The project for the Day Centre at Balgaddy as planned, has a cost of €1.2 million Euro. We were first approached by the parish priest of the ‘Divine Mercy Parish, Lucan South’ to help with his extraordinary work supporting the needs of the poor in the communities around him, Balgaddy, Ronanstown, Neilstown. To begin we met him with an architect and the parish council to outline what they hoped to achieve. At this meeting, when the question was asked, we were assured that the Bishop was on board and very happy for this project to go ahead.
We then got a professional survey of the site to establish what could be built on the site, not interfering with any of the services in the area and acceptable to the South Dublin County Council.
After this we spent months liaising with the parish priest, the parish council and a team of professional experts researching the needs of these communities in order to advise the architects what had to be included in the project. It then took another year and a number of meetings between the architects and the South Dublin County Council, at their offices in Tallaght, agreeing a proposed plan that complied with all the regulations and suited every interest in the area. We met with different Diocesan committees, principally St. Laurence O’Toole Diocesan Trust committee.
It seemed we had approval from all of these concerns with what we wanted to achieve and this motivated us to continue forward at a greater pace. The architects we employed produced final plans and then when we were about ready to go, the Diocesan Moderator contacted us to put a hold on the project. After some weeks went by a meeting was arranged with the Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and our Chairperson Val Conlon.
However it became understandable after this meeting that the Archbishop considered the project away too big and too large a complex for the Church to be able to run as it would take a lot of people and money to sustain it. It was not completely turned down by him but it was clear to Val that HUDT could not impose such a huge undertaking on the Church, without being able to show how it could be supported and run in the long term.
However we are not giving up on this project as the needs are still there and such a project would be of enormous benefit to these communities. At present we are scouting other sites in the parish, with a view to HUDT ‘Divine Mercy in Action’ running a Divine Mercy project in a Divine Mercy Parish.