GAA and soccer pitches were chosen for construction of the €3 billion Metrolink rather than impacting directly on houses and businesses, according to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

Michael Nolan, Chief Executive of TII, told an Oireachtas committee that it is difficult to find locations for tunnel stations and construction sites in built up areas and open spaces are "invariably" used.

"In these specific instances, the choice was between directly impacting on homes and local businesses or locating temporary construction sites and future stations in open spaces," he stated in a submission to a special meeting of the Oireachtas Transport Committee.

The TII and the National Transport Authority faced questions from a number of organisations in the Glasnevin area who are opposed to details of the current Metrolink plan which includes an underground station on Mobhi Road.

These include Na Fianna GAA club and Home Farm Football Club whose grounds would be taken over for up to six years to launch a tunnel boring machine and to construct the underground station on the proposed 26 kilometre rail link.

Cormac Ó Donnchú, chairman of Na Fianna said the plan would have a "calamitous effect" on the club which has 166 teams and just under 3,000 members.

"It will transform a space, which has been lovingly nurtured, by generation of volunteers as a remarkable cultural and community centre into a construction site of an unprecedented scale. It will silence the heartbeat of our local community," he said.

Representatives of Home Farm FC, which has 500 soccer players, also voiced their objections to the loss of their pitches.

The principals of the Scoil Mobhí and Scoil Chaitríona said the schools will be become inoperable as they will be situated 5 metres from a construction site.

Anu Meehan representing residents of the Prospect Architectural Conservation Area said there was no foundation on their historic houses which are built on soil and rubble. There was confusion over where the line was going and it appeared that the historic Brian Ború pub would be demolished.

A number of local representatives including Róisín Shortall of the Social Democrats and Noel Rock of Fine Gael said an alternative route would have to be chosen. Sinn Féin Deputy Dessie Ellis said the local community would be "destroyed" under the present plan.

Mr Nolan of the TII said the current preferred route was chosen as the best in terms of public transport demand, integration with other public transport and economic returns.

The public consultation is due to finish on 11 May and after that Mr Nolan said TII would be in a position to discuss amelioration proposals.

Ann Graham, NTA chief executive, said that amendments could be made to the plan "where feasible". Hugh Cregan deputy chief executive of the NTA said "tens" of locations for an underground station were looked at before the Mobhi Road site was chosen.

The NTA is hoping to apply for a Railway Order - the equivalent of planning permission - next year.