UN Human Rights Charter invoked in Croke Park objection

13 years 6 months ago #33198 by albertw
UN Human Rights Charter invoked in Croke Park objection

DAMIAN LAWLOR

THE GAA's plan to stage the final international rules test at night in Croke Park was scrapped because residents as far as three miles away claimed the floodlights would impact on their lives.

The GAA initially sought to play the second Ireland/Australia match under lights at 7.30 on November 5. Everything looked in place when plans for their lighting system were approved by Dublin City Council earlier this year. But two objections were subsequently lodged with An Bord Pleanála pushing a final decision back to October 5. Even if the outcome is positive for the GAA, Croke Park bosses will have insufficient time to install the lighting structure in time for the international clash.

The objections were lodged by both the Croke Park Residents Alliance and Iona District Residents Association. Part of their concern was that the floodlights could have a negative impact on locals as far away as Glasnevin cemetery, almost three miles from the stadium. These objections have greatly angered the GAA, who were looking forward to an historic grandstand international rules finale under lights.

But chairman of the Croke Park Residents Alliance, Pat Gates, says his group's concerns are entirely legitimate. "We are not anti-GAA or anti-Croke Park," he stated. "The staging of the international rules and concerts at night will worsen the disruption to our lives. The floodlights are an unknown quantity, but we have concerns that people two or three miles away would be affected by light pollution and also noise pollution and traffic. That's why we raised our objection; we are hoping that An Bord Pleanála will examine the impact these lights will have. These are real issues."

However, the GAA were astounded to see that one objection quoted the UN Charter of Human Rights as back-up for their protestations. And Croke Park Stadium Director Peter McKenna says it's unthinkable that residents up to three miles away could object to floodlights when there are similar systems in operation all over the city. "Everyone has the right to object," McKenna said. "But would any other international sport in the world be affected by such? There would be a massive outcry. These objections are from people who are anti-everything and anti-establishment. They are using the system and their reasons for doing so are unacceptable. They have taken the planning process too far. The referral to the UN Charter of Human Rights shows the histrionics that are involved. Unfortunate people suffering in Bosnia and Darfur are the ones that need this legislation, not those living in Dublin north central. It's just irrational."

The stadium director added that Croker's proposed state of the art lighting system was of the highest quality and would have little or no impact on those in surrounding areas. "And yet there are claims that people from as far away as the other side of the River Tolka would be affected," he revealed. "They would receive far greater disruption from floodlights in Dalymount Park, so it's unusual that we have this problem," he continued. "All over the city, stadiums like the RDS, Shelbourne Park, Lansdowne Road and Donnybrook have installed floodlights without difficulty, we're not asking for anything extra."

But Gates' association, which caters for 12 local bodies, says they will not back down. "We have applied to the Government to get an independent study of the impact of Croke Park on the local community," he said. "There has been a negative impact, but many of our objections so far have been ignored and we're disappointed with local and central government. The GAA has a place in the hearts and minds of this nation, but we need to get some sense of community gain from all the activity in our area."

However, McKenna says his committee enjoys an excellent relationship with most people in the area. "We've tried to be helpful," he insisted. "We removed the proposed bridge linking the Croke Park hotel to the stadium from our plans, built a community centre and recently we issued 40 elderly people in an old folks' home with personal alarms for their comfort and welfare. We get crowds of over 80,000 regularly and deal with them very well; people flow in and out whereas in contrast, there was bedlam around the K Club with all the motorways clogged up with smaller crowds."

If the planning process goes in favour of the GAA, Dublin's opening fixture of the 2007 National Football League will be the first game to be played under floodlights at HQ. And Kerry will be their opponents for this historic clash on February 3, guaranteeing a massive attendance which would make up for the disappointment of losing the international rules fixture.

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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13 years 6 months ago #33201 by Seanie_Morris
Well, it is good to see that objections are noted and even suitably acted upon.

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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13 years 3 months ago #37013 by albertw
After what initially was touted as a temporary system the GAA have now secured 3.7 million euro from the Government to install permanent floodlights in Croke Park. True to form the GAA have ignored local objections to floodlights.

Remarkably this is reported as being a 'thank you' for opening the ground up to limited (an very expensive!) use for football and rugby!

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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13 years 3 months ago #37029 by Kerry Stargazer
The G.A.A always get's what they want.

Chairman of Kerry Astronomy Club.
My Kung-Fu 's the best (Melvin Frohike X-Files)

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13 years 3 months ago #37031 by jhoare
Interesting. Imagine the havoc if a precedent was set on the basis of the Human Rights Convention. Imagine the dark skies!

John

Better that old people should die of talk than to have young people die in war.

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13 years 3 months ago #37034 by albertw
OT

The G.A.A always get what they want.


And then whinge if they don't get everything 100% their own way. From taodays indo: www.unison.ie/sportsdesk/gaafootball/sto...ca=13&si=1739409

The GAA really are a 'special' organisation.

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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13 years 3 months ago #37089 by voyager
*fumes*

I simply cannot express my hatered for that organisation adequately. Suffices to say they have yet again lived up to the title "Grab All Association"

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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13 years 3 months ago #37124 by jfa15ie
I see begrudgery is alive and well.

Using Human Rights legislation to object to flood lighting in a major stadium really belittles the plight of people for whom that legislation is intended. I'm all for dark skies, the darker the better, but do you really think that objecting to flood lighting in Croke Park advances the cause? It makes a laughing stock out of all of us interested in the appreciation of the night sky, and firmly puts us in the luddite, anti-everything brigade. Every major stadium, world wide, has flood lighting. Lets pick a fight we can win.

Albert, when you say you hate the organsation, do you hate it's members' who tirelessly, promote sport week in, week out, for tens if not hundreds of thousands of children, for no financial reward, but out of communitarian spirit? I suppose they all have a "Grab All" mentality. The fact is the GAA fights it's corner as best it can, as every organisation does. Their success is to their credit, and invites the jealousy and begrudgery of those less successful. If the Astronomy lobby was half as successful, I would be a happy man.

James

Humble Stargazer
Avid GAA Player, Mentor, Coach.

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13 years 3 months ago #37128 by albertw
Way OT...

Albert, when you say you hate the organsation, do you hate it's members' who tirelessly, promote sport week in, week out, for tens if not hundreds of thousands of children, for no financial reward, but out of communitarian spirit? I suppose they all have a "Grab All" mentality. The fact is the GAA fights it's corner as best it can, as every organisation does. Their success is to their credit, and invites the jealousy and begrudgery of those less successful. If the Astronomy lobby was half as successful, I would be a happy man.

James

Humble Stargazer
Avid GAA Player, Mentor, Coach.


When did I say that I hate them exactly? You might want to reread this thread and direct your comment at Bart :)

I've nothing aginst the genuine sporting members of the GAA. The bigots running Thomas Davis CLG in Tallaght are another matter...

Vaguely back on topic... As for the lights it seems that local residents were lied to several times by the GAA about the whole thing and having government funding for the whole project is salt in the wounds. I doubt the lighting wil be the most non polluting that can be purchased. But yea, I cringed when I say the convention being brought into it. Still your argument of saving the convention for those who need it is a dangerous one as you then set uorself up as deciding who is and is not entitled to the same rights.

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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13 years 3 months ago #37146 by voyager

I see begrudgery is alive and well.


Nope, just a hatered of curruption and cronyism. When I see Croke park it makes me angry to think of the amount of public money that went into it. But rather than respecting the fact that the nation paid for vast swaths of their very nice statium the GAA only begrudgingly let "foreign" games be played and then have the gall to charge a fortune for the use of a publicly funded building. The tax payers have paid to line the GAAs over-deep pockets. Add to that the rampant cronyism at local level (at least in rural Ireland) and the sickeningly overt political nature of the thing and you have a shinning monument to the worst things in Ireland. Apparently it's some form of sporting organisation too but that always seems to play second fiddle, at least it did during each encounter I've been unfortunate enough to have with that organisation and it's members. Oh and it's a haven for homophobic biggots too which is also a pretty big reason for my disgust at the organisation.

Anyhow, closer to the topic, I don't for one minute think it is a good idea to abuse the UN charter of human rights like this but that doesn't make the GAA even the tiniest bit right. By all accounts they have treated the locals like crap but hey, they're the GAA, they can do what ever the hell they want and Bertie will even pay for it with our money!

Bart.

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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13 years 3 months ago #37181 by jfa15ie
Well done Bart for having the honesty to identify yourself as an unadulterated anti-GAA bigot. Identifying homophobia as a peculiarly GAA phenomenon is really low; you should be ashamed of yourself. It's a distasteful prejudice common to all sporting and non-sporting bodies, and indeed all walks of life. Why don't you go the whole hog and blame the cocaine epidemic on the GAA too? Frankly, you've lost the plot, and your prejudices stand revealed to all.

Are you aware that the net cost of Croke Park public funding is almost zero, if you take into account income tax, PRSI and VAT returned to the Exchequer during construction? The tax payer would have been barely worse off if Croker had not been redeveloped at all. Tax payer funding as a proportion of overall costs will be a lot higher for the reconstruction of Lansdowne. Fair play to the FAI and IRFU; they negotiated a better deal than the GAA.

Is this an Astronomy thread or a GAA bashing thread? My starting point is that this is a Dark Skies thread and that every major stadium in the world has flood lighting. Do you think the residents near Old Trafford, or Giants Stadium, or Stade de France love the flood-lighting there, where there are a hell of a lot more night games played than will ever be played at Croker; of course not, but they don't incessantly whinge about it. Guess what, living next to a major stadium involves disruption. Get used to it. The sporting public want night games. Move on.

I really enjoyed the flood-lit rugby game between Leinster and Agen last weekend at Lansdowne. My sympathy goes to the locals who have to put up with this gross violation of their human rights, but at the same time I want to see more of these great spectacles.

Now can we get back to a sensible debate on how to progress the dark sky agenda, and leave the other nonsense to the Adrian Kennedy show.

Is mise,

James

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13 years 3 months ago #37182 by jfa15ie
Albert

Sincerest apologies for mistaking you for Bart. :oops: This really is a gross violation of your human rights. I am deeply regretful for this error, and cannot begin to understand the pain and suffering caused. :(

James

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13 years 3 months ago #37183 by dave_lillis
Guys,
Relax, if you want to fight it out over the GAA, go to boards.ie or through private mails.

If you think you have it bad, have a look at what they're building literally 150 meters from me!! the new Thomand Park.
http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055019884
Scroll down through the link and have a good look at all the pics :o :shock:

Now, I actually dont mind as I like Munster rugby and since it costs a fortune to run these lights, they are on ONLY when there is a match on and thats not often to be honest, so I just get over it and go on with life.

I actually get people during match time calling to my house offering money for a parking space in my driveway :lol:

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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13 years 3 months ago #37188 by voyager

Well done Bart for having the honesty to identify yourself as an unadulterated anti-GAA bigot. Identifying homophobia as a peculiarly GAA phenomenon is really low; you should be ashamed of yourself. It's a distasteful prejudice common to all sporting and non-sporting bodies, and indeed all walks of life. Why don't you go the whole hog and blame the cocaine epidemic on the GAA too? Frankly, you've lost the plot, and your prejudices stand revealed to all.


I'm sorry but I don't see your point at all. You admit there is a problem, but because others share the problem, you claim it is not a problem and is somehow not to be condemed. In fact you go further and condem me for pointing out a very real issue that you admit exists. You are a member of the GAA, and you are defending their homophobia, so you rather prove my point really.

Secondly, from my direct experience with sporting organisations it is NOT a problem common to all sporting organisations. Pretending that it is a cop-out.

Is this an Astronomy thread or a GAA bashing thread? My starting point is that this is a Dark Skies thread and that every major stadium in the world has flood lighting. Do you think the residents near Old Trafford, or Giants Stadium, or Stade de France love the flood-lighting there, where there are a hell of a lot more night games played than will ever be played at Croker; of course not, but they don't incessantly whinge about it. Guess what, living next to a major stadium involves disruption. Get used to it. The sporting public want night games. Move on.


The only argument I see there is that because others do it it's not a problem. By your 'logic' we should cut back the Guardai because there are countries with much higher crime rates than us so we obviously don't need as many police.

Just because there are people in other cities who have to suffer does not make it OK for Dublin people to have to suffer. If there are real arguments in favor of blasting out needless light and reducing the quality of life of people and wasting vast swathes of energy please present them but "others do it too" is not a valid reason to do anything.

I really enjoyed the flood-lit rugby game between Leinster and Agen last weekend at Lansdowne. My sympathy goes to the locals who have to put up with this gross violation of their human rights, but at the same time I want to see more of these great spectacles.


Do you not find that a bit selfish? you are obviously aware that your pleasure is causing others pain but you seem not to care. Is it really that important that the match happen at night? Is the Sun not a fine enough source of illumination for playing Rugby?

As I see it there are two arguments against floodlighting sports arenas:

1) It's a waste of energy. We need to conserve energy and cut out waste and excess. I see floodlit sports events as an excess. It's not a NEED.
2) People have a right to a descent quality of life. Experiments have shown that excessive lighting at night is un-healthy. I don't think the 'spectacle' of a sporting event is a good enough reason to compromise people's quality of life.

Mind you I very obviously don't get sport, I look at it rather logically and don't pin my happiness on the performance of a particular team. Sure, I PLAY sport and enjoy it but I don't follow it.

Bart.

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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13 years 3 months ago #37193 by albertw

Albert

Sincerest apologies for mistaking you for Bart. :oops: This really is a gross violation of your human rights. I am deeply regretful for this error, and cannot begin to understand the pain and suffering caused. :(

James


eh? :?

Relax a bit there James. Really, no offence caused, I think I've already recovered from the pain and suffering and hopefully my human rights are still intact! :lol:

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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13 years 3 months ago #37194 by albertw

I actually get people during match time calling to my house offering money for a parking space in my driveway :lol:


I hope the, eh, 'car park security' lights are all pointing downwards :)

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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13 years 3 months ago #37217 by jfa15ie
Folks

This is my last post on this thread, which has elements which are obviously way off topic. I am not prepared to let Bart highjack this thread to engage in a spurious bit of GAA bashing. There are so many GAA stereotypes (prejudices) in his arguments that it would make for a really good episode of The Simpsons. I mean the "Guardai" and "higher crime rates". Talk about an analogy too far. In my experience homophobia is endemic to all sporting dressing rooms; maybe it's the side of the tracks I come from. To label it as a peculiarly GAA phenomenon, I find outrageous, disgusting and willfully misleading. You've lost the plot, and if you want to embarrass yourself any further, go right ahead, I won't be responding.

There are at least thirty venues in Dublin City alone, that have flood-lighting on a minimum of four nights a week. These include GAA, Rugby, Soccer, Tennis, and Hockey clubs. They provide a valuable service to members during our long winter nights. The aggregate sky glow would dwarf that of Croke Park flood-lighting. Croker would probably require flood-lighting for maybe ten nights a year (3 soccer internationals, 3 rugby internationals, 4 football and hurling nights. It's a guess, so please don't beat me up). If you want to be consistent Bart, you should be campaigning against these other venues too.

The flood-lighting battle is lost. No need to keep re-fighting it. Let's move on to battles with a possibility of victory.

Dave, thanks for comments re. Thomand Park. I think it puts a bit of perspective on things. Good win against Cardiff on Sunday.

Albert, I was only jesting with that last comment. Just sick of the raimeis that I felt obliged to respond to.

Adieu and Clear Skies
James

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13 years 3 months ago #37219 by voyager

Folks

This is my last post on this thread, which has elements which are obviously way off topic. I am not prepared to let Bart highjack this thread to engage in a spurious bit of GAA bashing. There are so many GAA stereotypes (prejudices) in his arguments that it would make for a really good episode of The Simpsons. I mean the "Guardai" and "higher crime rates". Talk about an analogy too far. In my experience homophobia is endemic to all sporting dressing rooms; maybe it's the side of the tracks I come from. To label it as a peculiarly GAA phenomenon, I find outrageous, disgusting and willfully misleading. You've lost the plot, and if you want to embarrass yourself any further, go right ahead, I won't be responding.

There are at least thirty venues in Dublin City alone, that have flood-lighting on a minimum of four nights a week. These include GAA, Rugby, Soccer, Tennis, and Hockey clubs. They provide a valuable service to members during our long winter nights. The aggregate sky glow would dwarf that of Croke Park flood-lighting. Croker would probably require flood-lighting for maybe ten nights a year (3 soccer internationals, 3 rugby internationals, 4 football and hurling nights. It's a guess, so please don't beat me up). If you want to be consistent Bart, you should be campaigning against these other venues too.

The flood-lighting battle is lost. No need to keep re-fighting it. Let's move on to battles with a possibility of victory.

Dave, thanks for comments re. Thomand Park. I think it puts a bit of perspective on things. Good win against Cardiff on Sunday.

Albert, I was only jesting with that last comment. Just sick of the raimeis that I felt obliged to respond to.

Adieu and Clear Skies
James


You obviously didn't actually read my post because it's clear you're not actually replying to points I made. I never said that homophobia is only a problem in the GAA. It is however a real problem in the GAA and your response proves my point perfectly. You simply don't see it as being worth dealing with and because I point out this rather inconvenient truth you hurl abuse at me. Nice one. That will really fix things.

Also, I did very clearly state that I was against all floodlighting for sporting events so my position is perfectly consistent. Just because my opinion is not a popular one does not make it any less valid. I have given two arguments against them, you have not given anything more coherent in reply than "others do it so we should too", which even a 5 year old soon realises is not actually a valid argument.

Do you have any actual arguments in favour of floodlighting?

Bart.

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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13 years 3 months ago #37224 by jfa15ie
OK Bart, this is definitely, absolutely, totally, unconditionally my last comment on this thread.

So you agree that homophobia is not a peculiarly GAA phenomenon, well welcome to the light. So why in the living daylights bring it up in a discussion regarding floodlighting in Croke Park? I'll tell you why; you couldn't help yourself, your prejudices see no problem with an ad hominem smear in support of your primary argument.

That's me done. Finito. Somebody please start a more on topic thread for this forum.

Over and out, and clear skies to all
James

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13 years 3 months ago #37225 by jhoare
Is it OK to pray for an ESB strike?

John

Better that old people should die of talk than to have young people die in war.

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13 years 3 months ago #37226 by albertw

Is it OK to pray for an ESB strike?


ESB Networks are actually starting to really get their act together about streetlighting. More soon...

No strike right now please, I'm up to my eyes in work, that requires electrons to keep moving!

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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13 years 3 months ago #37238 by dave_lillis

Dave, thanks for comments re. Thomand Park. I think it puts a bit of perspective on things. Good win against Cardiff on Sunday.

happy days 8) :P

I hope the, eh, 'car park security' lights are all pointing downwards :)


I dont take them up on their offer as I dont want to be responsible for a car break in or to be waiting until midnight for them to return from a pub, but if I had parking lights, they'd be full cut off. 8)

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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13 years 3 months ago #37256 by albertw
Just a note to say that I'm locking this thread as everyone seems to have had their say now. Let sleeping dogs lie and all that.

I look forward to another thread on the Lansdowne floodlights! :-)

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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