Playing pitches at Bridgefield
Cumann Luithchleas Gael Naomh Sailbheastair
St. Sylvester's G.A.A. Club
May 21, 2009
Senior Executive Officer,
Community Recreation and Amenities Department,
Fingal County Council,
Re: Playing pitches at Bridgefield
Below are proposals from Malahide Chamber of Commerce in relation to future developments at Malahide Castle.
Malahide Castle Development
May 22nd is the deadline for anyone wishing to submit their opinions and ideas on the proposed development of Malahide Castle. The development involves an investment of up to €7.3m which would redevelop the Visitor Centre, open new sections of the castle, open the Walled Gardens and carry out general improvement works. All details are on the fingalcoco.ie website <http://newsletters.visrez.com/t/r/l/thkluy/hyjhwkd/y>.
The Chamber has made its own submission which covers seven points
- Integrate the Castle and its activities far more closely with the town of Malahide.
- Substantially upgrade the entrance from the town side so that visitors can easily make the journey to and from the Castle from the town.
- Improve signage in the town to direct people to the Castle from the town entrance. Ensure that the walkway from town to Castle is well light and safe.
- Extend the Bridgefield car park for all visitors to Malahide.
- Make any retail opportunities available to existing Malahide businesses
- The Castle should be reorganised to make the booking of Receptions and other promotional events easier.
- The pricing structure should be reviewed as it is currentl somewhat confusing and expensive.
Item 4 of the above proposals would have very serious negative implications for St Sylvester’s GAA club and the whole community of Malahide.
St. Sylvester's GAA Club has been using the two playing pitches at Bridgefield continuously since 1979 for juvenile boys coaching and games in both hurling and Gaelic football and, since 1995, for girls football. The pitches have been rented annually from Fingal County Council, previously Dublin County Council. The Club has been most appreciative over the years for the use of these pitches and compliments the Parks Department for the manner in which they have maintained them.
The area in question is ideally suited as juvenile playing pitches being
excellent surface, particularly for hurling,
sheltered on all sides and so giving protection to juveniles in inclement weather,
conveniently located and within walking distance of most of Malahide.
In addition, the visual amenity of the area make it an attractive place for juveniles and their parents to enjoy their games while its high visibility increases awareness of the Club's activities among young people and their parents.
These advantages of the Bridgefield pitches play an important role in making Gaelic games an attractive choice for young people in Malahide and have been highly valued and promoted as such by the Club over the years. Indeed, members of visiting clubs frequently comment on how fortunate we are to have such a facility in the heart of Malahide.
We are frequently reminded by councillors, Council officials and members of the general public of the valuable role we, as a sports club, play in serving the Community, along with the several other sports clubs in Malahide. The quality of the facilities available to us is a key factor in enabling us to do this effectively. It is for this reason that we spent large amounts of money over the last ten years developing our facilities in Broomfield, primarily for use by our adult teams. Depriving us of the facilities we use in Bridgefield would be a major setback in this regard. Such a move would be comparable to depriving the Cricket Club or Tennis Club of their high profile facilities or, indeed, Malahide United of their fine facilities on the Coast Road.
Over recent years the Council has taken back two GAA pitches from our club in Ladys Acre without any notice, discussion or explanation. We would regard with alarm any further erosion of our facilities in Malahide Castle and resist any such moves.
In conclusion, we submit that the destruction of such an attractive facility as the Bridgefield playing pitches, of which Malahide can be proud, would be a retrograde step not just for St. Sylvester's GAA Club but also for the whole community of Malahide.
Communications Officer St Sylvester’s GAA Club