The Irish Planning Board has given the green light to developers to build Ireland's largest mosque at Clongriffin in north Dublin.
According to the Irish Times the three-story mosque will be located on a now derelict six acre site on land owned by developer Gerry Gannon.
The $52 million development will reportedly include two minarets, a cultural centre, a prayer hall, offices, a day care center, a bookshop, a library, a mortuary, a six-hundred seat conference centre, a restaurant, a primary school, a secondary school, a two-story fitness centre with an indoor swimming pool, a gym, a sauna and a steam room and blocks of residential apartments.
It's estimated that the complex will cater for up to 3,000 people during festivals and up to 550 for Friday prayers. The whole complex is reportedly 5,573 square meters in size.
The Planning Board granted permission subject to a number of assurances including that there should be no call to prayer broadcast from the minarets, a tradition with mosques.
It also reportedly called for a proposed brick wall around part of the site boundary to be replaced with a railing.
But local Labour minister Tommy Broughan has lodged an appeal against the decision with the Planning Board. Broughan has reportedly taken issue with the scale of the development and possible traffic concerns.
Clongriffin mosque will be the third purpose-built mosque in Ireland the Times reports. The other two are located in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo and at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland in Clonskeagh in Dublin.
There are over 50,000 Muslims reportedly living in Ireland.
Abdul Haseeb, project co-ordinator for the Clongriffin Mosque Project, told the press he was delighted with The Planning Board's decision. 'At the same time, we are very humbled because of the scale of the project. It is so big and there is so much to do,' he said.
'It gives a sense of positivity for the Muslim community in Ireland especially when there’s so much negativity going on, particularly in the Middle East, and there’s so much tension everywhere. It gives us a sense of belonging too.'
Haseeb added that he hoped to build wider community support around the mosque which would include non-Muslims.
'We will try and make room for everyone. We are aware that there will be challenges ahead but because we got planning it gives us a good reason now to invite the local community leaders and members to come and sit down and talk to us. So far we’ve mainly introduced the project to the Muslim community but now we will start inviting and sitting down with the local community.'
Development in Clongriffin reportedly came to a halt with the collapse of the Irish property market and some roads in the area were left unfinished.
The strange history of the Nazi plans to invade Ireland