In 1995, a number of residents with the aid of Rialto Community Drug Team came together to try to make sense of the chronic social problems in Fatima Mansions. Out of this process Fatima Groups United (FGU) was subsequently established in response to the chaos and isolation felt by the residents.
A number of short term objectives were set and achieved including the opening of drug and youth services. Confidence started to grow within the community.
Since then FGU has become the representative body of residents and community groups through which the grassroots energy, needs and views of the community are represented and supported.
first residents moved into Fatima from city centre tenements
local factories closed, unemployment, crime takes effect
- high unemployment
- poor living conditions
- heroin problem takes hold
- community in despair
- concerned parents against drugs established
- State Response – IR £6.5 million Refurbishment Programme – programme not completed, state cutbacks
- Social problems continue
- community severely marginalized
- spiralling of drug related problems
- a ‘state of emergency’ declared.
- community gather and form Fatima Groups United (FGU)
- A Task Force is appointed
- Basic services evolved - homework club, youth project, crèche, drugs treatment centre, etc
- Official recognition of the mistakes of the past at conference in Celbridge – willingness to redress and change ways of working in Fatima
- FGU employ part-time Community Development Worker
- Massive community Halloween parade – Burning the Demons ‘Embracing the Future’.
- A new and exciting energy emerges for change
- E.S.R.I. commission National Study on Social Housing that includes Fatima
- Mary McAleese launches ‘Making Fatima a Better Place to Live’
- Residents demand demolition of flats
- Community consultation with Corporation – viewing of plans/models
- formal negotiations between council and community breakdown (Dec ‘99)
- Pat Kenny – live two hour broadcast from Fatima
- FGU appoint Regeneration Team
- Community backs Regeneration Brief
- 11 Acres, 10 Steps is launched.
- Taoiseach, Minister and City Manager launch Corporations draft plan – Regeneration/Next Generation
- DCC agree to FGU request for independent community consultation and establishment of a Fatima Regeneration Board
- FGU employ Team Leader and Administrator under Family Resource Centre scheme
- Fatima Task Force dissolves Regeneration Board formally meets (July)
- A Masterplan, Agreement reached (Oct)
- Halloween Celebration to mark Agreement – huge attendance
- Regeneration Board appoints a CEO and Administrator
- Social Agenda Working Groups established, health, employment, arts, education, etc.
- Transition group appointed to oversee the movement of residents to make way for demolition of first five blocks
- Policy shift on Regeneration – Public Private Partnership Approach to delivering Fatima Masterplan
- Final resident moves from R block to make way for demolition
- Best practice document on transition (‘two communities in transition, one model of excellence’) becomes DCC policy
- Queen Rania of Jordan visits Fatima
- Intensive negotiations on PPP arrangement
- Agreement reached - champagne opened in FGU offices!
- Demolition of first five blocks begins
- Construction of Phase One begins
- Taoiseach Bertie Ahearn returns to hand over keys to first home (Oct ’05)
- President McAleese returns to launch Social Development Plan ‘8 Great Expectations’ (Nov)
- Majority of residents moved into new homes
- FGU launch Dream Dare Do
- Community celebrates and reflects as remaining blocks demolished
- FGU launches its 3 year plan 2007 - 2009
- Huge Halloween event
- Creche opens in new purpose built facility
- Leisure Centre opens
- Residents move into new homes
- President McAleese on her third and final visit to Fatima officially opens the New Neighbourhood Centre
- The Fatima Regeneration Board is replaced by the F2 Centre and Enterprise Management Board which is charged with running the F2 facility and enterprise development
- Programmes begin in the new Centre
- first summer project and festival is held
- Gymtastic Project is launched
- A young womens hairdressing & make-up course begins.
- Cafe Togo opens in the F2 Centre as a Community Enterprise Project
Summary 1995 - 2015
In 1995 Fatima Groups United was established by residents who wanted their area to be demolished. In 2015 the old Fatima is totally transformed physically, economically and socially.