Charity Regulator asked to Newbridge meeting about O'Modhráin Hall sale

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Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

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niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Charity Regulator asked to Newbridge meeting about O'Modhráin Hall sale

Cllr Joanne Pender, Eamonn Ó Modhráin, Daire Begley and Orla O'Neill at the August public meeting. Picture: Tony Keane

The campaign group fighting to keep O’Modhráin Hall in Newbridge for community use has called on the Charity Regulator to consult with the group.

In a letter sent by the committee at the end of September, it said the group had been mandated by the people who attended the public meeting during the summer to liaise with the Regulator and ask him to act in the public interest, and stop the sale of the hall pending the outcome of his investigation.

The auction of O’Modhráin Hall on Cutlery Road, was carried out on behalf of the Trust, which owns the building.

This sale has to be approved by the Charity Regulator before it can go through.

The O’Modhráin Memorial Hall campaigners say the public are the beneficiaries of the Trust.

“We now invite the Charities Regulator to consult with the beneficiaries of the Trust as part of your investigation into the sale of the Hall and hope you or your representative will attend our forthcoming public meeting to listen to the views of people of the town so they can be taken into account in your current investigation,” said Cllr Joanne Pender.

She was sending the letter on behalf of the committee which is also made up of Cllr Mark Lynch, Robbie Doyle, Dr Loretta Nolan, Peter Hussey, Noel Heavey, Liz Kett and Orla O’Neill.

In the correspondence, there is a history of leasing arrangements, the make up of the original Trust, the deeds and other documentation supplied.

The council had intended to Compulsory Purchase the building and had contended the building was derelict. Once the Trust responded, it was hoped it would be able to buy it.

The building was then put up for public auction.

On Wednesday, September 20, a Kildare and Newbridge Municipal District Councillors voted unanimously in favour of a motion seeking a meeting with the trustees to discuss the matter.

This has not taken place so far.