The Church of Scientology has announced the grand opening of its new European Headquarters in Firhouse, South Dublin. Aimee Walsh reports on the headquarters which is due to open on October 14th.
The building, which was formerly known as the Victory Centre in Firhouse, was operated by the former Victory Christian Fellowship and boasts a 1,200 seat auditorium. According to their official website, the new base will be a ‘Class V Church’, meaning that the people at the church will be allowed to train and ordain Ministers, stating “they are hubs for their community of Scientologists”.
The church of Scientology already operates in two other locations around Dublin: the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office of Ireland on Merrion Road, and another centre on Middle Abbey Street. This new Firhouse facility is set to be its largest to date.
This new base for the church is known as an “Ideal Org” which the organisation say is “configured to provide the full services of the Scientology religion to its parishioners, while also serving the community with social betterment and outreach programs”. It is reported that the building, which was a NAMA-owned property, was sold to an unidentified investor last year for €6 million, almost €12 million less than it was valued at when it was being operated by the Victory Christian fellowship in 2010.
It is said that over 200 new recruits are being brought in from all around the world and trained for this new European base. The building is listed as ‘Church of Scientology International’. The only other ‘International’ church of Scientology is located in Los Angeles.
The announcement of the opening has faced serious backlash from disappointed and concerned residents of Firhouse, as many hoped the land and property could have been used as a location for a new school, or other facilities to benefit the community. Fine Gael Councillor Brian Lawlor said he would not encourage people to use the centre because Scientologists were refusing to engage with the community.