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Friends of Clonkeen


Monaloe Park Road, Blackrock, County Dublin

Friends of Clonkeen

Friends of Clonkeen is an independent community of parents, past-pupils, local residents and sports clubs.

We are committed to the preservation of open space for biodiversity, education and community.


In May 2017 the community of Clonkeen College in Deansgrange was reeling from the news that the Christian Brothers had sold most of the college’s playing fields to a developer.  At a subsequent public meeting convened by the school, and attended by over 500 people, the principal spoke of his shock at the betrayal of the school and its pupils. 

In June 2018, a legal action taken by some members of the Board of Management of the school against the Christian Brothers was settled, although no details of this settlement were made public. The school fell silent.  An ominous silence which leads us, the local community, to believe that the school have been prevented from further commenting on or objecting to the loss of this precious resource. 

This sale, which may not be completed, should not be allowed to go ahead because: 

1.  It will deprive a non-fee-paying school of the minimum amount of land required for a school of it’s size, as per the Dept of Education’s own guidelines.  

2.  It will prevent the school from ever being able to expand, something that it will no doubt have to, due to increased demand for places resulting from the amount of new development already underway in this area.

3.  The playing pitches in Clonkeen are an important feeding and resting site for wintering birds, particularly a large flock of Brent Geese (a protected species), hundreds of which have been using the site for a decade. The site is also a rich habitat for bats, egrets, curlew, foxes and other wildlife. All of which will be destroyed.  

4. Clonkeen College playing pitches were also used by local sports clubs.  There is a shortage of suitable playing pitches in the area.

5. In 2009 the school began a process of upgrading the pitches, with the full permission and indeed support of ERST (Edmund Rice Trust, who administer Christian Brothers schools).  In the region of €400,000 was spent on draining and levelling the area for sports, money that was fundraised by the parents, past pupils and local community. Money which will be completely wasted if this sale is allowed to complete.

Since the pitches have been made unavailable to the school it's GAA teams have been forced to stage home fixtures as far away as Bray!

6.  As outlined in their new County Development Plan, due to come into force early in 2022, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council want this land protected for strategic neighbourhood infrastructure. Something the local community supports.   


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Friends of Clonkeen are pursuing a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála's decision to grant planning permission under the SHD scheme for the playing fields at Clonkeen College.

This is a legal investigation into the process of a decision as opposed to the decision itself. However, if the review is successful and the judge accepts that the decision making process did not take into account one or more pertinent facts or planning laws, the planning decision will be overturned.

For a Judicial Review to go ahead a High Court Judge must approve the grounds on which the review is sought. Friends of Clonkeen have submitted eight such grounds and all eight have been approved.

The zoning of the land at Clonkeen is now designated as SNI (strategic neighbourhood infrastructure), so that any new planning application will be assessed under this new zoning category.



An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission under the Strategic Housing Development fast track scheme in January 2022 for 300 apartments on the site ensuring the permanent loss of vital playing fields not just for the school but for the local community.

The biodiversity loss is also significant given that the pitches have provided a vital site for over wintering Brent Geese.