UL Bohs say clubhouse plan will not ‘intensify use’ of Annacotty site

Mike Dwane


Mike Dwane

Former UL Bohs player Lynne Cantwell with current club members Fiona Coghlan, Fiona Hayes and Gillian Bourke lining out for Ireland in the Women's Rugby World Cup in France. Picture: Diarmuid Greene / Sportsfile
A PROPOSAL for a new clubhouse at UL Bohemian will not draw more crowds to the grounds, the club has insisted.

A PROPOSAL for a new clubhouse at UL Bohemian will not draw more crowds to the grounds, the club has insisted.

And the rugby club says it has no plans to open a bar at the site.

Limerick City and County Council is due to decide in the coming days on whether to grant permission for a clubhouse, parking and floodlighting on the grounds at the end of Mulcair Drive in Annacotty.

But the plans have attracted seven objections from residents along the cul-de-sac, one of which is from the residents association and signed by 64 people.

The objections centre on heavy traffic on matchdays and during evening training sessions; “intrusive” 16-metre floodlights and suspicions that the clubhouse will host functions and parties.

One local complained to the council that “the small resident base on Mulcair Drive has ben imposed upon and subjected to significant torment, danger and nuisance in their otherwise quiet lives”.

Others observed that the “mayhem” caused by traffic and other problems relating to the club’s activities had been a source of grief for over 40 years.

The council wrote to the club in February asking UL Bohs to consider closing off its Mulcair Drive entrance permanently “in the interests of residential amenity”. And the council also asked the club to clarify whether it intended renting out the clubhouse for functions.

Kevin Flanagan, for UL Bohs, responded on July 29 that the club would continue to use its facility at Thomond Park for functions and parties.

“The proposed Annacotty clubhouse is not designed for these events and has no bar facilities. There is no intention to solicit events and the clubhouse will not be rented out for parties and celebrations,” Mr Flanagan stated.

He also noted that permission had been granted for a new entrance from Plassey Road roundabout but this had been complicated by the transfer of third party lands from Shannon Development to the IDA. While the club was “committed” to establishing this new - or other alternative - entrance, the club was not in a position currently to close the Mulcair Drive entrance.

The plans merely wished to bring UL Bohs facilities up to the standard of other clubs in the city.

They would not “intensify the use of the grounds but will provide better facilities for those using it”, Mr Flanagan wrote.

The club caters to underage players of both sexes as well as senior men’s and women’s teams.

UL Bohs was the most successful women’s team in the country “but the existing facilities do not adequately cater for women’s rugby”, Mr Flanagan wrote.

Four of the players on the Irish team which finished fourth in the recent Women’s Rugby World Cup are UL Bohs players - Fiona Coghlan, Niamh Briggs, Gill Bourke and Fiona Hayes.