Monday, 19 July 2010

Irish Embassy "disappointed" with H&F Council

The Irish Embassy in the UK has reacted to our Council's decision to sell off the Irish Centre in Hammersmith which, although there for locals of west London, has international repute. It has been visited by the current and previous Irish Presidents among others, but was included on this list of buildings to be sold off. Speaking to the Irish Times, a spokesperson for the Irish Embassy in London had this to say:

“The Embassy is very disappointed to have been informed that Hammersmith Council does not intend to extend the current lease. The Government strongly hopes that a solution can be found which will allow the Centre to continue its valuable work,” adding that the Irish State has given significant sums to fund the centre’s “excellent” work in recent years.

Jim O’Hara, the chairman of the board of trustees of the centre – the only one of its type in the United Kingdom, said: “This fait accompli is completely unexpected and has come as a major shock.”

So the H&F great buildings firesale is being noticed not just locally, provoking protests outside the Town Hall, not even just nationally, triggering debates in parliament, but now, it seems, beyond even the UK!


  1. If the Irish Council wants to see this "valuable work" continue then they should fund it, like the British Council does. Why should council tax payers from one English local authority pay for a foreign cultural centre?

  2. Nick - I think that's actually a very valid point, which is presumably why the Embassy do as they point out fund it to some degree. Where I suspect I might differ from you is that I don't see the centre as serving just a "foreign" population - many Irish people here who benefit from the centre and its services are actually UK citizens of Irish heritage.

    But as I say - a valid point.