Saturday, August 05, 2017

Committee formed to stop hall sale

An ad hoc committee formed to campaign to stop the sale of the Eamonn Ó Modhráin Memorial Hall in Newbridge includes Kilcullen resident Orla O'Neill and members of the extended Ó Modhráin family from Ballysax.

"Given the time of year and short notice, a very decent crowd turned up for the public meeting last Thursday night to discuss the potential sale of the Hall," Orla O'Neill says. "Although the derelict hall was auctioned on 26 July and sold to a local developer, the sale is subject to the agreement of the Charities Regulator, an agreement which hasn’t yet been given."

The purpose of the meeting was to get community endorsement and signatures for a letter to the Regulator asking him to halt the sale until a series of questions around why the hall was being sold are answered. The meeting, was addressed by Cllr Joanne Pender (Ind), Fiona O’Loughlin TD (FF) and Robbie Doyle from the Ó Modhráin family and overwhelmingly endorsed the decision to ask the Charities Regulator not to proceed with the sale for the moment. Cllr Mark Stafford (FG) felt the sale should proceed.

The meeting heard how the current trustees have addresses in Kilmeague, Kill and Dublin 1 and although their names were read out at the meeting, there was no information about who they are or what their association to the Eamonn Ó Modhráin Hall or Newbridge is.

The meeting also heard from Peter Hussey of Kildare Youth Theatre/Crooked House who said they have to vacate their rented building in a few weeks and are finding it impossible to get another premises they can afford.

The councillors present explained that prior to the sale of the Ó Modhráin Hall by the Trustees the Council was close to acquiring it under the Derelict Sites Act and had an intention to develop it as a youth facility.

The committee urged anyone with an interest in the matter to call the Charities Regulator at 01 6331500 to voice concerns and objections.

(Report provided by the committee.)