CRC to review ‘aging’ Clontarf head office

Charity to hire consultant to assess future of “at capacity” north Dublin campus

The CRC headquarters building in Clontarf “does not meet modern standards for health and social care,” the organisation says. Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times

The CRC headquarters building in Clontarf “does not meet modern standards for health and social care,” the organisation says. Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times

 

The Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) is considering a move from its long-established head office in Clontarf, north Dublin.

The national disability charity is commissioning a report to examine their current main campus, which it has said is aging and at capacity.

The headquarters include offices, a school for over 90 pupils with disabilities, and clinical services for over 200 adults. Services include physiotherapy, speech and language, and occupational therapy.

The charity recently advertised a public tender for a consultant to carry out a detailed report for the organisation’s board. The charity has been based at the site since it was built in 1968.

The building “does not meet modern standards for health and social care,” according to a brief prepared for the tender competition.

“It is now recognised that CRC Clontarf is at capacity: staff and clients numbers have increased significantly, along with associated support and ancillary services. These demands are placing substantial pressures on an aging building,” the brief said.

“Mechanical and electrical installations at the facility are aging and in need of

significant investment,” the document outlined. Problems caused by the old age of the facility were evident in “two unanticipated and catastrophic events” in recent years, the document said. “Both events necessitated extensive emergency works on the building,” it said.

Oil leak

These incidents were an oil leak in the rehabilitative training unit, and the failure of plant room equipment for the group’s public swimming pool in July last year. The plant equipment had to be fully replaced, and the pool was closed until this February.

The document said given space pressures, locating support services such as admin, IT, payroll and fundraising on the campus “might not be the best use of existing space.”

Due to their age the buildings are “highly inefficient in terms of energy consumption”.

The contract will require the consultant to provide a list of ranked options for the future of the Clontarf site, including how investments might be made, or whether it should be sold by the charity. The report will also consider what services, if any, should relocate from the north Dublin campus.

The charity has an annual budget of around €20 million, and 90 per cent of their income comes from State funding.

The charity was engulfed in a major scandal several years ago over controversial top up payments. Top executives, such as former chief executive Paul Kiely, were receiving salaries significantly above official public service pay rates.

Charitable funds raised by Friends and Supporters of the CRC, a connected fundraising wing, were used to pay top ups.

The charity have several other centres across the country, including in Limerick and Waterford. In the last year the group have opened clinics for adults with disabilities in Killester and plan to open an additional centre in Clongriffin.

In a statement a spokeswoman said the organisation had a strategic plan for future investment, “to ensure we continue to deliver medical, social and therapeutic services to our clients”.

“This tender seeks a review of our main site at Clontarf to gain an insight into how and where those services can continue to be delivered,” she said.