The Happy Pear Round Tower hosted a Christmas ‘Jingle and Mingle’ reception where Siobhan Feehan Director of Deansrath Family Centre thanked the Clondalkin community for rallying around to help after the recent attempted robbery. “Just four weeks ago we were on our uppers looking at a wrecked closed centre with nowhere to host essential services for more than 150 families”, said Siobhan. “The community of Clondalkin rallied around and are providing temporary accommodation to keep these social services going. Pre-school breakfasts, dinners, children’s playgroups and family safe spaces are now dotted around the area as Deansrath was forced to close when the attack happened.”
Designs for a planned new Deansrath Centre were on show at the reception. Designed by architect Bernard Gilna, the new centre will be a state of the art facility which will be a national model for family and early learning supports.  Among those present at the Christmas Thank You were John Curran TD Fiann Fail and Liam Ryan of SAP. Former Dublin Manager Jim Gavin donated a signed Dublin ‘Five in a row’ jersey for fundraising and local DSWTS heroine Mary Kennedy sent her best wishes for the new project.
The Clondalkin Youth Band entertained the crowd with Christmas Carols and Bernard Gilna showed the new designs to the assembled great and good of Clondalkin. The Happy Pear kindly provided the venue and refreshments for the evening.
It is hoped that work on a new Centre can begin in the spring. Deansrath was rammed by a truck on November 11th at 7am, and is closed since after the building was declared structurally unsound by the HSE. The Deansrath Centre has catered for support services for hundreds of families in the Clondalkin area. That is all now in jeopardy as the centre is closed for the foreseeable future. They are now relying on the kindness of neighbouring community groups to help them out, including space to cook the hot meals for the pre-schoolers.
“Deansrath believe in the people they serve and they go the extra mile to deliver the best outcomes for all” said Deirdre O’Donnell Deansrath child and adolescent psychotherapist. “They never give up on anyone. When the recent events occurred the staff immediately jumped into action to maintain all services for the clients, avoiding big disruption in the families lives”. “We were totally stunned at the attack” said Siobhan, “it came as a terrible shock to all the 20 staff and hundreds of families who use the centre, we have never experienced any incident like this in the 20 odd years we have been here in Clondalkin” the CEO of Deansrath Family Centre added..
“Luckily nobody was hurt, at 7.30 in the morning when the truck rammed the centre, ten minutes later 25 children would have been coming in looking for their breakfast”, she added. The HSE engineering department declared the building unsafe on November 11th and Gardai are currently investigating the attack.
Pic Brian McEvoy