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27 Nov 2021

SLIDESHOW: New beginning at St Gabriel’s centre in Limerick

A NEW era has begun at the much loved Limerick charity St Gabriel’s.

After standing idle for a significant period of time as funding failed to arrive, its new respite centre in Mungret is now officially open, with the ribbon being cut by Anne Rabbitte, the minister whose department provided the funding for the project.

(See more below)

The purpose-built facility will provide respite service to clients of St Gabriel’s, which provides specialist services and therapeutic interventions for children with disabilities​ from the region.

The six-bedroom, €3m facility was designed and purpose built in 2018 to provide overnight respite breaks for children with severe physical disabilities and additional complex medical needs from across the Mid-West.

The facility was paid for thanks to a wide range of community fundraising activities, donations, gifts, charitable, corporate and business support, plus a significant donation from the McManus Charitable Foundation.

Chief executive of St Gabriel’s, Máire O’Leary said: “The opening of the Respite House has made such a difference to the children and families who need respite services. These are children with very complex needs, requiring specialist services and round the clock care. Many of the children are non-verbal, use wheelchairs and are peg-fed, and need oxygen and suction.”

Currently the house is transitioning to opening for five nights out of seven for six children each night.

Already, 26 children have been accepted through the referral process and already the need from families is outgrowing nights available. 

Staff at St Gabriel’s have expressed their sincere thanks to Ms Rabbitte and her department for support in securing the funding which allowed the centre to become operations.

Pictures: Liam Burke/Press 22

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