Huntstown Community Centre at risk if funds are not made available

by Gary Ibbotson

At the sitting of the Dail this past Friday, Labour TD Joan Burton asked the Government to address the severe fire safety and remedial structure issues prevalent at Huntstown Community Centre.

In her initial statement, Ms Burton said that “Huntstown is a very large community in Dublin 15, it has a very successful community centre and which to date, has been used by 68,000 people and counting.”

The community centre, located near Mulhuddart, was opened in 2001 and is used by local Scout groups, the Order of Malta, Vincent de Paul, Huntstown Football Club and a creche.

In a recent safety audit of the building it was found that remedial structure works and an update to fire-safety infrastructure were badly needed.

In her statement, Ms Burton said: “The report on fire safety, structural safety and structural issues of the building is really concerning and it comes with a price tag which in the context of how the government spends money, it’s not that big. It’s €250,000.

“It involves making the roof safe, it involves making the building safe in terms of various materials and various building practices which were not adhered to when a new addition was added on to the centre years ago.”

Ms Burton said that like the shops and church neighbouring, the centre is “the heartbeat of the community. The centre staff and the centre management really work very hard and are respected by the community for the contribution they make.”

In response to Ms Burton, Minister of State with special responsibility for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Boyle TD, who was standing in for the absent Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, said that “the Minister is aware of the situation at Huntstown Community Centre knows how important it is to the people there.”

However, due to Huntstown’s urban location it does not qualify for funding through the LEADER Programme – which supports rural towns and communities through amenity development.

Speaking to Dublin Gazette, Ms Burton says that she has spoken directly to Deputy Ring about the issue and the potential of using dormant funds to subsidise the repair works.

According to Ms Burton, Deputy Ring said that he is “examining (the issue) as matter of urgency.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Rural and Community Development told Dublin Gazette: “Fingal County Council is currently in discussion with Huntstown Community Centre regarding issues being faced. The Department is being kept informed in relation to developments.”

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