t all started when a friend got in touch, unable to book a room at her regular Greystones hostel of choice.
Clicking on the booking option at Coolnagreina, beyond the expected notice about being temporarily closed, turns out, there’s an odd line.
Namely, ‘Bookings are not being taken at present as a collective consultation process regarding the centre has been initiated between the National Office and staff. This will take place over the coming weeks‘.
A line which was not only odd but ominous too. Nothing doing. Until further notice. Getting in touch with the gang down at the 125-year-old Greystones Young Women’s Christian Association of Ireland institution, turns out they know just about as much as we do.
So, we took that booking enquiry advice and got in touch with Lauren Shaw and Oonagh Desire, the president and general secretary respectively of YWCA Ireland.
And late today, this is what Oonagh wrote…
Thank you for being in touch. It has been a difficult time as the Covid-19 pandemic has brought challenges for both the charity sector and for providers of hospitality and accommodation. As a destination for retreats, holidays and gatherings YWCA Coolnagreina has been doubly affected.
We are currently engaged in a collective consultation process with staff to determine the full range of options available for the centre, and no final decision has been taken. As this is an internal process its proceedings are confidential.
Which, politely and precisely, tells us nothing. So, we emailed Oonagh again.
Thanks for that. I’m assuming the closure of Coolnagreina is one of those options…?
To which came the reply…
As it is a confidential internal process, it would not be appropriate to speculate. To do so could prejudice possible outcomes which may emerge during the course of the consultation.
Make of that what you will but, given the current economical climate, and the fact that selling off prime real estate has become all the rage with fading Christian organisations (see Carraig Eden, Luisne, the Carmelite Monastery, etc), there could be trouble ahead.
And planning applications.
Here’s hoping the YWCA gang will recognise the important work that Coolnageina has been doing here for the past 125 years. And let them continue that good work for another 125 years. At least.
You can check out the Coolnagreina website here, the YWCA Ireland website here, and explore the Guide archives on CSSM, etc, over here.
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