PLANS for an Islamic prayer centre in Dublin has been given the go-ahead, despite local opposition.
Planning permission has been granted for the large-scale mosque, which will be built in Swords in north County Dublin.
Fingal County Council approved the request to convert the former An Post sorting office into a centre for Islamic prayer and cultural events.
An initial application for the planning permission was approved in late December 2015 but was stalled by objections to the move by over a dozen local residents.
An appeal against the centre was made to An Bord Pleanala shortly afterwards but was judged unsuccessful the following April.
However, a report in March 2016 by An Bord Pleanala’s planning inspector had advised that permission should not be granted for the centre on the basis that it would increase traffic congestion in the area.
Despite this report, the board voted by a two-thirds majority in favour of the centre and approved the plans.
The go-ahead for the centre comes just two months after plans for a large-scale mosque in west Dublin were given the green light.
The four-storey mosque is set to be built on the site of Warrenstown House in Blanchardstown.
It will also include a community centre and primary school.
The new Islamic centres reflect the growth of the Muslim population in Ireland in recent years.
According to the 2016 Irish Census, the number of Muslims resident in the country was 63,000.