Local parishioners are concerned about the impact the planned Metro North project will have on their ability to attend mass and to go about their daily lives, a local church volunteer has claimed.
Cora McKeever, a volunteer at Our Lady of Victories, has told us that churchgoers at her local church – located at the junction between Glasnevin Avenue and Ballymun Road – are worried about plans to base a Metro station on current church grounds.
“Local residents believe that the Metro plans will cause disruption in their lives. Most of the people who attend mass at the church are elderly and have trouble getting around. For some, weekly mass on a Sunday is the only time they get out of their houses.
“While I know that the Dublin needs a link between the city centre and the airport – we’ve been talking about for years, I don’t think we’ve fully thought through the disruption it will have to people on the route, particularly to the elderly who are used to their routine, or to the students who go to the college (Dublin City University).”
McKeever, with an address at St Pappin’s Road, directly adjacent to the church, assists priests and other church volunteers opening and closing the church daily and with Holy Communion and ad hoc church duties.
She explained that the plans involve closing one door of the church (parishioners can currently enter the church through two doors) which would impact access for funeral services. She also cited church concerns about infrastructural issues to the building, particularly to the brittle stained-glass windows which have been weathered over decades.
She also cited the planned change in bus routes as a concern among the local elderly population, explaining that they are used to the current system and have no desire for change.
The junction at Glasnevin Avenue and Ballymun Avenue is already served by several buses travelling to the city centre. The 4, 9, 11 and 13 bus routes all stop 100 metres down the road at the entrance to DCU; each bus arrives at the stop every 10 to 20 minutes.
McKeever herself is retired more than 10 years and although she owns her own car, occasionally uses the bus to travel to the city centre.
Na Fianna Campaign
“I’m pleased for Na Fianna that they were able to convince the council not to store their equipment on their pitch, but people have to understand that there are other people that need to be taken into account,” McKeever added, referring to the recent high-profile campaign the GAA fought to keep their pitch from being used by Dublin City Council as a storage space for boring equipment.
A stretch of road roughly two kilometres in length from the top of Glasnevin Avenue to Botanic Avenue on the edge of Phibsboro is home to Our Lady of Victories, DCU, Na Fianna GAA and Home Farm Football Club and is expected to be disrupted by Metro works for up to six years once the project commences.
Home Farm Football Club is now expected to host the boring equipment for this leg of the €2.4 billion project. The club is also viewed as a vital local resource and has produced several Republic of Ireland internationals including Liam Brady, Ronnie Whelan, Richard Dunne and cousins Ian Harte and Gary Kelly, who represented Ireland at the 2002 World Cup in Japan/South Korea.