Dunboyne Community Centre Website

OUR HISTORY

In 1985 the people of Dunboyne came together at a public meeting and agreed that a social and recreational Centre was badly needed and set out to provide it for themselves. Four years of fund-raising followed, during which 80-90% of households contributed on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. The local businesses rowed in with sponsorship, and the local clubs ran fund-raising events. These efforts raised over 400,000, the Government chipped in grants totalling 35,000, and a fully equipped Community Centre was opened by President Hillery in 1989.

From the start, the entire project was under the control of the Community Centre Committee, elected annually at an AGM to represent the interests of the community as a whole.

With the establishment of St Peter's College in 1994, the opportunity arose to embark on an innovative venture which has since become a model for school/community ventures elsewhere. The money that would have been spent on putting sports facilities into the College, 280,000, was instead invested in the Centre. Through further fund-raising, the Committee added another 150,000 to this and the result was a major extension of the building in 1997. Everyone benefits from this arrangement - the Centre provides the College with a much bigger and better sports hall than it could have had on its own while, outside of school hours, the extension enables the Centre to cater better for the growing community.

The next landmark was the opening of our Health and Fitness Club in January 2000. This was an immediate success and enabled the Centre to meet yet another need in the community. A floodlit all-weather pitch (another joint venture with St Peter's College) opened in 2004. It was fitted out to a state-of-the-art standard, and has been very heavily used since it became available.

The Centre is a non-profit making body. It has a charitable exemption from income tax. All the income that is generated goes towards covering its running costs and funding further development. It is owned by the community, funded by the community, and operated for the benefit of the community. In the past the Centre's staffing costs have been subsidised by FAS under various community employment programmes. The Centre is now participating in the Community Services Programme managed by Pobal.

In 2007, so as to retain its eligibility for financial support under the Community Services Programme, the Centre was obliged to change its legal status from that of an Association to that of a Company Limited by Guarantee. This change does not have any effect on the operation of the Centre or the services we will continue to provide to the community. Our charitable status will be maintained and we will continue to be obliged to put all of our income towards the operating costs and further development of the Centre.

Everyone involved in the Community Centre is very proud of it and of the contribution it makes to Dunboyne. Groups from all round the country who are planning Centres of their own come to have a look at it and find out what has made it so successful. The answer lies in the Centre's key role in the community, the huge support it gets from the community, and the professional approach it takes to every aspect of its operation.

If you haven't visited the Centre, you are very welcome to drop in any time and have a look around. Our staff will give you any further information you require.