herald

Monday 23 October 2017

All Hallows College launches final bid to stay open

All Hallows College in Drumcondra is making a last-ditch effort to remain in operation.

It was announced in May that the 170-year-old college would be winding down due to a cash crisis.

But management now hope they can bring in partners to keep the institution alive in some form, even if it involves selling the campus.

College president Fr Patrick McDevitt said they would like to retain a presence on campus "to continue aspects of All Hallows' mission".

"This could be achieved, for example, within a partnership agreement or within a context where All Hallows College would remain in occupation as part of the property as a tenant," he said,

"The college campus is a fine resource with much potential to continue as an important educational facility under adapted or different stewardship.

"In any event, All Hallows College intends to continue aspects of its mission whether on the campus or elsewhere."

Since the decision to wind down the college, management have been advised on the options open to them by WK Nowlan Property.

Arising from this, they have appointed leading commercial property firm CBRE to place the campus on the market in a bid to secure appropriate partnerships or a sale of the property.

The 16-acre campus would be considered as having significant development potential and could net more than €10m.

CONTROVERSy

Earlier this year, the college found itself at the centre of controversy after unsuccessfully attempting to sell letters written by the late US First Lady Jackie Kennedy to an Irish priest.

The college, which offers degrees in the humanities and social sciences, had sought to sell the letters for up to €3m to win some financial breathing space.

However, even if it had been successful, the money would not have been enough to secure the college's future.

Fr McDevitt estimated it needed a short-term cash injection of €10m and longer-term funding of €25m to continue operating.

The letters were subsequently withdrawn from auction and have been transferred to the Kennedy family.

The college is continuing the process of an orderly wind-down in tandem with the search for a partner.

fdillon@herald.ie

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