Anyone for tennis?

By Mary Dennehy

AS WORK on the new sports pavilion in Dodder Valley Park continues, questions have been raised over the future of the existing tennis courts – which some believe have not been given much attention in recent years.

As previously reported in The Echo, calls have been made for South Dublin Council to maintain the tennis courts, which are surrounded by a heavy overgrowth and, at times, littered with broken glass.

Dodder Valley Tennis Courts 05 compressor

The existing tennis courts

However, despite the court’s condition, a father from Jobstown has been coaching his young daughter at the park facility for the past four years – placing netting over the hedging to stop balls going missing in the overgrowth.

In a letter to the Editor last week, resident Jim Lawlor says that latest information suggests that an all-weather soccer pitch with floodlighting is to be located where the tennis courts stand at the Old Bawn end of the park.

Mr Lawlor wrote: “It seems the South Dublin County Council has allowed this hedging to become overgrown to discourage the playing of tennis on the courts, but this approach has not succeeded.

“If the council is endeavouring to attract local sports men and women to use Dodder Park, how can they now explain the removal of tennis courts . . . ,” Mr Lawlor wrote.

The tennis courts, which offer one of the few free spaces to play tennis in Tallaght and its environs, have been located in the park since its early development.

When contacted by The Echo, Teresa Walsh, Director of Environment, Water and Climate Change, confirmed that no plans have yet been made for the tennis courts.

Ms Walsh said: “South Dublin County Council has a number of projects underway or planned at present at Dodder Valley, Old Bawn.

“A changing pavilion and new car park is currently under construction, the existing grass pitches are being assessed for upgrade and re-aligning, and one of three of the play spaces currently proposed and subject to a Part 8 process is located at Old Bawn.”

She added: “The existing tennis courts at Old Bawn are many years old and in poor condition.

“The council recently engaged with Tennis Ireland and Old Bawn Residents Association to discuss their current use and commence a conversation on their use into the future.

“The council is currently considering options in this regard and has not made any plans this year, nor is there a budget for any works at present.”

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