Real Tennis EMERGENCY – Dublin Needs Your Help

Published on: Mar 22, 2016

Proposed alterations to Dublin Court building would likely prevent it being used for tennis ever again. Needless to say this would be a disaster not only for our Irish friends but the whole Real Tennis community. Please help prevent this happening by following the instructions below.

Urgent: Planning Application affecting Dublin Real Tennis Court, 19 March, 2016.

Planning permission is being sought to use the Dublin’s Real Tennis court as part of a museum.

Please consider submitting an observation to Dublin City Council before the deadline of Thursday 31st March. Less than 2 weeks left!

See the bottom of this message for details of how to make an observation to Dublin City Council (say, to oppose the application) and also some suggested points you may wish to make.

Ireland’s Office of Public Works (OPW) has sought permission for the development of a Children’s Science Museum at a large site which includes Dublin’s real tennis court. Under the OPW’s plan, the court would be the venue for the museum’s temporary (ie in almost constant use, but frequently changing) exhibitions. The application for planning permission states that

The renovated Real Tennis Building can also act as an independent event space with the proposed restoration works offering the possibility of the sport of Real Tennis … being played on the court once again.

The proposed plans state that the tennis court, a Protected Structure, should be “restored”, and they do include repairing the limestone floors and walls. However, the plans would fail to bring the court back to playable condition:

(1) there is no provision for the construction of penthouse walls / penthouses (none now present);

(2) the plan includes a new doorway in the main wall, between the tambour and the net;

(3) it is unclear whether the floor / walls would be finished to a playable tennis surface.

Also, the playing of real tennis has not been specifically included as a proposed use of the court.

The Irish Real Tennis Association will be making a submission to the planning authority regarding the application for planning permission, but we feel that this planning process affords an opportunity for the real tennis community internationally, and for others keen to see the Dublin court returned to play, to make their views known.

Please do make a submission. As well as the above listed observations, you may wish to emphasise that, if the court were open, you (and/or your club) would visit Dublin to play.

The last day on which submissions will be accepted by Dublin City Council is Thursday 31st March 2016. If you have any problems with the instructions below, don’t hesitate to be in touch with us. Please also contact the IRTA ( with any queries or for further information.

How to submit an observation

There are two ways to make an observation objecting to the planning application. Either way, the observation must have reached Dublin City Council, along with its fee by Thursday 31st March, remembering that the Friday and Monday before this date are not business days, for post, etc. You can either post a letter along with its fee (Euro Cheque drawn on an Irish bank a/c only or Euro Money Order), or, more easily, you can submit an observation on line and pay EUR20 on line with a credit card. This can be done from anywhere without the need for an Irish bank a/c. Below are the instructions for making an observation on line, and after that there are the instructions for posting an observation by conventional post.

Before going to the Dublin City Council website, it is probably best to have the text of your observation prepared. They need the observation in plain text. Write it in a file, save as plain text and then you can copy and paste the text when the website asks you for it.

To make an on-line observation you must create an account with Dublin City Council. This takes one minute. You can do that here:

Then, log in to your new account at:

Under “Planning Search” click “Search for a planning application/ Make an observation”.

In the “Planning Reference” box write “2362/16“, and then click the blue “search!” button.

In the “ref no” column, click the blue “2362/16

Oddly, you now seem to have to log in again, so “click here to login” to make your observation.

If you’ve written an observation in a document, please save it as a text file and then copy and paste plain text in to the box at the bottom and then click “submit”.

This will bring you on to the payment section. The fee is EUR20, and the observation will only be considered if the fee is paid.

To make an observation by conventional post with a cheque drawn on an Irish bank a/c: Write a letter including:

  • your name and address,
  • the planning reference number (2362/16),
  • the address of the proposed development (The National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2),
  • and your observations.

Enclose a cheque for EUR20, made payable to “Dublin City Council”.

Send your letter and the cheque to:

Dublin City Council
Planning Department
Block 4, Ground Floor
Civic Offices
Wood Quay
Dublin 8

Link to planning application

If you’d like to view the full application, it’s on the Dublin City Council website: