Residents in Lucan have rallied against a decision to remove a local football club's portaloo and storage facilities used by players.

Arthur Griffith FC has provided football training for players of all ages at Griffeen Valley Park in Lucan for many years. However, the club was recently informed by South Dublin County Council that it does not have permission for its portaloo and storage containers which act as changing rooms.

Arthur Griffith FC has started an online petition asking the council to reconsider removing its "essential facilities". Sinn Fein Councillor Derren Ó Brádaigh is calling on South Dublin County Council to allow the club to keep the facilities.

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Cllr Ó Brádaigh told Dublin Live that the local club provides an "invaluable local service to lots of young and aspiring football players" in the Lucan area. He said: "For far too long the club organisers have been pleading with the council to recognise the growing requirement for an essential dedicated storage space area and toilet facility in proximity to one of their busiest playing pitches."

Cllr Ó Brádaigh highlighted that access to toilet facilities is especially important for younger members. Younger members often use the the playing pitch furthest from the pavillion on the Newcastle Road.

He said: "Whilst the club accept that the Council are no longer providing the older metal forty foot style storage containers, they have been asking for an interim solution that will address the needs for privacy and safety of all their members and team players at all times."

Cllr Ó Bradaigh added that the online petition set up by Arthur Griffith FC has so far amassed almost 1,000 signatures to keep the facilities. He said: "The irony of the situation is that up until recently the club had the portaloo in situ for some considerable time and at their own cost.

He said: "This was being used between games and training tostore football equipment – surely, we can do better for our local clubs. The new storage facility that has been introduced recently into the park is neatly housed within the Council’s own sectioned off compound space already in place."

Cllr Ó Brádaigh added that the storage facility is much needed as it provides a safe place for club equipment as well as a defibrillator. He said: "I am now urging council officials to recognise the situation, permit the interim facilities, but more importantly talk to the club organisers and find a better long-term solution that ultimately meets."

Arthur Griffith FC's Chairman Allan O'Kearney wrote in the petition: "We, the undersigned, urge the South Dublin County Council to recognize the importance of these facilities for Arthur Griffith Park FC and its members.

"We kindly request that the council continues to support the club's use of the storage container and portaloo, ensuring that our community can enjoy the benefits of these amenities for years to come."

A spokesperson for South Dublin Council confirmed to Dublin Live that Arthur Griffith FC is provided with changing facilities. They said: "Arthur Griffith FC are provided with changing facilities and toilets at the pavilion located on adjacent to the running track close to Newcastle Road.

"No permission was given to Arthur Griffith FC for the installation of a container and temporary toilets. The Council is in communication with the club to arrange for the removal of same as soon as possible."

To sign Arthur Griffith FC's petition click here.

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