. Why could it not work with Croke Park?

I am also going to follow up to verify whether gaps exist in the planning law for events such as the U2 gigs. Why are these gigs sold out before planning permission is granted for them?