Tyrrelstown GAA to get 15 month lease on playing field

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Statement by Minister of State (Michael D'Arcy TD) today regarding Tyrrelstown GAA

"I should initially say that NAMA has a commercial remit and a statutory objective to generate a return for the taxpayer. However, in the context of its commercial remit and consistent with section 2 of the National Asset Management Act, 2009, NAMA is at all times open to considering proposals aimed at contributing to broader social and economic objectives.

I am informed by NAMA that the property in question is controlled by a Receiver, Mr Tom O’Brien of Mazars, with NAMA having a secured interest in the property. As the Deputy will appreciate, Receivers are obliged to optimise the value of property and other assets under their control and under Section 10 of the NAMA Act 2009, NAMA is required to obtain the best achievable financial return for the State from its acquired loans and the properties that secure those loans so that to the greatest extent possible, debt outstanding against the assets can be repaid.

Prior to the receiver’s appointment over these lands, the property owner entered into an informal arrangement with Tyrrelstown GAA Club which granted the club the use of the lands on a temporary basis, free of charge. The agreement with Tyrrelstown GAA Club was accepted by the club as being no more than a temporary arrangement until such time as the owner of the land – now the receiver – determined the ultimate strategy for the land concerned. It is important to highlight that the site currently occupied by Tyrrelstown GAA Club is zoned for mixed-use development under the Fingal Development Plan. As a result, the long-term use of the site as a sports amenity is not currently possible.

As part of the zoning process for the Tyrrelstown area, the property owner ceded 60 acres of lands to Fingal County Council for use for educational sites and amenity space, including playing fields. It is my understanding that Fingal County Council is currently developing playing fields on this land which are due to be completed in 2019.

I am advised that following discussions the Receiver has agreed to grant Tyrrelstown GAA Club a licence to continue to use the property for another fifteen months at which point alternative facilities should be available and that this arrangement has been accepted in principle by the club.

While this is a positive development it is important to reiterate that as NAMA does not own these properties, it is not in a position to compel debtors or receivers to sell their assets at less than market value. While clearly NAMA is not in a position to gift land or property but should a community group have an interest in a particular piece of land or property or wishes to extend a sports pitch it should speak with NAMA. Any local community organisation which has a proposal that it wishes to put to NAMA should contact the Portfolio Management unit within NAMA.

Whilst working to obtain the best achievable financial return for the taxpayer, the NAMA Board is very open to realistic proposals that achieve desirable social objectives in a manner that complements the objectives of other public bodies, including Government departments, State agencies and local authorities. In line with this, NAMA has facilitated the sale of land and property for a range of public uses including schools, parks and healthcare facilities.

NAMA also works with local authorities and other public bodies in the planning system to support the achievement of key policy objectives including, for example, the provision of social housing and the resolution of unfinished housing estates. To date, NAMA has facilitated the provision of almost 2,500 properties for social housing use and facilitated resolution of the majority of the 335 unfinished housing estates to which it originally had exposure.

I believe the approach determined by NAMA’s Board is contributing in terms of its primary commercial objective, while at the same time contributing to the achievement of wider public policy objectives."

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