Deaf Village Ireland Project
On Monday the 28th of March 2011 the CIDP Board agreed to appoint John Sisk Ltd; as the contractor to build the Village. CIDP set up a new company, the National Deaf Sports and Leisure Company Limited to manage and deliver the project in June 2011. Work on this €15 million project began in June 2011 and was completed in August 2012. The building of the Deaf Village will be spread over three phases; with Phase one being the most significant and costly. Phase one which began in June 2011 and entails the provision of new sporting, administration, social, educational, heritage and religious facilities. The contract between the National Deaf Sports and Leisure Company Limited and John Sisk Ltd. was signed in June 2011 and brought to a culmination three years of planning and consultation.
While consultation on the detail of the design of the Village has been ongoing for the last three years, prior to that, for a two year period there was significant consultation with the Deaf community on a strategy for CIDP and how CIDP could enable the development of the Deaf community in a manner which did not undermine or patronise the community. The success or not of this strategy will be for others to judge but at least the building of Phase one of the Village ensures that the Deaf community and their organisations have a state of the art place to call home and from which the community can further develop.
The name of the project has always been the Deaf Village and while some within and external to the Deaf community have had a difficulty with the name it has managed to remain the most commonly used description for the project.
CIDP ran a competition in 2011 to see if a more suitable name could be found. The winning entry was the National Deaf Centre. This name emphasises the National element of the project given that many of the tenant organisations (IDSA, IDS, DeafHear.ie, and IDYA etc) are national organisations and that the focus of the project is on the Deaf community. Following extensive consultation with the Deaf community, Deaf Village Ireland is now the agreed name.
Apart from the setting up of a company to build the Village a Management Company Committee was set up to manage the new facility once built. This was a representative group of all the Deaf organisations who occupy Deaf Village Ireland. This group designed the setting up of a governance, and management structure for Deaf Village Ireland. CIDP via the National Deaf Sports and Leisure Company Limited owns the land and buildings (as given to CIDP by the Church); the Village has been handed over to the Deaf community to manage. This has been achieved by the setting up of the Deaf Village Ireland Company which is a separate legal entity, with a Board of Directors comprised of all the organisations operating from the Village. Given the makeup of the organisations this ensures that the company is a Deaf led company, with ISL as its first language. This Company designed Memorandum and Articles of Association which set out the purpose of the Company, the role of the Board of Directors how they are nominated and how they operate the company. This Board controls the Village, employs the Village staff, manages all the rents, insurance and monies and ensures that the Village remains self sufficient. This company was formally set up in June 2012 and registered with the Companies Office in September 2012. It appointed Damian Barry as it first Chairperson and Sylvia Nolan the first Manager of Deaf Village Ireland.
With the Deaf Village now built, the National Deaf Village Sports and Leisure Company Limited is managing the new state of the art Sports Centre in the Village. The Centre is called Inspire Fitness Centre and has its own Management Team which reports to the Board of the National Deaf Village Sports and Leisure Company Limited.
With phase one of the three planned phases is now complete. Phases two and three are being worked on. These will comprise the proposed amalgamation of the Cabra schools and the moving of St. Joseph’s House Brewery road from Stillorgan to Cabra to become part of the Deaf Village, together with new independent living facilities. Another aspect of the Village is the establishment of the Deaf Education Centre managed jointly by Deafhear.ie, the IDS, CIDP, CDS Trinity College and the Deaf schools. The Centre is now set up and operating with Elizabeth Mathews as its coordinator.
Finally in late 2013, CIDP sold land on the Cabra site to Centric a provider of primary care medical services to build a new Primary care medical facility for Cabra. Centric have successfully applied for and been granted planning permission and began building the new facility in December 2013.