Community mobilises and marches in an effort to save their local convent from a new multi-story nursing home.

Over 400 residents of Clondalkin took to the streets of their village recently to support the ‘Save the Clondalkin Convent Campaign’ and voice opposition to a proposed multi-story nursing home in the heart of their area. The campaign has come together in recent months to object to plans of the Presentation Sisters to develop a 155 bedroom nursing home with developers Bartra on green space surrounding the 162-year-old convent. The proposed new development is currently with An Bord Pleanála after many appeals to the planning permission granted by South Dublin County Council. Opposition to the project is based on fears of the negative impact on the old village of Clondalkin and borne out of frustration with the lack of consultation by the Presentation Sisters with the local community.

Locals also expressed concerns with the aesthetics of the proposed new build, which contrasts negatively with the beautiful surroundings of the convent and the adjoining Church of the Immaculate Conception. Speaking on behalf of the local campaign group, and based on the responses at a public meeting on 4th September, the spokespeople for the group, Eddie Murphy and Monica McGill, said: “Clondalkin is a beautiful old village that is attracting more and more visitors, thanks to the development of Brú Chrónáin around our ancient Round Tower. “The campaign we are involved in is based on us taking a stand to save as much of the old village as we can and voice our opposition to plans that will dwarf what is part of our heritage.

“We respect the needs of the local Presentation Sisters to develop facilities for the more senior members of their order but we do not accept that another nursing home of this size is needed in the heart of what is already a busy, built up and at times, clogged-up village. “This is a valued green area, used by local primary schools and the new proposed development is out of scale and out of taste with the surrounding buildings. “There is also a colony of swifts and bats whose habitats would be obliterated if the building works go ahead. “This biggest disappointment for us has been the lack of meaningful engagement or consultation from the Presentation Sisters, either at local or national level, to discuss their plans and partnership with Bartra. “The nuns have been valued members of our community for a century and a half and in addition to the locals buying the land and building the convent, they received the full support of the local community over that time. “We are calling for the Sisters at both local and national level to press pause on this proposed development and to talk to local residents whose concerns are real and well founded.”

Pic Credit: Tommy Keogh