History of the Parish Centre
Palmerstown Parish Centre comprises of a number of parts including the old Palmerstown Primary School which was built circa 1870 and Palmerstown Youth Club which was established in the early 1960’s. This former primary school section of the Parish Centre has been substantially altered and extended to the east, west and south and came into use as a parish centre.
An extension was built at the end of the 1980’s connecting the various parts of these buildings together and provided an entrance foyer, toilets and a purpose built Day Care Centre.
This extension came about in the mid-eighties when Fr Gerry Byrne suggested that something be done for the Senior Citizens. A group of local women organised and provided tea and snacks each Wednesday afternoon in the Youth Centre. This venture proved to be very successful, numbers quickly grew and Fr Byrne and the group of local volunteers realised they needed something more. A Day Care Committee was formed and an approach was made to the Archdiocese for permission to build on the exising site. This Day Care Committee raised €25,000 towards the project and applied to and received €20,000 from the National Lottery and €30,000 from the County Council when the work commenced. Fr Kelly P.P. secured a bank loan for the remainder of the funds. A local architect, Mr Kieron Lynam gave his services and Fás carried out the works.
The new Parish Centre was opened in 1990 by Bishop O’Mahony.
The Day Care which is now know as Palmerstown Meals on Wheels is run by a Committee and helpers, all local people on a completely voluntary basis provide 400 meals weekly in-house and home deliveries. In addition, the Palmerstown Meals on Wheels are often requested by District Nurses to cater for patients returning from hospital pending their full recovery. Palmerstown Meals on Wheels is self-sufficient. The kitchen and dining room equipment, as well as all maintenance and decorating is funded by the Committee. Palmerstown Meals on Wheels has been a major success in our parish since its inception and is widely regarded as the best in this catchment area.
At the beginning of 2018, it became apparent that the Fire Alarm System, Emergency Lighting and fire safety in general within the centre did not meet the required standards for a building used by the public and we were faced with the reality that if these issues were not resolved, Palmerstown Parish Centre would have to close which would have had a devastating effect on our community. The cost of bringing the premises up to the required standards was far beyond the resources of the parish.
Following an enormous fundraising campaign, renovations commenced in 2018. This could not have been achieved without the encouragement and support of our parishioners and the wider community. It was great to see the outpouring of community spirit in Palmerstown. In addition, this project could not have been achieved without the finance assistance from the Albert Guybay Foundation, South Dublin Council Council, a contribution from the SHARE Scheme of the Archdiocese of Dublin, Palmerstown Credit Union, the Moriarty Group together with a number private donations from local groups/businesses.
We cannot reference the renovations without acknowledging Luke Moriarty of the Moriarty Group who was instrumental in organising the personnel to oversee the project, ensuring the work was completed to a high standard, on time and within budget. We would also like to acknowledge the personal contributions which Luke Moriarty made by way of providing the centre with extra renovation works which completely transformed the building.
Finally, but by no means least, we also have to acknowledge Anne Mahon Architect who provided her services and oversaw this project on a pro-bono basis.
We were delighted that our Parish Centre has reopened on 03 September 2018 and it continues to form an integral part of Palmerstown village offering much needed social support to our parishioners and the community.
Palmerstown Parish Centre is a very busy centre. Palmerstown Meals on Wheels provides meals for the elderly within our parish. It offers clients the option to come into the Dining Room of the Parish Centre to have their meals or a “Meals on Wheels” delivery service (approximately 400 meals a week). Please note that this facility is a volunteer based organisation – volunteers prepare, cook and serve the meals to clients. Clients can avail of lifts to and from the Parish Centre which is operated by volunteer drivers. Clients are provided with a three-course meal three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and are also given the option to take home dinners for Tuesday and Thursday and, indeed, the weekend if they so wish. Palmerstown Meals on Wheels is a vital service for the older members of our parish/community.
Palmerstown Active Retirement Association conduct activities five days a week for the retired members of our community – ballroom dancing, indoor bowls, exercise classes, a choir and art classes.
Other groups include Naíonra Thír na nÓg – Irish pre-school, Yvonne’s Montessori School – English pre-school, Palmerstown Boxing Youth Club, AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), Palmerstown Camera Club and Ruth Shine Ballet Company.
We are absolutely thrilled that these services and groups can continue to operate out of our Parish Centre. Indeed, it is a lifeline to many of our elderly parishioners!