Martin O’Neill objects to planning application for youth football ground!

Former Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has lodged an objection against the development of a football ground for a youth team in Donegal.

Dunfanaghy Youths, who have been homeless for two years, have made a planning application for premises which includes a pitch and clubhouse.

However, O’Neill owns a derelict 18th-century county house nearby and is attempting to block the application.

His objection said the area was “not appropriate” for such a development.

“Ultimately Horn Head, a secluded and protected area, with especially high scenic amenity status is simply not appropriate for a large public gathering facility, ie a stadium,” O’Neill’s written submission to Donegal County Council states.

The proposed development at Lurgabrack in Dunfanaghy, which is backed by the Football Association of Ireland, would also consist of a training pitch and spectator stand.

O’Neill, who lives in England but owns Horn Head House, says his primary issue concerns environment and safety.

“Horn Head is renowned not just locally, not just in Donegal, but also throughout Ireland and would be adversely affected by this proposed development.”

O’Neill’s objection adds that the natural wildlife or the area “would be seriously affected by the proposals”.

“Access and safety will be compromised by any such stadium construction,” he continues.

“Further pollution concerns are obvious: Traffic congestion, floodlighting and noise pollution.”

Dunfanaghy Youths, which has boys and girls’ teams up to under-18 level, won the Donegal Youth League in 2018 despite being without a home pitch.

Over the last two years, they have played home fixtures in nearby Falcarragh.

Donegal County Council is scheduled to decide on the issue next month.

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