An Bord Pleanala, Ireland’s national planning appeals board, have given the green light for what will be Ireland’s largest mosque.
The three-storey domed mosque planned for Clongriffin in North Dublin is part of a huge project that includes minarets, schools, a conference centre, gym, swimming pool, restaurant, crèche, library, offices and residential apartments.
It’s estimated that the development will cost between €45 and €65 million. It will cater for around 550 people for Friday prayers and for up to 3,000 during festivals.
It will be Ireland’s third purpose-built mosque. The other two purpose-built mosques are in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo and in Clonskeagh in Dublin. There is also a purpose built Shia Islamic Centre in Milltown in Dublin.
The Muslim population of Ireland is estimated to be over 50,000. Most Muslims in the country worship in ‘makeshift mosques’ in housing estates, community halls or industrial warehouses.
The Dublin Welfare Society, who submitted the planning application, currently manage two mosques located in industrial units in Clondalkin and Swords.
The group are made up of a number of Dublin-based Muslims from different backgrounds and nationalities.
Dublin City Council had granted planning permission to the Dublin Welfare Society last March for the development. However, local Labour TD Tommy Broughan appealed the decision on the grounds of size and potential impact on traffic in the area.
Clongriffin is a newly developed area of Dublin. It was born in the boom years with a major residential development in 2002.
I visited the site for the Clongriffin mosque in July when I attended a special Ramadan event hosted by the Dublin Welfare Society. The event was held in one of the spanking-new retail units that surround the ‘town’ square.
Inside, the shopping centre was fitted with clean shining floor tiles and sparkling light fittings but the elevator was frozen in time and the retail units lay empty.
Development in Clongriffin almost halted completed with the collapse of the property market. Roads have been left unfinished and many of the retail units have never been occupied.
Access to the dart station, which was developed to cater for the burgeoning population, has also proved problematic.
It is hoped that with the go-ahead given for the new mosque and Islamic centre, that the development will result in much of local infrastructure being completed and a new access area to the Dart station.
Full article in the Irish Times:
My first visit to Clongriffin during my Ramadan blogging: