On Tuesday 29th January, the interest group on the future of the De La Salle lands in Ballyfermot held its first meeting of the new year. The group agreed to name itself Keep Ballyfermot, highlighting not only the De La Salle issue but also the need for additional amenities to provide for a sustainable community in Ballyfermot.
The group, which is composed of local residents and community representatives, agreed on several measures which would put sustainability to the fore when considering any future developments.
Firstly, the group agreed to lobby for Dublin City Council to conduct a sustainability study. This study would consider the services in the area, consult with residents and consider future population growth.
Secondly, it was agreed that an emergency motion would be put to this Monday’s meeting of Dublin City Council to place the De La Salle buildings on the list of protected structures.
The emergency motion, to be put forward by Cllr Hazel de Nortúin (People Before Profit, Ballyfermot/Drimnagh), reads as follows:
“This council will agree to place the De La Salle school building, hall and Monastery on the list of protected structures due to their social significance in the area. These buildings have been central to Ballyfermot since its conception and should continue to be there for future communities to utilise.”
Cllr Hazel de Nortúin, a founding member of the interest group, Keep Ballyfermot, noted that: “The De La Salle Monastery was severely damaged with vandalism over the past few months. Measures were not taken to secure the building and its heritage by either the new owner or the occupiers. Ballyfermot is limited in terms of services and more consideration should be given to those structures that are of tremendous social importance to the area. Ballyfermot celebrated its 70th year in 2018. Given its youth, we need to maintain buildings such as the De La Salle to ensure that in 100 years or 200 years time, those buildings will still provide an important role in the community. We must look to the future to consider the needs of this area whilst also working to preserve its heritage.”