14,000 objections to proposed Hell Fire Club development

South Dublin County Council wants to turn the area into a major tourist attraction

14,000 objections to proposed Hell Fire Club development

The Hell Fire Club in Dublin

Some 14,000 people have objected to plans for a major development to the Hellfire Club in the Dublin Mountains.

South Dublin County Council wants to turn the area into a major tourist attraction with a €15m investment.

The planning proposal includes a visitor centre with a viewing platform.

The project is being billed as a chance to make the Hellfire Club the ‘gateway to the Dublin Mountains,’ but Fine Gael TD Colm Brophy told Newstalk Breakfast the name is “very misleading.”

“What is being proposed by South Dublin County Council is a massive structure to facilitate a viewing platform of Dublin City below which really is totally at odds with what we have at the moment,” he said.

Hill walking

He noted that the Hellfire club has historically been a gateway to the mountains for hill walkers – adding that the current plans offer something quite different:

“What is actually being proposed is a visitor centre,” he said. “It is a viewing platform visitor centre and remember; the figures that are being proposed are 300,000 visitors a year.”

“So what you are really talking about is 300,000 visitors coming - probably out in coaches or cars or whatever.

“Coming up, viewing over Dublin, taking a look and then leaving and going back towards the City Centre.

“Now there are better locations within the confines of the Dublin hills and mountains if you wanted to put something like that in.”

Gridlock

He said the additional traffic could lead to “almost a permanent gridlock situation on weekends and busy summer days.”

“If they got anywhere near the type of visitor numbers that they are projecting for their development, the resulting traffic on the current – which are quite small by the way – rural roads would, I believe, result in gridlock,” he said.

“[It would be] a very, very unsatisfactory situation for local people living in the area.”

South Dublin County Council believes the plans could help harness the “valuable resource” that is the Dublin Mountains and turn the area into a major tourist attraction.

It believes the Hell Fire Club offer a site that “consolidates and defines the visitors’ potential appreciation of a unique place and experience in the Dublin Mountains.”

The development would have its own events and exhibition space, a rambler’s lounge, café and shop - with the total area for the project over 922 square metres.