Retreat centre gets go-ahead for country’s first Buddhist temple

IRELAND is to get its first traditional copper-domed Tibetan Buddhist temple.

The imposing building will be perched on majestic cliffs on one of the most panoramic locations in the south-west.

Cork County Council has granted planning permission to the Dzogchen Beara retreat centre to build the 14.5 metre high temple at Garranes near Allihies in west Cork.

Dzogchen Beara director Matt Padwick said he was delighted with the approval and said the temple would be purpose-built and follow traditional Tibetan designs.

“A number of fishermen returning to (Castletownbere) port tell us they love to see the centre because they then feel they are home. Maybe they will soon see a new building which will be like a spiritual lighthouse,” Mr Padwick said.

It will cost about €1 million to build and Mr Padwick said he hoped construction would get under way next year. It will take approximately 18 months to complete.

“We need to fundraise the money before we can start. At the moment we have collected just over €100,000. In some ways it is the most difficult time to raise money because of the economy and we are taking on a challenge. But so far we have had a very positive response,” Mr Padwick said.

The Tibetan Buddhist Retreat centre is a registered Charitable Trust and part of an international network of Buddhist centres which was set up in 1992 on 150 acres of rugged farmland overlooking the Atlantic ocean.

Apart from them Dzogchen Beara plays host to about 300 people every year who come to the centre on weekend retreats to learn the art of meditation.

“We have a wonderful view here. Many of the people who come here to learn meditation do so on the recommendation of family and friends and that’s very nice,” Mr Padwick said. “I think with the development of the temple we are looking forward to a very bright future.”

Many Tibetan masters have commented on the qualities of Dzogchen Beara, with its beautiful natural environment and atmosphere of profound peace which comes from deep spiritual practice.

Dzogchen Beara means “Great Perfection” in the Buddhist tradition.

“We welcome everyone, from all walks of life and of any faith or none, and offer many different ways to visit Dzogchen Beara,” Mr Padwick said.


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