The new Sean O’Casey Community Centre on St Mary’s Road, East Wall, Docklands was officially opened today, Friday 6th February 2009 by Bertie Ahern, TD. following a complete rebuild and extension. The €9 million investment was part-funded by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority. Landscaping plays an important role in the creation of the pleasing atmosphere in the centre. The building is surrounded on three sides with a moat of grass and trees, while interior gardens of miniature woodlands planted with oak, birch and hazel diagonally link the interior sections.
Designed by O’Donnell + Tuomey architects, the dramatic 2,000 square metre building houses four main facilities – a crèche; day care facilities for the elderly; a 153 seater theatre and a sports hall. These individual elements are open into a series of internal courtyards in a cloister type layout. The signature five storey tower with its distinctive porthole windows gives East Wall its own piece of physical regeneration. Visible from other areas of the city it houses meeting rooms, adult education class rooms and offices. Outside there is an all weather soccer pitch.
Speaking at the official opening Paul Maloney, Chief Executive, Docklands Authority said the Sean O’Casey Community Centre is a unique facility which is a visible expression of a vibrant local community. “This project demonstrates what can be achieved in terms of social regeneration when the community, the architects and the developing Authority work together to achieve the best possible outcome for the community. One of our key objectives in the regeneration of Dublin Docklands is to facilitate family living through the provision of social amenities and the new Sean O’Casey Community Centre is an excellent example of how this can be achieved” he said.