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Carraig Eden Loses The Fight


When it was announced last year that the owners of Carraig Eden were putting the 19th-century building up for sale, it sent shockwaves through Greystones.

Originally two semi-detached private homes (called East House and West House), for almost 100 years, Carraig Eden has served as a safe haven and retreat for those who found themselves in an area of transition in their lives.
The owners, the Irish Assemblies of God, were looking for €1.7m for the property, and were kind enough to give the current residents, Saol Nua, six months to try and raise that amount.
Sadly, that deadline had just passed when, in February of this year, Simon Harris TD announced that a €1.7m grant from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government had been granted to local outreach service Tiglin – who had been working in partnership with Carraig Eden since 2010.
What appeared to be a miraculous 11th-hour rescue turned out to be too little, too late, as another bidder had already stepped in with a much bigger offer – rumoured to be in or around the €3m mark.
With this in mind, the Carraig Eden Foundation – set up last year in the hope of saving the building for its current purpose – held a meeting this week, and now spokesperson Darragh Page [left] have today issued a statement in regard to both the donations received, and the fate of those currently living in the building.
The Carraig Eden Foundation was established in 2016 to raise funds to enable the purchase of Carraig Eden.  Our aim was to ensure that the building could continue and develop its use as a safe haven for those reintegrating into society following addiction and to help those who find themselves unable to find somewhere to live to transition to permanent accommodation.  The current owners of the building, the Irish Assemblies of God, delayed placing the building on the open market for a period of 6 months to allow the opportunity to raise funds to purchase the building at an agreed priced of 1.7 million euro.  Although we have received great support from individuals and the community the Foundation has been unable to raise the amount required.  We would like to thank the Irish Assemblies of God for giving us this opportunity.  
The Foundation will be contacting all those who generously gave donations in excess of 250 euros to offer the return of their donation.  Any outstanding donations, such as those received anonymously, will be used to provide financial support to the current residents of Carraig Eden to assist them in finding alternative accommodation. Until such time as the building is sold the Foundation will work with the existing residents to provide support and assistance to enable their transition to permanent housing.
The Carraig Eden Foundation would like to thank all those who generously supported us in the past year.

You can find out more about the Carraig Eden Foundation – including contact details – right here, catch our February 2017 interview with Darragh here, and explore our archive of this remarkable building here.

19 Comments

  1. Paul says:

    From DEKY BORNE on our Facebook post…
    The hypocrisy of these people is unheard of. The Irish Assembly’s of God are selling this house to the highest bidder. Their price was met on numerous occasions and every time turned down as the Irish Assembly’s of God, upped their price, from 1.1 million to now 3 million in less than a year. This short story does not tell half the story of the work put in by the lads and management who have live and worked there.
    Now the economy is back in full swing IAG or Irish Christian churches as they are now calling themselves are happy to see it turned into a glorified car park and in doing so put 53 Christian men women and children out on the street all in aid of filling the pockets don’t be fooled by the politically correct language being used in this article, this is how people such as the Assembly’s of God operate without impunity. I myself lived and worked in carrigeden and it has been a privileged time in my life.I have been fortunate enough to now have my life on track, although I will say it is a shame to see it go.

  2. Paul says:

    From FIACHRA ETCHINGHAM…
    So they are actually the Assembl;y of Mammon as I suggested previously. Now with the enthusiatic support of Wicklow County Council we will no doubt replace a vaulable facility with a very large block of apartments.

  3. Paul says:

    From GWEN STEPHENS…
    Sad to see go to the highest bidder – I hope at least the building will be kept maintained and the site not be developed

    • Paul says:

      From DEKY BORNE…
      Gwen Stephens it is going to the highest bidder and unfortunately they don’t care what happens it

  4. Gillian McCutcheon says:

    What a great SHAME that this great and much loved building boils down to money! My understanding is that this building was given at a very much reduced cost and to be kept in the service of helping others. As a result of this sale, 50+ people are to be HOMELESS, the re-integration of the Tiglin graduates into the community is under threat. The present residents are dependent on this house and it’s environment to bring them on the next stages of their journey, back to becoming full participating citizens of this country. Greystones have been instrumental in being a community to these men, offering employment, work experiences, support, and in return some of these men have Set up youth clubs, worked and volunteered in the town and churches. Some are part of the services in the town. . The chain of events in the sale are scandalous , NO GRACE, NO DIGNITY a mere shroud for “the root of all evil” – MONEY!!!

  5. Lynne Kennedy says:

    I notice that the current owners of Carraig Eden are now called Christian Churches Ireland – I am disappointed how this house and it’s residents are being treated by a Christian group who state as a goal on their website ‘connecting people to Jesus Christ’. I am reminded in Matthew ch 6 verse 24 ‘You cannot serve God and mammon”.

  6. Rosaleen Conroy says:

    SO SO SAD! Perhaps the saddest Christian story I’ve ever heard. Two great organisations Tiglin and (AOG) now Christian Churches Ireland, that do and have done so much for so many. Restoring individuals, bringing unity back into families and hence a beneficial pouring out into the wider community
    So Sad because a resolution to the Carraig Eden situation is not being found. I love stories where there is a hopeless situation, and hope is brought in by faith. Then suddenly! there is a different way, not the usual way of the worlds business but where people don’t loose their homes, those involved in selling suddenly see with different eyes and are willing to explore an alternative. Because people of faith are called to do that.
    What if Carraig Eden is the Rock on which….? Or if it’s purposes are similar to the other buildings along side of it the Coast Guard Station, and the Garda Station, a place of rescue (as it was intended by the original owners) for everyone, not just those living there.
    Or is it about the 30 pieces of silver as it was 2,000 years ago! And that’s just the way?

  7. Cliodhna says:

    I can’t believe that the Assemblies of God are willing to sell a property used for Christian purposes to one which is all about profit. What about the vulnerable people who will be made more vulnerable as a result? We don’t need more houses for those who can pay above average, we need more houses for those who are vulnerable and need support to reintegrate into society. Shame on you Assemblies of God.

  8. Rachael says:

    This is an outrage – the building that was home and a safe haven for those currently living there being sold for Profitable Gain for a ‘Christian Organisation’ Surely we should only ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars’ and to GOD the things that are God’s – this is God’s work and a place of refuge for His people ………………

  9. Liam says:

    I wish to correct the headline to this article. The fight isn’t lost and it has only begun. I have two words to describe whats to come APOLLO HOUSE. Assemblies of God who have in the last few weeks changed their name to Christian Churches Ireland need to think through this decision as in times like this to sell to a developer when a house is being used for social housing in a time where there is no social housing and during a time where the Council is purchasing this property to have it zoned as social housing. This is only the beginning. Its far from over in my opinion. Its only a matter of time till other activist groups catch wind of this and a whole movement starts. Hopefully people can come to their senses and come to some sort of a more humane agreement. It is my understating that Christian Churches Ireland once was a charitable group that cared greatly for the disadvantaged. There is still time for them to return to their original philosophy and save these people from homelessness and save themselves from horrible media attention. I don’t think the extra 1.5 million will pay for the damages to come regarding their organisations reputation.

  10. Paul McDonnell says:

    What a sad day for Carraig Eden . This beautiful home has helped me also in restoring my life and supporting me to become the person that I am today , married , educated, a father and a productive member of our society with a bright future ahead of me . With out tiglin and the support of carriage Eden this however would not have been possible. The Ruth of all evil is the love of money . P j booth should know better than this. I am one of many with a positive story to tell who has been fortunate to come through this beautiful transition home . Theses people have changed there title of their so called “Christian” organisation and have now left theses residents homeless and at Risk of relapse. As Christian the bible teaches us to open our doors to our people with love and support, not selling to the highest bidder and leaving people homeless . Theses people have truly shown there through heart and will one day have to answer to God for this . What an absolute SHAME for the future of this generation.

    • Siobhan Duro says:

      Well said Paul. However, having seen the way Open Arms “church” (money hungry business, rather) is run, I can’t say that I’d expect anything more from AOG/CCI or anyone who runs one of their branches.

  11. Marie McDonnell says:

    Money & greed and all from a “Christian” organization?? Shame on them! Carraig Eden wasn’t just an important step on the journey of the vulnerable people that lived there past & present. It was also a place where support was offered to these people’s families. Well done to Tiglin for the years of work here and I can only hope those that donated will allow their donations to be used to further help the people in carraig Eden. Such a pity and not a very Christian act by Assemblies of God!!Shame on them!!

  12. Laura McDonnell says:

    It was December 2013. Life in Dublin was lonely. I was a healthcare professional with a heart for God and a desire to live by the sea so I took a leap of Faith and moved into Carraig Eden. I was blessed with my own ensuite. My 14 months living in Carraig Eden were mind blowing. I swam most days, I sang in the Church Worship team, I made so many beautiful friends and I laughed so much.I helped some of the men in recovery with education, CV and interview skills. I was so happy. There were a few families with children living here aswell as the lads in recovery and there was a few more people like myself living here temporarily, shooting the breeze and hanging out with everyone. I loved my time there. It was a blessing from God. I also met my best friend here and married him. The memories are so sweet and I am so saddened to know that this beautiful Christian home is being sold on to developers. The purpose of Carraig Eden was always to remain a safe home for people transitioning and also for people like me to have a lovely temporary home for a season. I really hope that the light of Carraig Eden does not go out and that a miracle can happen.

  13. Tom Slattery says:

    Very very disappointing to hear this news. Why on earth was the 1.7million provided by government not enough just because the market moved in value. Very hard to see how this is just not money grabbing. Perhaps there is more behind the story. I hope so because what is visible here is far from Christian…

  14. margaret says:

    i knew this was going to happen as we are in the last days .. so called christian just love money look around you … not much love for lost people SHAME SHAME SHAME

  15. Kathleen Kelleher says:

    Absolutely heartbreaking and very sad indication of the times we live in where true Christianity is abandoned. What will be our fate ?? I have lived in Greystones since 1973 and know the good work that went on at Carraig Eden. Are we nothing now but voices in the wilderness ??

  16. PCee says:

    The silence and lack of explanation from AoG/CCI is unfortunate.

    However the way Tiglin and their supporter have acted in this regard is equally unfortunate. Holding a good organization to ransom, sharing incomplete accounts of correspondence and naming individuals is not the way to work. Tiglin + co. need to move on now in a difnified manner and make alternative plans. Where is the personal responsibility for provision of housing? It isn’t the job of AoG/CCI to house anyone. It is to the credit of the owners of Carraig Eden that people have been able to live their well below market rates for years.

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