Harps Statement – Coderlios
On the 29th March, Ratoath Harps AFC became aware through a social media post on the Ratoath & Ashbourne news site of advanced plans to convert part of the Coderlios facilities into a Park and Ride area with an adjacent recycling centre.
The Harps are highly concerned that this project got to an advanced stage without any formal notification or engagement with our club. It’s our understanding that if the project were to proceed, the club most effected by the physical change to the grounds will be the Harps as the intention is to use part of the training area used by the club at the front of the grounds. The area is used by both the home and away teams in preparation for games on match days.
Besides the physical changes, it’s been brought to our attention that actions are ongoing seeking to take ownership and management of the shared facility under the heading of the St Oliver’s Community Centre CLG. We regret to see the stress and anxiety this situation has created for the clubs operating in the grounds and the various volunteers who have served the community well in the upkeep of the facility.
Ratoath Harps AFC have invested a substantial six figure sum over the years to get their allocated playing area to the standard required. The club pays a small annual contribution to the current group of volunteers overseeing the grounds for the general upkeep of the area including trimming of hedge rows and trees. This is both for Harps requirements and the desire to keep the facility to the standards we expect to see in our community.
Since the whole situation went public, there’s been attempts by various parties to engage with Ratoath Harps AFC on the project however the club committee feel that in the best interest of clear lines of communication and no misunderstandings, until further notice we will only correspond with the Ratoath Community Development volunteer group due to the long standing relationship. We have put in writing our concerns to the group.
The Harps have opted to minimise social media posts on this highly charged topic as it can open up platforms for non-stakeholders in this situation to make comments detrimental and upsetting to all. Social media can be a negative however in this case we refer back to our uncovering of this situation via the social media post that popped up at the end of March. In this case, the use of social media gave a positive. Had we not seen this message, we may be standing in a very different situation today.
The timing of this issue going public comes as a very bad time with local elections looming as this may be used as a political football. The anchor tenants of the Coderlios continue to co-exist on the facilities with etiquette and a solid mutual respect. The Harps would not like to see any impact from this project on our neighbours. The facilities are a part of history in our village. The actions taken over forty years ago continue to deliver amenities for use in the present and will do so into the future. The Coderlios is a great example as to how the vision of old Ratoath and new Ratoath have come together to give us one Ratoath.
We would like to assure the membership of Ratoath Harps AFC that these events will have no impact on day-to-day activities, our use of the Coderlios and our ability to continue delivering football for our membership.