After a period of intense negotiation between representatives of Hirschfeld Enterprises Ltd. (the Hirschfeld Centre's holding company), the National Gay Federation and the Centre's insurance company, a settlement was finally achieved at a meeting on July 7. The meeting was also attended by Hirschfeld Enterprises' auditors who advised on aspects of the consequential loss (loss of profits).
The settlement was achieved verbally and has yet to be agreed in writing before any payment is actually made to the Centre's holding company. As this should only take about four to six weeks one can expect an announcement on the future of Dublin's famous landmark sometime in August. The payment will automatically go to the Centre’s bankers, Hill Samuel and Allied Irish Banks. Once these and other debts are cleared it will be possible to plan for the building's future.
The Hirschfeld Centre has been closed since a fire badly damaged the ground and first floor of this early 18th century warehouse in the heart of Dublin city. Architects working for Hirschfeld Enterprises Ltd. and the National Gay Federation (NGF) have said it could take between three to four months to re-open the Centre to the public.
In the mean time, NGF, which managed the Centre up to its demise last November, has been offered short-term office accommodation in the Dublin South-East Constituency offices of The Labour Party. The NGF Administrative Council was due to make a decision on the offer as we went to press. Early indications are that the offer will be taken up which means the Federation will be on the move, yet again, before the end of July.
NGF is also currently arranging an Extraordinary General Meeting to discuss the future of the Hirschfeld Centre and the Federation's role in such a venture. This meeting will probably happen sometime in mid-August.
Full details will be carried in Issue 7 out on August 14.