Archdiocese of Dublin in discussions to sell Holy Cross College, Clonliffe
Press Release Wednesday October 10th 2018
The Archdiocese of Dublin today confirmed it has entered into exclusive discussions with the GAA to sell the former Holy Cross College Seminary building on Clonliffe Road and adjoining lands. The Diocese and the GAA are co-operating closely on plans to ensure the lands and buildings be developed into one of the most significant community projects for the North city in many years, providing housing, jobs and sports facilities.
The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has said this project represents a vital opportunity for the Church in Dublin to reimagine its place in the life of the city at a time of enormous change and challenge. The Archbishop said it is a priority for the Diocese to ensure the buildings and lands would be used for the benefit of the local community and a legacy for the city of Dublin.
It is planned to relocate the Diocesan support services of around 80 people to a smaller, purpose built modern pastoral centre with meeting rooms, educational facilities and office space and oratory. The former Mater Dei building, which the Diocese made available to Dublin City Council to become a Family Hub for homeless families and which is run by Crosscare, will not be affected.
Subject to planning permissions, it is envisaged the Clonliffe property would include social, affordable and private housing, sports facilities for children and young adults as well as a hotel and commercial opportunities providing employment for people living in the area. The GAA and the Diocese are committed to providing increased access for the public to landscaped greenways and park facilities.
The proposed sale of Clonliffe buildings and lands will allow the Diocese to reinvest in people-led pastoral programmes as the Church in Dublin looks to different forms of ministry in the coming years. This would include investing in vocations and the ongoing formation of lay people and priests. “Working Together for Mission” spearheaded by Archbishop Martin in the past decade, involves integrating the respective roles of priests, deacons, religious, full time lay ministries and the establishment of communities that involve wider activity of all. It will be about men and women who have the ability to speak the language of faith authentically in a world where that language may be alien and to speak in a way that attracts,” said Archbishop Martin.
While Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, has not functioned as a seminary since the year 2,000, the sale will generate funds which will assist in the training of priests for ministry in the Archdiocese. Some buildings on the Clonliffe campus are listed. The Archdiocese is working closely with architectural experts to ensure the proper preservation of historical and sacred objects and fixtures in the event that a sale proceeds. The use of any funds raised will also comply with the regulations of the Charities Act 2009. The upkeep of the historic building has been a significant burden on diminishing Diocesan resources and it is no longer financially sustainable or prudent for the Diocese to retain a property of this size and scale, which is no longer fit for its purposes.
Further details relating to the sale and future development of the Clonliffe campus will not be available until the sale process is complete and this may take months. The proposed sale is subject to approval by the Holy See.