Scientology recruits arrive for Firhouse centre
By Maurice Garvey
PHOTOGRAPHS of new Church of Scientology recruits arriving in Dublin Airport and staying in temporary accommodation prior to moving to a new training centre in Firhouse, have been removed by the organisation.
Pictures and posts on the organisation’s Ideal Ireland Org Facebook page – including an event at Scientology’s British headquarters in Sussex where green cupcakes were distributed to encourage members to sign up for the new Irish centre – were removed on Friday after the Sunday Times asked the church about its plans for Firhouse.
The church is reported to be recruiting 100 staff to help run a new training centre in Firhouse that is has bought for €6 million.
The closely guarded plans have not been well received in the community.
The majority of residents that The Echo has spoken to, overwhelmingly feel the former Victory Centre building and site should have been utilised as a school – to address a critical shortage of education places available.
Fine Gael councillor Brian Lawlor said he would not encourage people to use the centre because Scientologists were refusing to engage with the community.
The Victory Centre was put on sale by Bank of Scotland Ireland after previous owners, the Victory Christian Fellowship, ran up debts of €18.5 million.
Goldman Sachs is reported to have bought the centre before selling it to the Scientologists.
The Church of Scientology in Ireland currently operates two small hubs in Dublin city centre.
In October 2016, it set up a new National Affairs Office on Merrion Square to “offer permanent delivery of Scientology-supported social betterment programmes in Ireland” and battle humanitarian issues such as drug addiction.
According to the church’s website, current leader David Miscavige said opening the National Affairs Office for Ireland continues “the tradition of our founder L Ron Hubbard who himself held an office at 69 Merrion Square.”
The Echo contacted the Church of Scientology but no comment was received before going to print.