Dublin North Hockey Club are anxiously waiting for further details from Hockey Ireland and Sport Ireland over how soon they need to find a new base for the club.
In addition to eight adult teams – four men’s and four women’s – the club has over 150 juniors who use the Abbotstown hockey pitch each week.However, Sport Ireland’s recent announcement of a €600,000 overhaul of the pitch, upgrading the surface from a sand-based to Olympic standard water-base, suggests they will not have access to the pitch with work set to commence imminently.
It came “out of the blue” for the club who will now probably require a new home at short notice in an area of the city not awash with alternatives.
Currently, the only venue not in use by a club between Lucan and Donabate along the M50 is at ALSAA, a pitch that has long been in a state of disrepair, ultimately leading to North’s switch to Abbotstown.
With members hailing from the stretch between Blanchardstown to Swords, it leaves the club in a tricky position with the second half of the season on the horizon.
“It’s great for Irish hockey to see this development and we are delighted to see this come in,” club chairman Conor Connolly said. “We do have serious concerns though, particularly about the timing of it and we have to talk to Hockey Ireland and Sport Ireland to see where we stand.
“We knew, long-term, there was a proposal there [to get the Irish senior teams a training base] but initially we understood it would be for a second pitch.
“The first we knew that the current pitch was set to be done was when that press release came out so it was completely out of the blue.
“Given the time of the year, too, with things closing down for Christmas, it adds to the challenge of trying to get something organised.”
Dublin North has been operating in its current guise for the past three seasons following the amalgamation of Fingal HC, Swords HC and St Brendan’s/Phoenix Park.