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Shelbourne look set to remain at Tolka Park following Dublin City Council recommendations

DCC chief executive Owen Keegan says the ground should be redeveloped along with Richmond Park and Dalymount Park.

A ‘save Tolka Park’ flag at the ground.
A ‘save Tolka Park’ flag at the ground.
Image: Ben Whitley/INPHO

SHELBOURNE HAVE TAKEN a major step forward in their bid to stay at Tolka Park.

In 2016, Dublin City Council (DCC) purchased Tolka Park and Dalymount Park, home of Bohemians.

Both clubs would become co-tenants at a redeveloped Dalymount Park, while Tolka was to be demolished to build housing.

However, a group of supporters called ‘Save Tolka Park’ have been campaigning to oppose such a move over the past year, while Shels’ owners approached the Council to propose purchasing the ground. 

On the back of that support and a number of submissions received, the DCC have recommended that the ground isn’t rezoned for residential use. 

Instead, it should be redeveloped to provide “enhanced sporting, recreational and community amenities and to celebrate the rich sporting history”.

DCC CEO Owen Keegan also put his support behind the redevelopment of St Patrick’s Athletic’s home, Richmond Park.

In 2018, the Saints saw plans to build a new stadium across the road in St Michael’s Estate rejected in favour of a housing scheme. 

“Dublin City Council acquired both Tolka Park and Dalymount Park in order to ensure that both clubs, which were struggling post-recession, could be retained in the city,” said Keegan, in a document that looks at planning for 2022-2028.

“The intention was to develop one municipal stadium capable of accommodating both football clubs. Given the strong heritage, including international matches associated with Dalymount, both clubs and DCC agreed that the new municipal stadium should be at Dalymount, to be partly funded by the disposal of the Tolka Park grounds.

However, more recently Shelbourne have indicated to the City Council that they are exploring options which will include plans to utilise Tolka Park for football/sports use.

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“Having regard to these circumstances and the zoning in the draft plan is for Z9: To preserve, provide and improve recreational amenity, open space and ecosystem services the chief executive is not recommending that the zoning of the site be changed to a residential/mixed use zoning objective.

“It is recommended that existing Objective G1051 (Dalymount Park) be expanded to include Tolka Park.

“The Chief Executive notes the submission from St Patrick’s Athletic FC Richmond Road and its plans to redevelop the existing football stadium. It is similarly considered appropriate to include St Patrick’s Athletic Richmond Road under the Objective G1051 to supports its redevelopment.”

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