'We have nowhere to go' - Deansrath Family Centre shut after truck rams into front door

A building which houses a specialised early years service for children in Dublin has been shut after a truck was rammed into its front doors.

Deansrath Family Centre in Clondalkin provides services to 50 children, many of whom have physical or intellectual disabilities.

The centre provides support to families by offering art therapy, play therapy, family one-to-ones and family access service.

One staff member was in the building when the stolen truck was repeatedly driven into its front doors early on Monday morning.

The Director of the service, Siobhan Feehan, has said she cannot think of any reason why someone would damage the building.

Image via Deanrath Family Centre/Facebook.
Image via Deanrath Family Centre/Facebook.

Speaking to 98fm Dublin Talk's Adrian Kennedy, she said that one lady who helps to keep the facility clean was in the building at 7.30am in the morning when she heard a "terrible bang".

She said that the lady went out to see what the matter was and was confronted with two men who had "rammed and rammed and rammed a stolen truck" into the building multiple times.

The truck was driven into the building so many times that the front of the building is now collapsing.

"The photos actually don't show the extent of the damage that has been done. The building has now been condemned. It's a dangerous building so we have no access to it."

She explained the extent of the damage to the building following the incident.

"There's a front door shutter, there's double doors and then there's another lot of double doors and it came all the way through the shutter, the first double doors and the second double doors, moving walls to the extent that they've now separated from the roof across three rooms."

Image via Deanrath Family Centre/Facebook.
Image via Deanrath Family Centre/Facebook.

She said that it was difficult to comprehend that it is their building that this has happened to.

"I don't even have the words at the moment," she told Adrian.

"They got in, but because it was that time in the morning, it was getting bright, people were coming and the cleaning lady was there so they just ran."

She said that there is no sense to the break-in as the building has nothing of value to be taken.

"There's no sense to it, there's nothing to take. It's a family centre with toys and armchairs and a kitchen. That's what it is, there's nothing here to take."

"There's no cash in the building. No drugs, nothing."

Image via Deanrath Family Centre/Facebook.
Image via Deanrath Family Centre/Facebook.

She said that following the incident, the children who use their services and their parents are now left without the facility as it has now been closed.

"We have nowhere to go. All these services have now stopped, there's nowhere.

"You can't rehouse an early years services overnight or you can't set up therapeutic rooms overnight."

"We're in a residential area, there's no units or buildings and there's very limited community services and of what community services there is, they're chock-a-block with timetables."

She said that for now they are now trying to get desk space elsewhere from other services in the area, although only a "tiny amount" of their work is desk space.

Gardaí said that they are investigating the burglary incident.

"Gardaí are investigating a burglary incident that occurred at a premises on St Cuthbert’s Road, Clondalkin, Monday November 11 at approximately 7.30am."

"Nothing was taken from the premises although there was significant damage caused to the building," gardaí said.

No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.

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