ORIGINAL COMMUNITY CENTRE

The Original Centre

In the 1960’s GLENASMOLE was a picturesque Valley in the Dublin Mountains. It is unique in the fact that although it has a wealth of natural beauty, it had no recreation facilities for its young people especially in the upper end of the valley. A few enterprising people got together to see if something could be done about this. On the 5th of November 1970, they held a meeting in Glenasmole National School. And a social club was discussed and was formed.

Two aims were agreed by all:
1. The main aim to further its aims to help the social, cultural and educational endeavours of the area
2. And to have a focal point for this widespread rural hill farming community in County Dublin.

And many social events were organised by the social club with the fund’s raised to give the community a centre, to become a HUB for all activity in the area.

In 1971 a second-hand precast concrete pavilion was purchased in Johnstown for the price of £600 pounds. A number of volunteers got a loan of a large lorry and with five cars loaded with the volunteers one Saturday morning went to Johnstown to load the lorry and by 10.00 pm the pavilion (in bits) was safely brought to Castlekelly, and re-built in the current location in 1972. As the majority of work on extension at the rear of the main building was by volunteers, internal finish and heating were not installed and completed till 1974. With the exception of ongoing repairs little has changed since.

This centre has produced an amazing community spirit through the decades since it was built. In 2016 winning the South Dublin County Council (SDCC) Facility of the year, which was amazing for the 45-year-old second-hand building. But the real winner was the community spirit it produced that won the SDCC Overall Endeavour Community Award that year.

As only small renovation works have been undertaken on the current centre over the 50 years, the current building is outdated and long-overdue an upgrade to bring building up to the standards of a modern-day public building.

Active Age

Caring for the Active Age generation has always been a big part of the community association’s ethos and a health clinic has been running since the 1992. The district health nurse attends along with a chiropodist, blood pressure checks, manicure, baby clinic, and general check-ups are available for members of the community.

The local community Garda, a social welfare officer, an occupational health nurse and a beautician attend occasionally to ensure our Active Age citizens can avail of the assistance required as necessary.

But just as important to physical health is their mental wellbeing and the refreshments and chat cannot go unmentioned. This is the main time and place where most of the generation get a chance to sit down and talk to each other on their own terms.

Drama Group

The Glenasmole Drama Group have used the community centre from the start as a base from where they would meet each week to rehearse and fine tune their productions of the famous Irish plays before charity shows around Leinster. Their first play was produced in 1972 and on 26th of May in St Anne’s GAA pavilion it was staged to about 200 people. They have produced 20 plays to date and this group is still very active today and their latest production of “Year of the Hiker” pre-covid was a very successful run fundraiser for the community development.

Summer Project

The Summer Project – In the summer months the community association run a summer project which is always well attended, with over 70 children. Where to break the long summer days, trips are organised to far off places like The Crystal Maze (Kilmainham wood, Kells), Tayto Park and Camping weekends away.
Also, the centre hosts a number of club day’s arts and crafts for the children, but mainly they enjoy the adventures with their friends exploring centre grounds and walks around the waterworks. And the trips to beach for a barbeque are always remembered for decades where the mothers mentioned below currently discuss the events of the summer’s projects of the past.

Venture Club / Youth Group

The venture Club- This club is where children of primary school age progress from making jigsaws to playing skipping and games and has been running on Friday nights for decades to give them a safe supervised outlet which to play with their school friends away from the teacher and principle. Pool, Table tennis and sweet shop and big open safe play area to run around away from parents are chatting and other members of community.
The Youth Club – This club is for the secondary age children, meet on Wednesday evenings. Where children could meet with their friends a number of activities are hosted in the club like football tournaments and many a world cup won on the next goal. Organised weekend away like hiking to An Oige hostels were always a firm favourite. And the Halloween night walks and party where over fifty Kids hit each house to trick or treat and retire back to club to count the spoils and enjoy a fireworks display. The needs of these children have become one of the main objectives of the development.

Parent & Toddler Group

The Parent and toddler group started around 1974 where the new parents and their children would meet and while the parents had tea and biscuits to discuss and help solve the relevant problems they may have. The children spend their time playing by making jigsaws and becoming lifelong friends. Some forty odd years later the current toddlers are the grandchildren of those original parents. While their parent’s problems may have changed, the tea and biscuits still work in solving them. But it has become a lot easier to solve them with your friend of fifty years.