Appeal to save first World War legion hall

British Legion hall in Killester, built in the 1920s as facility for war veterans, on sale for €50,000

Some 247 houses were built in Killester between 1918 and 1922 for Irish ex-servicemen and their families by the Local Government Board on the “garden suburb” model.

Some 247 houses were built in Killester between 1918 and 1922 for Irish ex-servicemen and their families by the Local Government Board on the “garden suburb” model.

 

One of the last remaining British legion halls in the State, built in Killester, Dublin for veterans of the first World War, has gone on sale for €50,000.

Local campaigners and politicians are calling on Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan to buy the hall to preserve it as a war memorial.

Some 247 houses were built in Killester between 1918 and 1922 for Irish ex-servicemen and their families by the Local Government Board on the “garden suburb” model. The hall was built in the early 1920s as a community facility.

In the 1960s it changed from a community hall to a sports centre, but remained in the ownership of the trustees of the British Legion until 2000, when it was sold for a sum understood to be in the region of €300,000.

Dublin City Council refused a number of applications for its redevelopment, including its use as an Educate Together primary school in 2002.

An application for a creche, which involved converting and extending the hall, was approved by An Bord Pleanála in 2011, despite a refusal recommendation by its inspector. This permission still stands. However the hall remains vacant and is now on sale through O’Farrell Cleere Auctioneers with a guide price of €50,000.

Labour city councillor Jane Horgan-Jones said the relatively low price offered an ideal opportunity to acquire the hall for the State.

“This is a building of huge historical importance and it would be a shame if this opportunity to preserve it for future generations was lost.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Arts and Heritage said it did not have the money as it already had set aside “significant taxpayer investment” in a number of Decade of Centenaries capital projects.