Truck smashes into front of family centre in robbery

By Maurice Garvey

A TRUCK smashed into the front of a family centre during an attempted robbery – forcing the building to shut down indefinitely, and putting hundreds of vulnerable service users at risk.

On Monday morning at approximately 7.30am, a truck repeatedly reversed into the front doors of the Deansrath Family Centre in Clondalkin.

 EJF4gQmWoAE1ecq compressorExtensive damage at Deansrath Health Centre

The Echo understands two males in the truck –  believed to be stolen from Meath – were disturbed by a cleaner in the centre, and escaped empty-handed before gardai arrived.

However, structural damage to the building is so severe that the HSE engineering department declared it unsafe later that day.

The family centre, which employs 20 people and was operating at full capacity, will be unable to move back into the premises at Deansrath Health Centre, as the roof is in danger of collapsing.

“It is a nightmare,” said Siobhan Feehan CEO of Deansrath Family Centre.

“Staff were starting at 8am and gardai were already there when they arrived. The attack has come as a terrible shock to all the staff and families who use the centre daily. We have never experienced any incident like this in the 20 odd years.

“Luckily nobody was hurt as at 7.30am when the truck rammed the centre, children would have been coming here looking for their breakfast.”

She said there was no sense to the attack as nothing of value was inside.

The centre were already looking at fundraising for a new premises next year, but are looking for a different solution.

“South Dublin County Council have committed to providing a site, we need to escalate that now, but the next puzzle is where funding comes from,” said Ms Feehan.

EJF4gQmWoAE1ecq compressor

Extensive damage at Deansrath Health Centre

Staff are operating “on the hoof” this week to find alternative accommodation for their support services, including early years, family supports, play therapy, loss and bereavement counselling, young parents, and numerous supports for at-risk teens.

“We have a different way of working, but can respond,” said Ms Feehan.

She said the biggest challenge will be to find a “suitable premises” for the ‘early years’ service, which is highly regulated for children with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Ms Feehan said they hoped to remain in the community, but it would be difficult, as most of the local buildings are residential.

“Staff need to be together, need to be able to communicate,” she said.

A Garda spokesperson said: Gardai are investigating a burglary incident that occurred at a premises on St Cuthbert’s Road, Clondalkin, Monday, November 11, at approximately 7.30am.

“Nothing was taken from the premises although there was significant damage caused to the building. No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.”

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