“this is very much a pastoral, outreach development..”

The Irish News reports a little local difficulty in Crumlin between the Catholic church and the local gaelic club, St James Aldegrove GAC. The club has been using parish-owned grounds since the 1960s but the Diocese of Down and Connor, recently seen picking a fight with Amnesty International, want it back and have instructed the club to vacate the site by November 30. [subs req]From the Irish News report [subs again]

A spokesman for the Diocese of Down and Connor said that the parish had no choice but to use the grounds to provide for the pastoral needs of a burgeoning population in the area.

He said the increase in houses in the area meant St Joseph’s Primary School – situated next to the football grounds – would have to be extended and the nearby Mater Dei church would have to be rebuilt.

“Crumlin is a massively growing community and this is very much a pastoral, outreach development,” he said.

“As well as the church and school, there will be sheltered housing for the elderly, meeting rooms for social events and an astroturf pitch.”

The spokesman confirmed that a solicitor’s letter had been sent to the club but added that it followed months of attempts to meet officials.