Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Bay South, Jim O’Callaghan has said that the proposed demolition of 70 homes and the Markievicz Leisure Centre on Townsend Street, Dublin 2 to facilitate the development of a MetroLink station at Tara Street can be avoided.

The local TD raised the matter in Dáil Éireann yesterday and said, “A number of weeks ago I met a number of the residents living in College Gate on Townsend Street, Dublin 2 who are particularly anxious about the future of their apartments.

“Under the recently announced MetroLink plans it has been proposed that the College Gate building be demolished.

“This is not just some minor premises – it is an apartment block that has 70 homes and the Markievicz Leisure Centre operated by Dublin City Council on the ground floor. The leisure centre is widely used by those in the locality. In fact, in recent years more than €1 million was spent on its refurbishment.

“The demolition of this building is going to greatly inconvenience very many people, most especially those that have just recently purchased their home in College Gate. There are also a number of apartments within College Gate that are owned by Dublin City Council and which are rented to tenants.

“It is extraordinary that a statutory body would recommend the demolition of 70 city centre homes while we are in the midst of a housing crisis that is continuing to escalate.

“As with every major infrastructural development, some people will inevitably be inconvenienced and land will sometimes have to be compulsorily purchased for the metro, but what is being proposed at this site is outside the norm and not actually necessary.

“The National Transport Authority and Transport Infrastructure Ireland have both stated that College Gate must be demolished in order to construct a top-down MetroLink station at Tara Street, but there are a number of other suitable locations in the vicinity.

“I very much support the College Gate residents submission made to the NTA and TII which suggested suitable alternative sites that could be used for the construction of the new underground station at Tara Street.”