Ireland in 2018 is a thriving multicultural country. We have a range of nationalities, cultural practices and religions all around us. Gone are the days of sons having to be named after the apostles and tomato ketchup being the only exotic sauce in the supermarket, times have changed and so has our society.
With people of different cultures and religions adopting to their new homeland they obviously want to bring some of their practices and ways of practicing with them. Throughout Ireland, there are approximately 50 mosques and prayer centres, around 20 synagogues and in 2019 we will get our first Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Castletownbere, Co. Cork. As well as this variety there are lots more religious places of faith.
With six mosques in Dublin and a number of prayer centres, it is evident that there is a strong Muslim community in Dublin. There are plans of building a mosque, community centre and primary school in Blanchardstown. Plans of the site have been approved by An Bord Pleanála (The Planning Board) ,however local residents have appealed the decision. Those who have appealed gave a number of reasons for this such as noise pollution, traffic congestion and parking issues.
Traffic congestion and parking issues are elements that can be used for an array of new projects as they do cause issues but the surprising reason given was noise pollution. With local residents cautious about amplified speakers and with large numbers of worshipers the early morning call to prayer could be an annoyance those against the plans have said.
The first mosque in Ireland opened its doors in 1976 on the South Circular Road in Dublin, The Islamic Foundation of Ireland. A time when local communities would be less aware of diverse religions and maybe slightly more hostile to the idea of new practices. Given the objections and appeals lodged against the proposed plans for Blanchardstown, I went to find out how the experience was like when Ireland’s first mosque arrived. To hear how the welcoming was to those who set it up and also to find out what they think of the reasons being given for the appeal. I also spoke to a few local residents to find out do they think noise pollution is a problem and what it is like having Ireland’s first mosque at their doorsteps. The audio is in the links below.
Interview with a founding member of The Islamic Foundation of Ireland –
Local residents in the Dublin 8 area –