The summer edition of ‘Changing Ireland’ is about to be published. The magazine will be available through Eason outlets, by post to subscribers (free) and on our website homepage. Here’s one of the more eye-catching stories that feature.
A community centre and sports hall is up for sale, possibly the first to go under the hammer since the recession struck.
Mervue Community Centre in Galway is on the market and four potential buyers were “in talks” about buying the property as ‘Changing Ireland’ went to press.
One of the trustees, parish priest Fr. Willie Cummins, said it was really a sports hall even though it was called a community centre.
The centre was built in the 1980s and is used by a local women’s club and an active retirement assocation. Fr. Cummins said that after the hall was built, the local soccer club and GAA developed their own facilities.
Three main factors have pushed the trustees to this point – high insurance costs, income-decline due to loss of tenants and a mounting list of costly repairs.
Now, the exterior and interior of the building has deteriorated in recent years and repairs could cost “up to €150,000”.
However, Fr. Cummins stressed that the centre will not change hands without consultation with, and the agreement of, the local community in Mervue.
He also confirmed that any organisation that has used the centre regularly, will be able to continue doing so, even if the property is sold.
“That’ll be written into the agreement,” said Fr. Cummins, adding that he was now “very hopeful” it will sell.
He was unaware of any other community centres or local sports halls for sale in the country.
Mervue had a population of 2,130 in the last census and a third of Mervue residents are aged over-55.
The LCDP is active in Mervue and Ballybane and provides a wide range of community services.