Row over Hartstown centre’s ownership as centre faces closure

by Sylvia Pownall

The Dublin Archdiocese is being urged to confirm that it is in talks with Fingal County Council to hand over the ownership of Hartstown Community Centre.

The centre faces closure if repairs in order to meet safety regulations cannot be carried out, and in excess of €30,000 is needed to upgrade the building.

A public meeting last week heard calls for the Archdiocese to confirm in writing that it will transfer ownership to the council so the community can establish a management group.

Backing the call, Cllr Paul Donnelly (SF) told Dublin Gazette: “There is huge anger at the reluctance of the Archdiocese representatives to attend the meetings and to acknowledge that they have a responsibility to act on the community’s wishes.

“The community has so far raised over €13,000, and works have commenced to allow the centre to remain open.

“There is a further €25,000 required to bring it up to standard and to allow the creche to move back into its original rooms.”

More than 3,000 local residents use the centre, which provides vital services and accommodates clubs and voluntary organisations seven days a week.

Upcoming fundraising efforts include a fun run in Hartstown Park on September 29 at 11.30am, and a bag pack at Dunnes Stores in Blanchardstown on September 7.

The Department of Rural & Community Development has pledged funding towards the works, as has Fingal County Council. But the issue of ownership must be finalised first.
Cllr Donnelly said: “I have a motion calling for support at our next local area [council] meeting on September 5.

“Community and volunteers are doing their bit, and I expect the Dublin diocese to step up now in the coming weeks and do theirs.”

A spokesperson for the Dublin Archdiocese told Dublin Gazette: “The Diocese has no role in the running of the community centre and has not had for many years – however, we are  helping with advice to the  current managers to determine the best way forward for the Centre. “

Related Articles