Galway City Corporation (now Galway City Council) confirmed in 1989 (yes – you read that right – 1989) that the community centre for Ballinfoile – Castlegar would be built.
27 years later, residents are still waiting for the doors to be opened.
Brendan Speedie Smith told The Galway Eye this morning that residents, “started the campaign for outdoor and indoor recreational facilities in 1987. In Summer 1989, we secured from Galway City Corporation an agreement to immediately construct tennis courts, playing pitches, a park and a playground, They also committed to build a community centre. Critically, the centre was only completed in 2015, was officially opened by the Mayor in May 2016 but still remains closed to the community.”
SCCUL Enterprises is accepted by the key stakeholders as the ideal entity to manage the facility. Supported by council and the community representative body Croí na Tuath, they will train up local people to take over the operations of the centre at the end of a two year period. SCCUL representatives have also expressed frustration at the lack of progress.
Cllr. Mike Cubbard is fully supportive of the campaign to open the centre saying that, “I will continue to keep this on the table with officials until they make good on their long overdue promise.”
Last Friday, residents once again protested outside the gates of the centre, calling on all public representatives to get council officials to rectify the situation immediately.
The Galway Eye understands that protests will continue every week until the doors are finally opened to the community. The next protest is scheduled for 9am this Friday 29th September.