Council set to take over ownership of Hartstown Community CentreGary Ibbotson 27 May 2022
Fingal County Council is in talks with the Archdiocese of Dublin and board of management of Hartstown Community Centre to take over control of the centre.
The community centre is in danger of permanently closing down if more funding cannot be found, according to the board of management.
Following a meeting of the voluntary board and local elected politicians earlier the month, members “outlined the stark options open to them.”
The board has been running on a voluntary basis for the past three years and the centre currently employs four part-time Tús workers to help with the day-to-day maintenance of the building alongside supervisor Darren Quinn.
“This was never intended to be a long-term arrangement and is unsustainable for Darren who is currently overseeing the day-to-day management of the centre,” the board says.
Management says that if the centre fails to get funding “in the short term,” the facility may face closure.
Several local clubs and groups operate out of Hartstown Community Centre including preschool and after school groups, reiki, karate and others.
The board of management says that over 1,000 families rely on the centre on a weekly basis but it has hit an “impasse”.
It says that it does not have the funds to hire a centre manager “which threatens the centre’s ability to remain open.”
At a meeting last week with the board of management, local politicians, and Robert Burns the director of housing and community development at Fingal County Council, it was proposed that the local authority takes over ownership of the centre from Archdiocese of Dublin.
It is understood that Fingal and the Archdiocese are in negotiations and if successful “will see the council taking ownership of the community centre on behalf of the community.”
A survey of the building is due to be completed soon and Fingal has also appointed a community officer to assist with practical support.
The sourcing of additional staff through various community programmes is also going to be organised, says the board.
Local Sinn Fein councillor Angela Donnelly says the community centre is an invaluable amenity to the area.
“The board of management of Hartstown Community Centre has done a tremendous job bringing the centre up to the standard it is currently at,” she told Northside People.
“They are dedicated to the community it serves and are to be commended for their efforts.
“Sinn Fein Dublin West are committed to helping the centre reach it’s potential and will continue to support the efforts of the board of management.
“We will continue to engage with all the stakeholders to ensure this happens,” she says.
A meeting between the board of management, elected representatives and Robert Burns has been scheduled for next month to discuss any progress made, it is understood.