Islamic centre warned on open hours
on 21/10/2013 00:00:00
It was opened after planning concerns raised last month about how the building was being used were resolved.
When the controversy flared, the city's planning department issued a warning letter to the building owner and centre developer, Dr Farghal Radwan, a consultant at the Bon Secours hospital in Cork, expressing concerns that the building was being used outside specific opening hours, and was operating as a place of public worship.
The concerns centred on two specific conditions relating to the granting of planning permission for the centre.
Planning officials conducted a site inspection on Sept 10 which found insufficient evidence to issue an enforcement notice on either the use of the premises, or the issue of the centre operating outside the permitted opening hours.
Dr Radwan wrote to the planning authority on Sept 30 stating that the operation of the premises was now in compliance with the planning permission granted.
He said he would be seeking a change to the opening hours of the advice centre to accommodate the large increase in the number of students visiting Cork from Islamic countries.
Dr Radwan subsequently met with planning officials on Oct 1.
The planning department then issued a letter to Dr Radwan advising him that any increase in the opening hours would require planning permission.
Officials also said it would be prudent for him to liaise with the local community before submitting any such application.
Sheikh Abdur Raheem McCarthy, who is helping Dr Radwan establish the centre, said they hope to use the facility to help Muslims integrate into Irish society, and to promote a wider understanding amongst the Irish population of Islam.
It is hoped people who use the centre will be encouraged to get involved in local projects, including street clean-ups.
"We're trying to establish all these things to help the Muslims integrate and be positive and productive members of society," said Sheikh McCarthy.