Statement on Helix confirms ‘ongoing dialogue’

by Steve Conlon
A formal response to questions posed to DCU President Brian MacCraith in relation to the financial future of The Helix has confirmed that there “is an ongoing dialogue with the management of the Helix to ensure that the Helix prospers into the future”. The statement provided by Mr. Ciaran McGivern, DCU Director of Finance acknowledges that ” the current economic environment continues to be challenging and the Helix operates in a highly competitive marketplace” but falls short in offering any clarity to the questions posed by The College View.
On September 28 The College View reported that The Helix was struggling financially and that, according to DCU Finance Officer Mr. Eamonn Cuggy, “despite controls being put in place, it is likely that The Helix will still have a significant deficit at end of 2011 and that the outlook for the next 3 years will not repair that position”.
The College View requested a response in relation to the July meeting of DCU Commercial, the holding company which controls all university-owned companies which was attended by Mr. Robert Nutty, CEO. The statement provided no answer. The statement however does confirm what sources already told this paper; that other DCU company funds were being used to strenthen the position of The Helix. The statement reads, “recent years have been economically challenging for the Helix and for arts, performance and conferencing venues nationally. In 2010 a financial restructuring took place among the commercial companies of the University.  The objective of this restructuring was to strengthen the balance sheets of individual companies within the group, including the Helix, from reserves generated by the commercial group of companies”.
FULL STATEMENT:

University’s response to the College View article on the Helix

Since its establishment in 2002 The Helix has been and remains a core feature of the DCU campus which is integrated into the University and campus life for students, staff and our north Dublin community.

It provides a wide range of facilities to the University particularly for key occasions such as the graduation of our students, which is the highlight of the University year.  It is an integral part of a wide array of educational and student activities.  It provides a world class centre for prestigious cultural, educational, conferencing and entertainment events.   As an arts, performance and conferencing centre it brings countless thousands to this campus each year to witness for themselves the positive impact of DCU.

Recent years have been economically challenging for the Helix and for arts, performance and conferencing venues nationally. In 2010 a financial restructuring took place among the commercial companies of the University.  The objective of this restructuring was to strengthen the balance sheets of individual companies within the group, including the Helix, from reserves generated by the commercial group of companies.

The current economic environment continues to be challenging and the Helix operates in a highly competitive marketplace. There is an ongoing dialogue with the management of the Helix to ensure that the Helix prospers into the future.  Without the Helix the DCU campus would not be as vibrant a place as it is today and the University would have to look elsewhere for the range of facilities and services which it currently provides.

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