Councillors reject move to protect Galwegians RFC clubhouse

City councillors this week unanimously voted against a proposal to add the Galwegians RFC clubhouse at the club's old Dublin Road premises to the city's Record of Protected Structures.

The councillors this week considered a raft of proposals to protect key buildings around the city as part of their consideration of proposed amendments to the draft Galway City Development Plan 2017 - 2023.

Galwegians objected to the inclusion of the clubhouse, known as Glenina House, on the RPS as it was in poor structural repair. The club also pointed out that the council had rejected a previous proposal to list the building in 2005, and raised concerns that the inclusion of Glenina House on the list would affect the potential sale value of the club's grounds.

Councillors were almost unanimous in their opinion that the house had no architectural merit and should not be listed.

"I think it's the worst example of mock Victorian architecture that I have ever seen," Cllr Colette Connolly claimed. "Inside is mock panelling, it's God awful. The stairs is modern wood, and the kitchen is modern, it's awful, it's got the most appalling tiled flooring I've ever seen in my entire life. I love preserving architecture and heritage in the city but this takes the biscuit. I really cannot see any merit in this building."

Nonetheless, the building was recommended for inclusion for its architectural, social, cultural, and archaeological significance. Galway city heritage officer Jim Higgins explained that the building was of archaeological significance as it was believed stones from the nearby St James' medieval church had been incorporated into the steps of the building.

Cllr Pearce Flannery said he had been informed the club would gift these stones to the city if the building was demolished at any point in the future.

Several councillors expressed concern that listing the building could hamper the development of sporting facilities in the city in future. The club's grounds had previously been granted planning permission for a housing development, and it is understood the club has been seeking a new grounds for a number of years.

Councillors voted unanimously to reject its inclusion on the Record of Protected Structures.


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