Just a few examples of the type of places that used ionad in the name from the NEID (I gave up after 3 pages). In one town, the ionad áitiúil could be referring to a shopping centre, in another town it might mean the local leisure centre, in another town it might mean a business park - it depends on the facilities available in the locality.
ionad pobail - "civic centre"
ionad pobail - "community centre"
ionad sonraí - "data centre"
ionad saoire - "holiday resort"
ionad eolais - "information centre"
ionad spraoi - "play centre"
ionad spóirt - "sports centre
ionad oibre - "workplace"
ionad glaonna - "call centre"
ionad campála - "campground"
ionad campála - "camping site"
ionad campála - "campsite"
ionad bailithe - "collection point"
ionad dumpála - "dumping ground"
ionad sláinte - "health centre"
ionad níocháin - "launderette"
ionad súgartha - "play centre"
ionad athchuir - "remand centre"
ionad cónaithe - "residential home"
ionad amhairc - "viewpoint"
ionad comhairle - "advice centre"
ionad áilleachta - "beauty parlour"
ionad tacsaithe - "cab rank"
ionad comhdhála - "conference centre"
ionad comhdhála - "convention centre"
ionad ceartúcháin - "correctional facility"
ionad coinneála - "detention centre"
Wow, that is an impressive list which would lead me to believe the original sentence is extraordinarily vague. I could see though that if one's Mum worked at the local ionad dumpála, one might want to keep things vague. They might hope their listener might assume it to be the prominent local ionad saoire.
By custom and convention, a town would usually have one place that local people might refer to as "the centre".
My question too, what exactly is an ionad áitiúil? This sounds like one of the currently popular US euphemisms for juvenile detention programs, geriatric day care services and drug treatment programs.