Activists campaign for local community hall
By Maurice Garvey
UP TO 250 people attended a public meeting at Adamstown Community College last Monday night – to push forward the campaign for a long-awaited community hall in the area.
The establishment of a working group and an action group in recent months has helped to ensure the issue remains high on the priority list for local representatives.
A community hall was included in plans for the Adamstown SDZ, but fell through when the recession kicked in.
Adamstown Community College, which opened in 2009 and has over 900 students, was also promised a sports hall, and are restricted when it comes PE classes, exams, assemblies and school events.
Negotiations are currently taking place between the Department of Education and the developer Castlethorn Construction.
Enda Creegan, co-ordinator with the Community Sports Hall Action Group welcomed support on Monday as a sign of an “imperative need” for a community hall.
Mr Creegan said: “There was a good turnout, including commitments by the Minister for Justice, local TDs and councillors. There is a willingness to come up with a solution, but we are hoping this will be decided before the general election.
“We won’t accept it being kicked down the road, we’ve waited long enough. The idea is for a hall that will be dual-use – for the school and the community.”
Students from Adamstown CC gave a “powerful” speech outlining the effect that a lack of a sports hall has on their school life.
Independent councillor Liona O’Toole said negotiations should be transparent because “we need to learn from our mistakes” in relation to “delivering the next SDZ.”
“When the school was built, the developer was supposed to put in a sports hall – and a community hall was promised to residents 13 years ago,” said Cllr O’Toole.
People Before Profit Councillor Gino Kenny said: “It’s incredible that the owner of the building company has retained an annual fee of €200,000 a year under Nama. This salary is paid for by taxpayers.
Questions need answering as to why Castlethorn is allowed to stay in the property speculation business when they have not completed a contract with the school.”
Whilst no representative from South Dublin County Council attended the public meeting, Mr Creegan said he understands the council are “anxious” to “get going” once issues are resolved.
“We have to put trust in the authorities,” said Mr Creegan.
“Local representatives have put in an awful lot of work to keep it on the agenda, but the action group will continue our campaign to ensure this hall is delivered.”