Pictured above: Locals Paddy Melia, Stefano Speranza, Ger Coughlan, Senator Mary White, Cllr Shay Brennan, Gary Roberts and Noel Donohoe want a community centre for the area (Photo: doug.ie)
Residents in the Rosemount area of south Dublin are hoping to push Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to deliver on their promise of community facilities.
Some 44 social housing units have been approved for the former flat complex site in the area.
While residents are pleased to see new families coming into the area, they feel that the community needs to have facilities provided at the same time.
“We welcome the news [of the units], we want to see that area used for families and we’re happy to see a new influx of people coming in,” chairman of the residents association Gary Roberts said.
“Our argument is ‘By all means put the houses in, but can we have the facilities you promised?’ Nobody wants to go back to the days of throwing houses in on top of houses and then having nothing for the kids to do,” he added.
The Rosemount flats were razed in 2007 and Mr Roberts said that many residents felt it would be a fresh start for the area, which had experienced problems such as anti-social behaviour and drugs in the past.
“At the time a lot of stuff was promised for the area, such as a community centre, but nothing was ever delivered,” he said.
“We want to have a community centre where residents, particularly elderly residents, could go and have a cup of coffee in the morning and not feel isolated,” Mr Roberts added. Mr Roberts said that the community had seen little benefit from the commercial rates paid to the council by nearby businesses, such as the Dundrum Town Centre.
“If you have a boxing club or a football club in the area you give kids something to focus on.
“Whereas if you slap a load of families in on top of other families, it’s only a recipe for disaster,” he added.
“We’re only asking for facilities that other areas have already received.”
The local football club, which enjoyed great success in the past, is now struggling to attract players, Mr Roberts said.
“Through lack of facilities the teams started to go one by one – and it means we’re struggling now to get teams. It’s down to a lack of investment in the area,” he said.
Locals have compiled a nine-page document outlining its goals and the history of the area.
It can be found at the Rosemount-Taney Community Campaign Facebook page.
A spokeswoman for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said it was examining its options.
“A number of alternative plans have been considered for the redevelopment of Rosemount, one of which included a new community centre.
“Unfortunately, due to funding constraints the council has been unable to proceed with the centre as planned,” she said.
“The council is, however, examining potential options available to us for the provision of new sports facility in the area and we hope to progress plans in the near future.”
By Laura Larkin, December 30 2015