Plans to retain a hugely controversial unauthorised mosque on the western side of the city have been kept alive, after the applicants responded to City Council questions just inside a six-month deadline.
The owners of the house at Mincloon, Dr Saud Bajwa and Molon Bazlul Haque of the Western Islamic Cultural Centre, had sought permission to retain the use of the property as a place of worship by the Muslim community, to construct a weather porch to the front, and to mark off car parking spaces.
They pointed out that the recently-adopted City Development Plan provides for the use of the house as a place of congregation and worship.
“The primary function of the property will continue to be a dwelling house. The property is the home of the Imam, or the Muslim ‘priest’. Similar to Catholic priests’ houses, informal visits from members of the Muslim community are commonplace.
“The dwellinghouse is segregated into areas of private use and areas accessible to visitors. The basement floor consists of a living quarter and is completely utilised for private use by the Imam and his family. Parts of the ground floor will be accessible to visitors,” the application reads.
The application includes proposals for 16 carparking spaces.
The property had previously been the subject of warning letters and enforcement notices from City Hall.
Last April, the Council sought clarification on the application, giving the applicants until October 25 to respond, including details on exact days and times for assembly/worship, details of festivals and religious ceremonies, and to address the impact on traffic in the area.
The details were furnished just seven days ahead of the deadline, and outlined that the centre is primarily the residence of the Imam.
To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.