‘Disgraceful’ that area has no facility for senior citizens

By Maurice Garvey

IN NOVEMBER 2003, planning was granted to Kelland Homes for an apartment complex in Clondalkin Village.

Provision of a senior citizen centre was included as a condition of the planning permission.

Orchard Lodge compressor

Gold committee members with councillors Eoin O’Broin and William Carey

 

However, 16 years later, this has failed to materialise, much to the chagrin of local residents.

There have been many calls over the years for the unit to be used for senior-related groups, including Clondalkin Men’s Shed – who ultimately ended up moving into a former Portacabin on Watery Lane

In April 2018, the legal process of transferring the vacant unit to South Dublin County Council was reportedly at an “advanced stage” as the council engaged with legal representatives from the management company who represent the Orchard Lane unit.

On September 30, a number of community groups met with Councillors Eoin O’Broin (Ind) and William Carey (SF) at council offices for an update on the situation.

This coincided with the inaugural meeting of GOLD (Group for Orchard Lodge Development), whose members include Active Retirement, Camera Club, Men’s Shed, OVC (Older Voices for Change), Village Morning Club, Bridge Club and Clondalkin Tidy Towns.

“We were told there is a hold-up because of legal matters, but there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel,” said Kevin Sherwin, Clondalkin Men’s Shed and member of GOLD.

“The council have said they would fit-out the unit for senior citizen use. That came out of nowhere.”

Sherwin was invited to the meeting, as he was a former Meals on Wheels member who first initiated proposals to open the unit for the elderly 16 years ago.

“No progress was made, despite all politicians being on board,” he said.

“We were told at one stage we had to raise €110k to make it habitable. Where would we get that money?”

Cllrs O’Broin and Carey have submitted questions to the council for the next local area committee meeting to see if money has been ring-fenced for the fitting out of the unit.

Mr Sherwin, a former teacher at Moyle Park College, continued: “If we hear the council has approved money at the area meeting, great, but if there is any moaning and groaning about legal departments, we will walk away.

“It has caused too much stress and disappointment. It is disgraceful that an area as big as ours, doesn’t have a senior citizen facility.”

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