Daa say they do not want to close ALSAA complex


The daa has moved to clarify its position over the future of the ALSAA sports complex at Dublin Airport.

ears grew over the weekend that the facility was to be shut down but in a statement issued to the Fingal Independent on Monday, the daa said it has no desire to close the facility but it is reviewing how it is operated.

According to the daa: “Dublin Airport is currently requesting proposals of interest for its on-campus fitness facilities to ensure they are fit for purpose to meet the needs of over twenty thousand staff working at Dublin Airport and also the evolving needs of the surrounding community.

“The current operator, ALSAA, has also been invited and encouraged to participate in this process of submitting a plan that will provide necessary capital improvements to the facilities whilst providing a sustainable proposition to its members and the community.

“Regular users of the facilities are aware of the urgent need for upgrades to parts of the complex to bring the sporting and leisure facilities up to an acceptable standard to meet the needs of all users on our campus including adults, children and Special Olympians who regularly use the facilities.

“As the most recent five-year licensing term ended in December 2021, daa has invited submissions from a range of parties, including the current tenant, ALSAA, to outline their operating and investment plans for the future.

“This standard process is neither sudden nor unexpected and has been the subject of considerable engagement with ALSAA since summer 2021.”

The Fingal Independent understands that the daa have now offered ALSAA, the current operators of the facility a further year, until the end of June, 2023, to give both parties time to hammer out a deal for the facility’s future operation.

It means that any immediate doubts over the facility’s future have been removed for now.

A daa spokesperson said: “The daa is totally committed to ensuring investment in and continued use of its sporting and recreation facilities at Dublin Airport and it is disappointed at efforts to misrepresent the very positive objectives of this process which will benefit staff, and sporting and educational neighbours of Dublin Airport.

“As owners of the complex, daa needs to take account of all stakeholders and cannot put the interests of a current tenant operator above those of existing and new users of its sporting and recreational facilities.”

CEO of ALSAA, Jim McEvoy said: “At this point in time, our focus is on ensuring that we may continue to provide the sports and social facilities and services that we have invested ourselves in since the 1950s, on a not-for-profit basis.

“Level heads will be required to achieve this outcome. We are interested in having a mature and collaborative conversation with daa. We believe the Board of Directors and Chief Executive of DAA can play a significant role in bringing about a result which will satisfy our mutual goal of the provision of top quality sports and social facilities.”

He added: “I believe dialogue aimed at achieving the optimal outcome may take some time. Achieving the best results must surely outweigh any proposed solution which is rushed or ill judged.”

The daa’s decision to allow a further year to sort the issues out between the two sides appears to give that time.

Mr McEvoy said: “ALSAA, our management and staff are proud to have provided our facilities and services for nearly seventy years, to all of the people of Dublin Airport and Fingal. We look forward to continuing on our path, hopefully for another seventy years.”

Cllr Joe Newman (NP) from Swords is an ALSAA member and says the facility must continue to operate for the long-term success and viability of the sporting clubs it supports.

Cllr Newman said: “Many clubs have operated successfully, safe in the knowledge that ALSAA operated its sports facilities on a not-for-profit basis, driven by the mission and ambition to provide top quality sports, leisure, and social facilities at affordable rates.”

Clr Newman wrote to the daa on th eissue and asked the authority to “show an enlightened, mature, and pragmatic approach in your deliberations on these matters”.

He said: “There is a successful history of 51 years in the relationship between DAA and ALSAA.

“That relationship has provided learning opportunities to countless thousands of children and adults throughout Fingal.

“It has contributed to the development of a massive cohort of sportspeople at club, regional, national, international, and Olympic levels.”

He concluded: “The opportunity exists for you, as a board, to ensure that this relationship can flourish for another 71 years. Please ensure that it does.”

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