"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Local Residents Force Closure of Unofficial Mosque

The following story comes to us from Ireland via the Times:

A mosque operating from a house in Lucan, Co Dublin, has been forced to close following complaints by local residents and the intervention of a local TD and a minister of state.

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI) has for the past six years operated a prayer centre at a detached house in Liffey Road, at the edge of a residential estate. It has now been closed after officials from South Dublin county council discovered that it had no planning permission, following a tip-off from residents.

Relations between locals and those using the mosque have deteriorated in recent months, with the residents’ association claiming that some of its members were verbally abused and one assaulted after complaining about illegal parking outside the mosque.

Residents, who insist their objections are not motivated by religious discrimination, claim the use of the property by more than 30 people at “unsociable hours” is causing persistent disturbance and damaging community relations.

Until it was closed, prayers were said five times daily at the mosque, beginning an hour before dawn and ending one-and-a-half hours after sunset. Residents complained that cars arriving for the earliest prayer in particular disrupted their sleep. They said they were compelled to report planning violations by users of the mosque to the local council after “exhausting all other options”.

Last week, the council refused the ICCI permission to turn the house into a purpose-built cultural, social and prayer centre after politicians, including Fianna Fail’s John Curran, a junior minister with responsibility for drugs and community affairs, and Paul Gogarty, a Green party TD, added their objections to those of residents.

In a letter signed by more than 150 people, the Liffey Valley Park Residents’ Association objected to the use of the house as a place of worship, claiming that the “unofficial mosque” had caused chaos for residents and was creating divisions in the community because of its fundamental unsuitability. In a letter from the Green party, Gogarty, Dr Kevin Farrell and Councillor Dorothy Corrigan said they supported the submission made by the association. Eamon Tuffy, a Labour councillor, also stated objections to the planning application.

The council ruled last week that turning the house into a mosque would have a negative impact on neighbouring properties and set an undesirable precedent.

In its planning application, the ICCI said there was a pressing need for a prayer centre for the approximately 150 Muslims living in the area, 30 of them in Liffey Valley Park. It said that the centre would only be used by between 15 and 20 people most days, with 30 to 35 attending during the holy month of Ramadan.

A letter accompanying the ICCI’s planning application stated: “Many other organisations and families that dwell in housing estates around the country — whether it is religious, recreational activities such as yoga or simply birthday parties — can cause high levels of traffic at a certain time. This development is no different and should not be refused on the grounds of insufficient parking.”

It also argued that there were currently no facilities in Lucan dedicated to the Muslim faith, “where members can meet in a place of peace and tranquillity for reflection”.

It is good news that the council saw through the 'this is just like having a birthday party' ruse - most people have one per year if that, not one for each day of the year beginning at dawn.

Still, it is sad that Ireland needs an organisation dedicated to Islamic 'culture'.


Dr.D said...

This is a step in the right direction. I'm very glad that this has happened. They need to stiffen their spines even more and resist much more strongly, perhaps pointing out that Ireland has no need for muzlims at all.

WAKE UP said...

Muslims. like rust, never sleep, and are infinitely more corrosive - as this story shows yet again.