ST Gabriel’s will start a campaign to develop a new family respite resource centre in January, a facility described as “absolutely critical” to the centre’s future development.
This week the centre welcomed a much needed donation towards the running costs of its state of the art €4.6m hydrotherapy pool, as the Limerick Bar Association donated the proceeds of its five a side soccer tournament.
Over 60 solicitors and barristers came together to play in the Delta Soccer Dome event, which was sponsored by Fine Wines and other local businesses and raised some €1,500.
“We are thrilled and so thankful to the association for choosing St Gabriel’s as their beneficiary,” said Kate Sheahan of St Gabriel’s.
“The good news is that the pool is doing very well because we have opened it up to the public and I think it is very important that more and more people are aware of that.”
Stroke groups, people suffering from Parkinson’s, arthritis and other disabilities all avail of the pool, as well as sports people and the general public.
“I think we are very fortunate to have it here in the region, and it is for the community,” she said.
“Our new project, which we will be starting the campaign for in January, is the development of a new family respite resource centre for the children and families that attend St Gabriel’s Centre. At this stage, we hope to have the site secured early in 2014, somewhere near the centre, which is really important, and on a bus route as well for families.”
Ms Sheahan paid tribute to Derek Walsh of Holmes O’Malley Sexton, who organised the soccer tournament and has been raising funds for St Gabriel’s for several years.
“Every organisation like us needs a champion and he has been involved with us for four years, he is a great marathon runner himself and he has used the pool, so he understands the benefits of it.”
Mr Walsh said St Gabriel’s was “a great charity, they do amazing work for the children of Limerick”.
“The tournament went really well, not too many injuries and there was a great response,” he said. “We hope it will become an annual event and we will continue to collect for St Gabriel’s.”