PROCEEDS from the JP McManus Pro-Ams have helped drive forward a housing project in St Vincent’s Centre, Lisnagry.
The Daughters of Charity founded the centre in 1952 and 60 years on they are still building for the future
Four new state of the art houses called Sycamore Drive have been officially opened. They were built at a cost of over €1.5m to improve the accommodation of 24 residential service users with intellectual disabilities.
The JP McManus Charitable Foundation gave over €1m. This was supplemented by the Lisnagry Association and the community of the Daughters of Charity.
Sr Sheila Ryan, administrator and director of nursing of St Vincent’s Centre, said many of the 24 adults have been living in St Vincent’s for nearly 30 years. The four new houses were built on the site of older units, which date back to the 1950s.
“They were open plan units in the style of a hospital. We knocked them to the ground but kept the foundation and the shell of the building.
“We built four six bedroom houses, all brand new inside. They provide very spacious accommodation for a number of adults who are wheelchair users and need round the clock care.
“Many of the adults would have previously lived in units accommodating 10 people. A reduction in the numbers living in each house will assist in providing a more person centred service. There is great interaction between all the staff and adults because there is a connecting corridor in to each house,” said Sr Sheila.
Staff have told Sr Sheila that they and the service users “don’t know themselves”.
Sycamore Drive was officially opened by Margaret and Ciara Ryan, Ballyneety and Tommy and Shane O’Sullivan, Dooradoyle.
Sr Sheila said the families that opened the houses were like the project - a combination of old and new.
“Margaret Ryan and her daughter, Ciara, are nearly 30 years in the centre. Margaret has been on the committee for over 30 years and she made the initial contact with JP McManus.
“While Shane and his dad are newer. Because we amalgamated units I wanted people who were joining to be part of the opening as well. Shane came from another unit to join the 24,” said Sr Sheila.
All of the service users are settling in perfectly in to their new homes.
“A sincere ‘thank you’ to JP McManus and his team and to the Lisnagry Association for making this project possible. The Lisnagry Association have always been very supportive of developments at St Vincent’s Centre and over the years have purchased a holiday house and enabled many upgrades at the centre.
“We have also been supported in funding this project by the congregation of the Daughters of Charity,” said Sr Sheila.
Denis Cronin, CEO of the Daughters of Charity, echoed this and said the project was an example of what could be done even during a recession. In total, the Daughters of Charity provide services to nearly one thousand adults and children.
“We provide residential support to almost 250 residents, almost 300 adults in day-care and over 500 children,” said Mr Cronin.