A new Muslim cultural centre will be built in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary after An Bord Pleanála rejected the appeals of a group of local residents.
Tipperary County Council had given planning permission for the construction of a new two-storey centre that will provide rooms for prayer, mother and toddler groups, breastfeeding, a library, youth club and canteen. Demolition of the current derelict building on the Clonmel site will now proceed in order to allow construction of the centre.
Locals fear the building will be used principally as a mosque, since it will be open from 6am to 10pm for prayer. The Tipperary Islamic Cultural Centre however insist that “a building is not a mosque simply because five daily prayers are performed in it”, and that fears that groups of people will be accessing the building throughout the night are “incorrect and unfounded.”
The Irish Mirror reports:
[box] Over 200 local residents had signed submissions which also raised concern that the new building would overshadow other houses. They claimed older people living in Irishtown would be nervous that people would be in their area late at night or in the early hours of the morning.
The objectors said the council’s decision to approve the project was “outrageous” and “absolutely mind boggling” especially as it had refused planning permission for four two-bed townhouses a short distance away because it would create a traffic hazard.
“There are so many more suitable sites in Clonmel where overdevelopment, overpopulation, traffic hazard and public safety are not an issue,” said the main appellant, Bernie Reidy.
The TICC, a registered charity, which is currently based at a smaller premises in Clonmel, provided reassurance to the planning authorities that there would be no amplified call to prayer from the new centre.[/box]