Up to the 1940s the school was in Dún Laoghaire (Eblana Avenue) and had some playing fields up at Sallynoggin (which now form a part of a lot of the corporation housing scheme).
The Brothers were desperate to land a marquee spot with adjoining pitches because they wanted to be competing with the Blackrock’s of the world for middle class kids (that’s why its CBC and not CBS). Up until then the Brothers had mostly operated in built up locations with playing fields for the GAA away to the side. It was only a few years later when the Brothers saw the success of this and the growing suburbs that they became more generally enamored with this model and hence why Oatlands, Colaiste Eoin, Clonkeen ect were developed in the '60s.
Monkstown’s grounds were owned by the DeVesci and Longford Estate but these were to be handed over to DL Council for building of a park. But nothing happened (local politics) and the restriction was opened up to more general State uses like a hospital (it was shortlisted to be used for a TB Hospital before the CBs got it, school, museum ect. The Superior of the Dún Laoghaire school got in the ear of the Cathaoirleach proposing to buy it. This faced plenty of local objections again. Monkstown was an remains a very Protestant area, the property had been previously used for the Dublin version of Crufts so that should tell you all you need to know about the locals. I doubt they were too keen on rag tag Brothers coming in taking their fields of leisure away for a song, even if they were rugby playing ones. The Brothers though got the property - allegedly by one vote with an opposing councilor gone to the toilet. As consideration the Brothers handed over their lands at Sallynoggin to the Council and those were built on as local authority houses.
Part of the lands were used to build a few houses (the ones on Carrickbrennan Road now bordering CBC) but the rest went to CBC. But the crucial thing was that the restrictive covenant on the land remained and remains to this day. The Brothers tried to sell part of the lands (the awful pitch to the back) in 2004 but couldn’t without that restriction being lifted.
Whilst helpful for the school back then, the restriction on the lands caused incredible hassle when the ERST was formed and the school were attempting to rebuild the place. It held the project up for several years.
This is bad news for any school or public lands in general such as public parks. Why are Bord Pleanala taking this radical decision to allow a huge development in St Annes Park in the face of strong local opposition, environmental issues and the opposition of influential non-aligned public figures such as the Dublin City Manager? Bizarre planning decisions taken in the past in the era a of local councillors making planning decisions on large developments were alleged to have been a sign of possible corruption. Maybe its the pressure of the housing crisis causing bad short-term planning decisions to be made but these will cause damage and loss in the long term.
There are plenty of more appropriate sites for 8 storey apartment blocks than built on existing pitch and public park amenities away from the city centre. It takes a special lack of empathy and appreciation of the big picture to not understand this.
We are in the midst of a horrific housing crisis that is having a massively negative impact on families and individuals across Ireland. Is there any point at which South Dublin nimbyism will ever give way to basic morality and Christian values?
That’s true but these lands were fully part of St Anne Park until the 1950’s when they were swapped for use as a playing field amenity for the adjacent school. A fence only went up in 2001 and I don’t think a future building development was what the council had in mind when they made the land swap in the 1950’s. The public vs private delineation wasn’t explained very well either to the park wildlife like the visiting Brent geese.
Also the granting of planning of this sort of development is hardly in line with Z15 zoning - “institutional and community” use. It’s all about the money, forget right and wrong.
We are actually discussing a similar North Dublin issue in recent posts - St Annes/Raheny. There is also sufficient Z1 zoned land in Dublin to build 120,000 units. I am quite happy for developers to build on the multiple sites available around me in South Dublin that are Z1 zoned rather than on pitches and parks. But do carry on.
It is unlikely that the houses and apartments in St Annes would be cheap to be honest.
Anyways - I live next to the park. Those pitches aren’t as such public land. There is enough pitches in the park to accommodate whatever might get lost.
I don’t even think that the apartments would be too intrusive, looking at the plans.
However, I am royally pissed off by the fact that the Vincentians get a multi-million payout and essentially screw the neighbours.
The traffic on the junction of Howth Road and Sybil hill Road is already bad enough. Public transport is strained as well, and I see no solutions for any of that.
There’s plenty of space further north though which wouldn’t be building in the middle of the park.
Housing density in most of Raheny and Clontarf is still quite low given it is all old terraces with generally huge back gardens.