Community Halls

Over 100 years ago the first parish hall was built in Skerries by voluntary labour. This hall was situated on the South Strand, on a site which now forms a part of an amusement area. It was the venue for many concerts and many other events. The hall was the headquarters of the Skerries Brass and Reed band, which was formed by the then Parish Priest Fr. Yorke. In later years the hall was rented to the Billiard Club.

During the “emergency” the L.D.F. and L.S.F. utilised the hall for drilling purposes. Later, boat building, mainly yachts, was carried on there by members of the Skerries Sailing Club. In the course of time the hall became privately owned. Three other privately owned halls, the Recreation Hall, later known as the “Pavilion”, the “Arcadia” and the “Tower”, were the venues for a variety of community entertainments.

The “Arcadia” was originally built as a shirt factory in the square in the early 1920s, by a Northerner named John McAuley. Later he sold it to Percy Clinton, proprietor of Tower Amusements, who converted it to an amusement centre and he named it “Arcadia”. For many years it was a venue for dances, whist drives, and stage performances. In 1947, after the war it reverted to being a shirt factory and was in use for that purpose until a few years ago.

When the “Arcadia” was sold in 1947 the Marian Society, which had been founded the previous year, initiated a move to provide Skerries with a parish hall. The project was taken on by the more mature St. Vincent de Paul Society.

A committee was appointed at a public meeting and two years later a property at 82 Strand Street, “Floraville”, was purchased for £1,200. Many clubs and societies held meetings in “Floraville” and various fund raising efforts continued to pay off the debt. When the debt was paid off the Ballast Pit was purchased for playing fields.

Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the wooden structure in the late 1940s. The committee was convinced that there was little likelihood of raising sufficient funds in the foreseeable future. “Floraville” and whatever assets it had were handed over to the parish, with the proviso that these were to be held in trust for a future parish hall. The site was subsequently sold to Dublin County Council for a library and the assets realised were given to the new Community Centre committee.

In 1977 the Skerries Development and Community set up a committee to investigate the feasibility of providing a Community Centre in the town. In 1979 they put their proposals to a packed meeting in the “Pavilion”. Vigorous fund-raising campaigns ensued, and help was secured from the Government and the County Council. On the 7th of March 1981 the official sod turning was performed by Barry Desmond T.D., Chairman of Dublin County Council. The new Skerries Community Centre was finally opened on the 11th of December 1982.