History

The Dreamland Ballroom in Athy was opened in the early 1960’s. After many years as the successful social centre of Athy, the premises were jointly purchased for the use of the community by the parish Committee and the Lions Club in 1982. It thus became known as the Lions Centre. For a variety of reasons the usage of the centre declined and the building fell into a state of disrepair. During 1994 Athy Community Council was approached by the Trustees of the Lions Centre to become involved in its future.

In February 1996 a public meeting was held resulting in members of the public coming together to form a Supervisory Board to examine the potential of the centre. Athy Community Council facilitated the initial meetings and training was provided by F.A.S. A new name was giving to the premises to reflect the new era in its development. “Athy Recreational Community Hall” (ARCH).

The Supervisory Board took on the responsibility of the day to day running of ARCH, carried out repairs to the building and brought it up to proper fire and safety standards. The renovation of the building has included installation of a fire alarm system, safety lighting, removal of steps from main hall, over-sheeting of roof with Tegral Metal, installation of a new heating system, turning the balcony into a separate room, providing a office, kitchen and general repairs. FAS workers have assisted in carrying out this work.