Mountrath GAA can keep ball wall despite residents' objections

Sliotars over the fence prompt objections to Mountrath GAA plans

Mountrath GAA club has been granted conditional permission to retain a ball wall on their grounds, despite objections from nearby residents over concerns about safety from stray sliotars and possible flooding from drainage works.

The club had applied to Laois County Council for permission to retain a ball wall, storage shed and drainage work at the grounds at Russ Avenue.

However, a submission was made by Ms Mary O’Rourke, representing a number of residents of the nearby Stillbrook estate whose properties are adjacent to St Fintan’s.

They claimed that several hurling balls have come over the fence into the gardens behind the ball wall, and one man in his mid-80s who walks with crutches has thrown at least five hurling balls from his garden back into the club grounds.

Residents also complained about the visual impact of the ball wall, and in relation to drainage they said they were concerned that the capacity of the stream into which the drainage works have been piped may be insufficient.

In the wake of this submission, the applicant provided the council with further information addressing these issues, but the residents made further submissions against the plans in July this year and again just a few weeks ago.

They said that on Sunday, July 16, matches were hosted in the grounds and the car park was full to capacity, with overflow traffic in front of the clubhouse and on the training/underage pitch. They claimed that the club has insufficient parking and the ball wall is completely unsuitable for a pre-match warm up.

They also raised concerns over an increased threat to their homes caused by additional water being directed into the nearby stream by the club’s drainage works, as there is a 100mm pipe now emptying water from the pitch into the stream.

They highlighted a section in a report which accompanied the application that said “there may be insufficient capacity in the unnamed stream located along the southern boundary of the site”.

Despite the residents’ objections, Laois County Council has now granted conditional permission to Mountrath GAA.

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