Fingal County Council set to take over Hartstown CentreGary Ibbotson 26 Jan 2022
Fingal County Council has confirmed that it has received a request from the local dioceses to take over ownership of Hartstown Community Centre.
Last week it was revealed that the council, the dioceses, and centre management met to discuss the future of the facility.
Controversy has surrounded the Hartstown Community Centre over the past couple of years after it emerged that the building had fallen into poor condition and more than €30,000 was needed for the repair works
In 2019, local politicians and residents called on the dioceses to transfer ownership to the local council so a management group could be established.
At the time, the local community raised over €13,000 to keep the centre open while a more permanent solution could be found.
Around 3,000 local residents use the centre, which provides services and accommodates clubs and voluntary organisations seven days a week.
After last week’s meeting, Fingal County Council released a statement confirming that the dioceses had requested the local authority take over control of the centre.
“In relation to the future of Hartstown Community Centre, I wish to update you that a meeting was held on 13th January 2022 between the dioceses, centre management, the chief executive and senior staff of Fingal County Council,” the council said.
“A formal request to transfer the centre from the ownership of the dioceses to the council has been received by the council.
“It was agreed at this meeting that a condition survey is required before the request can be considered.
“The council will await the submission of this condition survey.”
Sinn Fein TD Paul Donnelly, who called on the dioceses to hand over the centre to the council when he was a councillor back in 2019, said this was great news for the community.
“This is extremely positive,” he said.
“I’m delighted at this news given the time, energy and commitment the board of management have given to this over the past few years.”
Independent councillor Tania Doyle also welcomed the news, thanking the board of management which she said took on a “onerous and monumental task.
“Forward momentum has been achieved and I am confident that given the works to date the results of the survey will demonstrate that this is a facility that can be taken forward,” she said.
“As an elected member of Fingal County Council I will engage with the executive to secure long term funding mechanisms within Fingal County Council’s annual budgets so this cornerstone of the community will continue to grow and prosper in the years to come.”
Doyle says that councillors will ensure that the proper funding is sourced for the upkeep and continued use of the centre.
“Elected members, as part of their reserved functions are tasked with scrutiny, review and ultimately approval of the annual budget and it is this direct link into the system that makes an elected member of Fingal County best placed to provide tangible funding streams,” she says.
Green Party councillor and Deputy Mayor of Fingal Daniel Whooley said it now looks like “the beginning of the end of Hartstown Community Centre’s ownership woes.
“All the credit has to fall on the board of management.
“They’ve fundraised to keep it open, keep up with repairs and pushed for the centre to be taken over by the council.”