Welcome to Dunboyne Community Centre

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, and to this very day, the entire project has been 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 the schools 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.  In the summer of 2003, we embarked on another joint venture with St. Peter’s College, the development of an all-weather pitch.  With the assistance of a Lottery grant of €50,000 this became another successful venture with the College.  We now have an all-weather pitch available to the community which enhances our existing facilities.  

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 the Community Employment Programme and then the FAS Social Economy Enterprise Programme with the intention of the Centre becoming fully viable.  The Centre is at present partially funded by Pobal with NDP .  The viability of the Community Centre presents major challenges and the development of new facilities, such as the proposed Theatre, will be crucial in the effort to meet these challenges.

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.