“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.

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  • “…the Diocese of Down and Connor, recently seen picking a fight with Amnesty International…”

    Elsewhere, a senior colleague is claiming that using contraception causes AIDS, and that Europeans plan to wipe out the African people: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7014335.stm

  • Croim Ghleann

    Coming the week having the hugely successful ‘Go Game’, with hundreds of under-10s from numerous clubs playing matches across three sites in front of hundreds of spectators, the parade and the fun-day, this is a boot in the balls to all those connected with the club.

    My son asked me : “The church is taking our pitches. What is going to happen to us?”

    Unless the church sees the betterment of the community as a pastoral duty, recognises the club’s worth and does everything in it’s power to ensure St James’ has a new pitch, of the same or better quality, before they are moved from the Glenavy Road site, they risk damaging their position in the eyes of many in the area.

    The church risks alienating a generation of young men and women if it doesn’t place their needs alongside other factors.

    ALDERGROVE! ALDERGROVE! RED AND BLACK ARMY!

  • beardyboy

    What is it with these people that they think that the world owes them a living? they have obviously not bothered themselves answering the Church concerning the grounds and now they have pushed the situation to the wire they are coming out with a poor me argument. get yourself sorted out and get a pitch organised – there are plenty of fields around crumlin.

    These ingrates think that the church and probably everyone else should be getting them a field. If they had anything in them they would thank the Church for the years of use they got. Shows that you cannot be good to some people.

  • Not a priest by any chance are ya? I wonder will the church change it’s mind when the colelction tray on a sunday comes back somewhat lighter. Any church relies on the good will of the locals, pissing them off is generally considered a bad idea.

  • Reader

    Pounder: I wonder will the church change it’s mind when the colelction tray on a sunday comes back somewhat lighter.
    I wonder will the difference in weight of the collection tray bear any relation to the value of the land? I doubt it! The sport club has had 40 years of free use. Now the Church wants to use its own land for even more worthy purposes.

  • Making a quick buck is more important to the church then than watching a generation of younglings grow up with a healthy interest in team sports. You have to agree that they aren’t giving them much notice.

  • beardyboy

    No – not a priest – but my lads play hurling however I am not blinded by this blatant cynical attempt to blackmail the priest.

    The Church needs the grounds and have attempted to speak to the club which never bothered to reply – now they want to appear hard done by. Tough. If they had any integrity they would apologise and thank the parish for the use of the lands for all these years.

    And I would not worry about the collection plate – you will find that loyalty to the parish church and the development of the parish will come first.

  • Will the GAA be getting rid of the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly as patron in retaliation?

    As if!

  • Ormeau Gael

    The same situation happened in South/East Belfast when the Bredagh club having spent large sums on upgrading a pitch on a long term lease had to return the pitch to the church. A church who had aquired the land with the donations of the liaty in the first place.
    I would reckon the mebership of Bredagh now exceeds the regular attendance at mass amongst the under 45 age bracket

  • Resident

    Planning service gave green light to parish plans for redevelopment of the Glenavy road site in Crumlin. This includes demolotion of the GAA club house/changing rooms and training area, and a childrens nursery. Also included is development of a large social housing scheme.
    In short, church make a quick buck to go towards its accumulated debts and burdens locals with debts of building new church(of same size as current one). The parish and especially its youth lose valuable assets and feel further removed than ever from the church. When is someone from within the church heirarchy going to come out of the ivory tower and get in touch with its people?