We require £45K from crowd-funding, and the remainder will be raised by direct donations from other supporters. For example, Mona and Jim O'Grady (parents of Maha-Mantra dd, pujari) £60K; Manu Prabhu £15K; Prahlada Bhakta Prabhu £10K; Tim McEvitt £10K; Bernard Murphy (brother of Prahlada Bhakta Prabhu) €3K.
Inish Rath House is one of dozens of mansions purchased by Krishna devotees in the 1970's & 80's around Europe and North America. Although all of these properties are spiritual hubs, some of these large houses found challenges when times changed. Forty and fifty years ago it was relatively easier to have 40 young people living in a big house together, with very limited personal facilities. Nowadays this level of communal living is found in Russia, Brazil, India, Mexico and other places, but much less so in Western Europe. With these changing times, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness on the island of Ireland has found itself with a large house which is used less than its full potential.
What we want to do about it is this: 7 bedrooms in the 12-bedroom house will be converted into guestrooms. Up until recently 2 rooms have been unoccupied due to structural issues, 2 rooms have been used as a storage rooms for the art and paraphernalia of the Temple Altar, and the other rooms have been split up between temple pujaris (priests) and other temple resident devotees.
Here's what we will do to make Guest bedrooms:
(1) A new-build storage facility will be built behind the Altar of Radha Govinda, freeing up bedrooms (planning permission has been achieved and construction will begin in August 2021)
(2) Renovating the roof and dilapidated spaces (this has already begun)
(3) Make one large room into two smaller rooms for resident staff devotees
(4) Construct smaller single monk-pods for male devotees currently occupying rooms in the building that will make space for guests bedrooms
This will give us 22-new bed spaces in 7 rooms so pilgrims and retreat guests can stay in comfort. Our plan is to have close to 100% occupancy for 52 weekends in the year, and rooms also available for mid-week stays. We will do this by renting the rooms to an existing business called Lake Isle Retreats, which is managed by temple council member and former long-time resident of the temple, Tim McEvitt. This local enterprise hosts guests for yoga and meditation short-breaks, and over 90% of retreat guests choose to visit the Temple, hear Krishna kirtan (the image above are retreat guests on their first visit to the Temple joyfully taking part in Kirtan chanting), take Krishna prasad (spiritualized food), and over 3/4's of the guests hear at least one Temple lecture.
Lake Isle Retreats will manage 32 weekends, and temple volunteers will host pilgrims for devotee festivals, Krishna Conscious retreats, Krishna Janmastami, etc.... 20 weekends. By searching "Lake isle Retreats" in Google one can see online review guest satisfaction. The nature of such a business requires that the facilities are kept to high standards, as in a hotel. See: LakeisleRetreats.com
Having quality guest rooms will allow more people to come and experience the spiritual joy of Vedic wisdom and Krishna-consciousness. Pilgrims will be able to book a whole weekends for all their family and friends to come together and experience Sangha (association of spiritual people), Krishna Kirtan (chanting holy mantras with music), Puja (ancient temple ceremonies), Krishna prasad (spiritual food) and Mother Bhumi (Mother Earth).
After a morning of gentle spiritual practice in the temple, guests may rest, relax, stroll around the island in the presence of deer, peacock and thousands of mature trees. Later on they may like to explore the local area. 9-mins drive away is the Share Centre, with a public swimming pool, sauna, steam room and canoes for hire. 35-mins drive away is the famous Stairways to Heaven mountain walk and the Marble Arch Caves. Florencecourt House - with restored walled gardens, lawns, meadows, forest, and indoor tours of the massive 18th century mansion - is 30-mins drive away. Come back to Inish Rath Island in the evening for some Krishna prasade, and wake up again the next day feel recharged and ready to experience spiritual upliftment in Krishna's temple, with the beautiful Shri Shri Radha Govinda.... (see image here...)
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
Devotees living on the island grow organic food which is offered to Radha Govinda, and later served to guests.
Inish Rath Island is situated in an Area of Special Scientific Interest, with diverse native wildlife that includes pine martens, red squirrels, deer, swans, woodpeckers and otters.
The temple has no employees. Temple residents work to make money for themselves, so any donations go to the benefit of the temple directly. Below is a food market in Dublin where Madan Mohan Prabhu makes money for the temple, for his family, and he also serves as a temple pujari (altar priest). One congregational family rent a room (for £650 a month) and stay regularly to serve in the temple. Another resident (an electrical engineer) and his wife also rent a room, contribute £500 per month, and he is doing invaluable work restoring the temple infrastructure using his professional qualifications. He will renew work on the building in August 2021 after he completes a project externally.
When Lake Isle Retreats returns to the island, 50% of the profit of an event will be contributed to the Temple. The donations for this present fund-raising endeavour will be carefully monitored - to ensure they are put to the best use - by Prahlada Bhakta Prabhu. This prabhu is a senior devotee and disciple of Srila Prabhupada, and is himself one of the main donors to the project. Before retiring, he worked as a project manager for a large engineering company in Australia.