Fine Gael Councillor Noel Rock has today called on the City Council to offer immediate clarity to the situation surrounding the potential ground share between Shelbourne and Bohemians football clubs and the subsequent redevelopment of Tolka Park for residential purposes, following press reports that the Council are finalising this deal.

“I am concerned that the media have been informed of a deal before any substantive consultation with residents and local representatives has taken place,” Councillor Rock stated. “This development is in a settled residential area and this will be a huge change on a site rich in sporting history. While we’ve all heard rumours and whispers of a deal going ahead, this lack of consultation and vacuum of information has caused a fair deal of anxiety among residents. We can see from media reports today that Dublin City Council intend to press ahead in consultation with the FAI in a move that will ultimate see Dalymount Park being shared between Shelbourne and Bohemians, while Tolka Park’s leasehold would be taken over by Dublin City Council and would be redeveloped as residential property.

“There are a huge number of issues that need to be taken into account here, not least the impact on our Local Area Plan. Is there any intention of providing further local amenities? Will there be any community gain from this move? What size development is planned?,” the Councillor asked.

“What sort of return on investment would be needed in order for this deal to make economic sense for Dublin City Council – for example, how many residential units will they have to build, and at what price? Are there any unpaid rates on the site and will they be surrendered as part of this deal? Frankly, the lack of detail is concerning given the press reports say this deal could be going through in the next few weeks

“While I am not necessarily against this deal, we need to hold Dublin City Council and the FAI accountable at these early stages, otherwise we will simply end up with another Poolbeg situation on our hands with potentially little value for money for the taxpayer,” Councillor Rock concluded.