Equine Centre in danger of closing
CLONDALKIN Equine Club say that are in danger of closing in the next three months if urgent funding is not provided.
The equine club, which offers a livery service to horses owned by children in the Clondalkin and Lucan South area, is appealing to the Government and the private sector to provide core funding to save the club.
According to a statement from the club, funding of €60,000 per year is needed to allow it to develop and continue to serve the community. The funding will also allow the club to continue to employ workers from the local area to provide local children and the broader community access to this service and the benefits that it provides.
The club, which is located on Ballyowen Lane on Fonthill Road, was opened in 2017 and provides a supportive and holistic environment for children and their families. The club prides itself on it’s work with children living in a marginalised community, supporting their participation in the club and encouraging them to complete their education.
In their statement, the club said: “Before the Covid-19 pandemic we provided access to the stables for children from the local primary and secondary schools and for children involved with other external agencies, to allow them to benefit from the therapaeutic effect that comes from interaction with horses.
“Research commissioned by those external agencies has highlighted the benefits of this interaction, including improvement in the ability to communicate and an increased ability to build relationships.”
During last week, questions were raised in the Dáil over the situation by Mark Ward TD to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD.
In his response, Minister McConalogue said: “To date the Department has provided funding of almost €560,000, with a further €26,000 made available this year subject to commitments entered into by officials from the Department and the club.
“This agreement was in the context of limitations imposed by Covid-19, agreeing further efforts to secure alternative funding and the proposed formulation of a strategy for the organisation. This funding of €503,000 in 2016 was committed to on the understanding that South Dublin County Council satisfied itself with the rules and governance of the club and that the project, when up and running, would be self-sustaining and assisted with reducing reliance on control of horses’ activities.”
Minister McConalogue added that a further €20,000 was provided in 2019 to the council towards the salary of a full-time manager and earlier this year the Department agreed to provide a final tranche of short-term funding to the project through the council. He said that the Government is committed to supporting urban horse projects, and work is “ongoing” with other departments and local authorities to ensure that they receive the appropriate support.