Tag Archives: closure

A closed Post Office in Ballybay, Co Monaghan

The public is up in arms over the closure of post offices.

Our village once had three pubs, two groceries, a butcher, a Garda station and a post office, and all this before a huge speculative building spree of new houses and an increase in population. We now are down to one pub and a hotel catering for passing traffic.

What the closed businesses did not have was the loyalty or custom of the locals. Businesses need support year round if they are to survive, and it is useless and too late to kick up a fuss when the harm is done.

John K Rogers,
Rathowen,
Co Westmeath.

Closure of post offices (Irish Times letters page)

It is with great sadness that the staff, management and board of Filmbase announce that, after thirty two years of serving the Irish film community, the organisation is coming to a close.

Filmbase has been fighting for many years against difficult financial circumstances and as a not for profit organisation that fight has always been a tough and challenging one.

Debts which had accumulated at the organisation had reached a point where it was unrealistic for Filmbase to continue operations.

This is a decision which has been reached with great sadness by all involved and the organisation will now move into Voluntary Liquidation.

From a statement released by Filmbase, in Temple Bar, Dublin 2, this afternoon.

Read the statement in full here

Thanks John Gallen

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Inside the Brú Aimsir Hostel in November and outside the hostel this morning

You may recall the opening of the Dublin City Council-run Brú Aimsir Hostel at the Digital Hub on Thomas Street, Dublin 8 last November – as part of the council’s Cold Weather Initiative.

The 100-bed facility is now to close with 50 beds already closed, while the 42-bed John’s Lane West hostel is to also close.

In response to the closure, a group of homeless people is now occupying the building, while the Irish Housing Network is holding a demonstration outside the Dublin City Council offices on Wood Quay.

In a statement, residents of Brú said:

“Thank you for your support, please continue to do so – it could be you next week. We feel as though the dogs on the street are treated better than us. They are taken in and put in shelters so they are not roaming the streets, but the Government are willing to let people roam the streets every day.”

“One woman here came from a women’s refuse due to domestic violence. She has severe mental and medical health issues and relies heavily on Brú’s services since the beginning of March.”

“She has been approved for H.A.P. (Housing Assistance Payment) with South Dublin County Council, but is finding it extremely difficult to find anywhere suitable for her and her 12-year-old son.”

Suitable accommodation before closing John’s Lane West (Facebook)

Previously: Nice Crib, Brú

Pic: Rollingnews and Richard Chambers

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An artist at studio space in Block T, Smithfield, Dublin 7

You may recall a post last week about how the people of Block T [inexpensive studio space for artists] have to vacate their premises in Smithfield, Dublin 7 – after six years – due to rent increases.

Further to this.

“This week, the team at BLOCK T are sad to announce to members the date they will be vacating their premises in Smithfield, which currently houses over 70 creative studios and workshop facilities. Our organisation is now presented with a new challenge of rehousing their 120 members, who create and produce their work from this hub on a daily basis and have been supported by BLOCK T’s independent subsidies since 2010.”

Established in the midst of the economic recession, BLOCK T was one of the first creative projects to seize the opportunity of the many vacant spaces in Smithfield, breathing a new lease of life into the area. When funding was hard to come by BLOCK T provided a new and unique model of operating artist-led initiatives and advocating for independently run cultural spaces not solely reliant on public funding.”

“Our co-founding team worked voluntarily during the start-up years, allowing it to grow into a primarily self-funded organisation.

This team of creative entrepreneurs collaborated with open-minded landlords, local businesses and arts organisations, and developed a variety social and cultural initiatives over the years, with public funding making up only 2% of its annual turnover.”

“BLOCK T has played a crucial role in the rejuvenation of the Smithfield area, welcoming over 150,000 visitors throughout the past six years. Alongside its cultural partners such as Lighthouse Cinema, Jameson Distillery, Generator Hostel Dublin, Brown Bag Films, Cobblestone and other old and new enterprises, it has fought the uphill battle to establish Smithfield and its surrounding area as a dynamic cultural destination in the city.”

“…To date BLOCK T holds an impressive list of accolades, having been the recipient of multiple awards and an instigator of unique partnerships in the city, nationally and internationally. It has facilitated and collaborated with some of Ireland’s finest cultural influencers such as Nialler9, Ensemble Music, Body & Soul, Dublin Flea, Upstart, All City Records, Knockanstockan Festival, Red Bull Music Academy, Darklight Festival, Spirit of Folk Festival, SCOOP Foundation, Hollywood Babylon, Slipdraft, Steve Doogan, Mary Cremin, Sven Anderson, Rhona Byrne, Aoibheann Greenan, Chequerboard, Patrick Kelleher, Alarmist, Meltybrains?, Fringe Festival, Innovation Dublin, Electric Picnic Festival, Bottlenote Festival, and many many more. For these partnerships, BLOCK T provided a much needed platform for creating, showcasing and exchange, which often saw new projects springboard into existence.”

“We have seen the influence of the economic turn in the market with the closure of more than half of the much loved and successful artist-led initiatives over the course of the past two years including Broadstone Studios, Basic Space, The Joinery, Moxie Studios, Mabos and Bio Space. Their presence in the cultural landscape of the city is already sorely missed.”

“…We’re inviting advocates, champions for Irish culture, interested patrons, local TDs, mentors and entrepreneurs to support us through this time of transition with advocacy, space provision and capital.

We’re looking for new partners who understand the value of social and creative enterprises, and who share our vision for sustainable creative communities for Dublin. We believe these independent spaces are not only necessary in times of economic decline, but also in time of growth.

Alternative and independent cultural spaces are what makes a city a vibrant, authentic place. Their programmes and projects enrich and diversify the output of Irish culture, which greatly contributes to its tourism industry and global reputation.

More importantly these projects play an integral role in community development, offering innovative ways to nurture and support the talent of this industry that will help fuel our economy in the years ahead.”

“…We are now facing the biggest challenge to date, and are putting out an S.O.S to the city, culture is calling!”

Public announcement (Block T)

Previously: Meanwhile, In Smithfield

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Insolvency solicitor Barry Lyons and a graphic used in RTÉ One documentary, Clerys

Last night RTÉ One broadcast an hour-long documentary, by Judy Kelly, about the closure of Clerys last year with the loss of 460 jobs.

It included interviews with former employees, such as Maurice Bracken, who had worked at Clerys for 32 years.

Bracken and the other workers – some of whom worked over 40 years at Clerys – only got the statutory redundancy of two weeks’ pay per year of service.

The documentary highlighted how many of the workers felt the Clerys building on Dublin O’Connell’s street should have been sold in order to offer better redundancies.

But it explained that in 2012, the owners of Clerys, Gordon Brothers, split Clerys into two companies – a trading company, OCS Operations, and a property company, OCS Properties.

OCS Operations paid rent under a lease to OCS Properties for the use of the building. Within two and a half years, OCS Operations, which employed the staff and managed the department store, made a loss of €4.3million.

Meanwhile, OCS Properties – which has no staff – made a profit of €6.5million.

Irish Times business affairs correspondent Mark Paul explained:

The night before Clerys was closed, a group of people assembled and they conducted a transaction that eventually led to you guys losing your jobs the next day. Natrium bought the entire structure of Clerys, so they bought the parent company and that gave them the property company and the trading company and then we know that immediately, immediately upon doing that, they sold the business that was your employer, the trading company, for €1 to Jim Brydie who was an insolvency specialist.”

“Natrium wanted the operating business to be gone from the group, they wanted it to be separated, to be pushed aside and to be left on its own. It was effectively an orphan then, it had no parent company, it had no lease, it had no money and really it had no chance of survival.”

As the trading company’s lease had expired three months previous, Mr Brydie – a former director of Anglo Irish Bank in the UK – wrote to Natrium asking it to extend his lease but they wrote back immediately saying they’d send a formal notice to quit if he didn’t get out of the building.

Mr Paul commented:

“The sequence of events that was laid out to the court, the following morning, was that they all arrived here and then one business was sold and then another business was sold and then there was a board meeting and then there was another meeting with management and each action led to the next action which led to the next action… but if all these things were planned and happened simultaneously, well then, it sort of leads you to the conclusion that maybe all this was pre-ordained. It was never doing to end any other way and, if that’s the case, before any of these meetings happened, Clerys fate was already sealed and when dawn broke, the stage was set for Clerys to be liquidated.”

Mr Bracken, and another former employee, visited insolvency solicitor Barry Lyons to get a greater understanding of what happened.

Mr Lyons had no involvement in the closure of Clerys.

Barry Lyons: “There’s no doubt in my view that it was completely choreographed but at the end of the day, there is a fundamental inevitability about this taking place. The trade is declining, losses are wracking up. Overtime, somebody says, ‘we’ve got to pull the plug’. We’ve got to take a view.

Maurice Bracken: “But there was a property there. And because of some accounting formula, they were able to separate the company from the trading company. They were able to separate this and we’ve all lost.”

Lyons: “I can’t justify that. What they did was clever, you know, they carved it out, the asset out from the trade, and there you go. I mean everyone was operating on the basis that it was a trading company. Everybody knew that a receiver was appointed. Signal number one: that is not a good sign. Ultimately the property from which it traded was worth a lot of money. So what the Gordon brothers, what they did, is they protected their investment by carving out the property. So it’s very easy to demonise them but this country would be in a far worse state had they not come along and they put their money where their mouth is and they said, ‘we think this is going to come good for us’. And so when you do that, you’re entitled to a return on your money. And I think that’s what they got and this is the fallout, what you’ve described, is the fallout from that.”

Bracken: “They did make millions. Ok, we know they made millions. But they certainly didn’t come in here to help the Irish economy, they only really ever had their shareholders in mind. No one else really cared because when they left…”

Lyons: “No, no other company has anyone other than their shareholders in mind…”

Bracken: “But I think there should be some kind of duty of care to the other stakeholders.”

Lyons: “I understand why they did what they did, it makes sense from a commercial point of view and I appreciate that it hurts but, you know, there’s an orderly process that has to be undertaken. There has to be an event that says, ‘this is now over’. That is never going to happen in a nice way.”

Bracken: “Do you actually admire the way they carried out this liquidation?”

Lyons: “Well, from one point of view, it is very cynical. Do I admire it? Well it seems to have gone off without the whole thing spiralling out of control. So, you know, maybe from that point of view, you have to say, well, it was efficient.”

Watch back in full here

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To Madam or Sir,
Please don’t close Bally-mote library, because evry one loves it. We do music there and get lovely books. Louise, Bridy and Bernedette [The librarians; she didn’t include Malachy’s name because she didn’t know how to spell it] are very nice and friendly too. If you do lots of Bally-mote’s resedents will get upset a they might cry! It is one of the lest librarys I have ever seen. The fourth class go to music too. Evry time we go there are about ten pepoel there. I am sure resedents from other towns come, and that might be the only library they know. I have read about two hundred books in that place! There are the top five books, “Otoline goes to School”, “Helen Keller Courage in the Dark”, “Mheanwhile”, “Kittens and Puppies” and “Bugs”. Please don’t close our library.
Yours sincrly Grace
age Seven.

Proud dad, Dermot McGlone writes:

A letter written by my seven-year-old daughter, Grace, on the impending possible closure of some Library services in County Sligo, and in particular her local library in Ballymote. Grace wrote this herself, with no prompting or assistance from anyone, she felt it was something important that she needed to do.

There have been previous attempts to curtail and/ or close the Ballymote library service, and these have been thwarted or reversed by people power. But this is our most serious threat yet.

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The National Museum of Ireland

 

“The National Museum of Ireland would like to clarify that reports in today’s media that the Museum’s four sites face imminent closure or that entry charges are to be introduced are incorrect. No decision on the closure of sites or on the introduction of charges has been taken by the Board and no recommendations have been made to the Minister of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht in this regard. The Museum’s four sites are and will remain open to visitors and entry to all Museum sites is free. The Board remains committed to the principle of free entry. So far this year, the Museum has welcomed over 1 million visitors.”

Further to reports on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that four of Ireland’s major museums may close on January 1, unless they receive more financial support from the State, the National Museum of Ireland has released a statement

National museum board discussed closing sites (RTE)

Press release issued on behalf of the National Museum of Ireland

(Pic: Mike Peel)

 

allied[Allied Irish College, South Mall, Cork]

Can someone give him/her a call?

You may recall a post from last Friday detailing how Millennium English School on Dominick Street in Dublin had closed suddenly, making it the fourth such school in Dublin to cease trading in recent weeks.

RTE News at One has reported that a fifth school – in Cork – has also ceased trading.

The school is called Allied Irish College and is owned by Rezule Haque, who also owned Millennium English School.

RTE’s education correspondent Emma O’Kelly told RTE News at One that she spoke with Mr Haque who said the 60 students at Allied Irish College would get their money back.

In regards to the students at Millennium College, he disputed the claim that he owed them money and said most of the students were coming to the end of their programmes, so he doesn’t feel he owes them money.

Ms O’Kelly also said that Mr Haque denied that he was taking fees as late as last Monday, after Ms O’Kelly said she had spoken with a student who claimed to have paid fees on Monday.

Ms O’Kelly also told how a Millennium student, from Brazil, was travelling last month and needed a letter from Millennium, for the immigration authorities, to state she was a student in Dublin, and to allow her get back into the country.

However, the student told Ms O’Kelly that  Millennium couldn’t give her a letter as it had been suspended from the registered list, operated by the immigration authorities. Instead, the girl was given a letter stating she was a student with Allied Irish College – even though the student had never been in Cork.

Ms O’Kelly put this to Mr Haque and claimed the student wanted to move to Cork.

Language school in Cork city centre closes (RTE)

Previously: Teaching English The Irish Way

Pic: StudyEU