Good news for local community as Hartstown Parish Hall to be acquired by FCC

by Rose Barrett
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Rose Barrett 

Great news for the people of Hartstown and surrounding population as agreement has been reached between Fingal County Council, St Ciaran’s Parish and the Hartstown Community Centre’s Board of Management about the future of the much-used local centre.

Fingal County Council (FCC) will now become the new owners of the centre and surrounding land.

As part of the transfer, FCC plans to undertake substantial repair and remedial works at the centre which is a place many community and volunteer groups utilise weekly for meetings and activities to support the local area. The council will also provide support to the centre through the Council’s Community Development team to ensure it is able to continue the good work it does on community outreach and support any future support services.  

Built in in the 1990s, Hartstown Community Centre is used to a great extent, including after school groups, bingo nights, karate clubs, Irish dancing classes, community meetings and for preschool play.

It has, however, faced a number of challenges over many years, but thanks to the dedicated volunteer staff in place it has been able to keep open its doors and provide an outlet for the local community to gather and take part in a wide range of events and initiatives across all age groups. 

Cllr Angela Donnelly (SF) stated: “I’m delighted to hear that FCC will own Hartstown Community Centre which ensures its future and its place in our community.  It also opens up the possibility of applying for a Community Centre Scheme grant that would not have been possible previously as one of the criteria is a 25-year lease.

“Vital work on repairing the stage area, carrying out renovations, to allow “Little Sparrows” Creche move back upstairs and creating an area for a coffee shop downstairs could all be realised as a result. 

“The parish board have worked tirelessly and deserve huge credit for getting the centre to this point. It is vital that they continue to manage the facility going forward to ensure it continues to be of service to the residents of Hartstown.”

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Howard Mahony also welcomed the announcement and noted “the centre will undergo a significant refurbishment that will enhance its role within the community and allow it to continue as a highly-valued facility in Dublin 15.”

Robert Burns, Director of Community Development at FCC said: “We have been working closely with St Ciaran’s Parish to ensure that the community centre can remain at the core of public activity in Hartstown. This decision has been made in order to try and protect and maintain the operations and community services that currently operate here, as well as to provide certainty for the people of Hartstown.”

Fr Joe Coyne, parish priest of St Ciaran’s, said: “I welcome the transfer of ownership to Fingal County Council. The need for a community centre for Hartstown was recognised right from the beginning of St Ciaran’s Parish. The community centre was built before the church and has always played an important role in the community, served by a local management committee. The church, St Ciaran’s National School and the community centre share the car park and co-operate for the benefit of the community.

“The Parish of St Ciaran’s and the community centre will continue to be allies in meeting the needs of a very mixed community” he said.

It is hoped that the transfer from St Ciaran’s Parish to Fingal County Council will be completed within a relatively short timeframe. 

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