Lack of funding forces Square Oratory to close after 28 years
IT HAS been announced that the Oratory of The Holy Family located in The Square Shopping Centre will be closing permanently at the end of March after being open for 28 years due to a lack of funding.
The decision to close the doors of the oratory on Thursday, March 31, 2022, was made at a meeting that was held between representatives from the Archdiocese of Dublin and the oratory staff on Friday, February 25.
Speaking about the closure, Fr Liam Rigney, who has pastoral responsibility for the Tallaght area, told The Echo: “The Oratory of the Holy Family in The Square will sadly close on Thursday, March 31. The decision was made at an open meeting held in the oratory on Friday, February 25. This came after several months of efforts to keep the oratory open.
“The oratory has served the needs of visitors to The Square since 1993. Unfortunately, it was not possible to secure the necessary funds to put it on a sound financial footing. The decision, made locally, was taken with much regret.
“We are very grateful to those who contributed so much to the care of the oratory over the years, including Fr Pat Lucey and his fellow Tallaght Dominicans and the local group who dedicated themselves to the oratory’s maintenance.”
Jim Lovett, who has been the eucharistic minister at the oratory for over ten years, said that there have been calls to the Archdiocese of Dublin to hand the oratory over as a gesture of good will to the people of Tallaght to prevent closure.
“People are very saddened by it – it happened so fast and what will happen on March 31 is that security will probably just turn a lock on the door that’s the end of it,” said Jim.
“It is the people who I feel sorry for, they come here all the time and they will be very disappointed and there has been some very special things that have happened here over the years.”
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, numbers attending the oratory have dropped significantly which resulted in the drop off in donations and ultimately has led to the decision to close.
“There have been people coming in here for years. It is a very special place, and the owners should be turning it over to the people because there is no way that those numbers will ever resume,” Jim added.
“It is disgraceful. This is the Holy Family we are talking about, and I think that anything that carries the name of the Holy Family, I just think – how dare they close it.”