Race against time to find new home for Irish social club facing eviction

Race against time to find new home for Irish social club facing eviction

The Irish Post is supporting a capaign to help a group of London Irish pensioners find new premises for their social club.

It follows the recent decision by the Catholic Church to evict St. Joseph’s Social Club from one of its buildings in North West London after a 42-year-residency.

Despite the members wishing to stay put, the Diocese of Westminster, which owns the hall, has insisted they must vacate the premises by the end of the month because it claims the Club is “unaffiliated” with the parish.

Members of St. Joseph’s have been actively looking for a replacement venue but have so far been unable to secure an alternative in the Harlsden or Sudbury areas.

“It would be nice to carry the name forward but it’s not a necessity”, said St Joseph’s member Tom Brophy.

“We need somewhere with a small dance floor on it to cater for around 150 to 200 people.

“We would need it three to four days a week but are willing to take it seven days a week if that was possible, he added.

The building is located on Empire Way, near Wembley Stadium, where the value of property has risen dramatically over the past number of years, making it harder to secure an alternative to the current facility which was built by locals in 1974.

The club has about 400 active members, who are mostly Irish and up until recently had maintained a gentleman’s agreement with the Church to keep using up until last year when they received a solicitors letter from the Diocese of Westminster telling them they had to leave for good.

The current building has continued to be used as a venue for Irish events including, funerals, weddings, confirmations and communions.

It’s estimated that around 60 per cent of the Irish pensioners who use the club live alone, making St. Joseph’s a vital part of their social lives.

If you or anyone you know might be able to help please contact [email protected]