St Gabriel’s staff admire the pool’s new look Picture: Michael Cowhey
THE JP McManus Charitable Foundation has been hailed for helping to bring a vital hydrotherapy pool back to life, following a very significant donation.
In March this year, St Gabriel’s School and Centre, in Dooradoyle, was forced to shut down its €4.6m hydrotherapy pool after “structural problems” were discovered with the facility.
But after three months of works, the swimming pool, which is used by an average of 3,000 people monthly, is now fully operational and “gleaming”, Kate Sheahan, the fundraising and development officer said.
St Gabriel’s is a local charity for children with disabilities.
At the time of the closure, the proposed works were estimated at €140,000. The end cost was €60,000 — €50,000 of which was donated by JP McManus’ foundation.
“We are delighted. It is just a wonderful day here. We have been looking forward to it for the last few weeks and, needless to say, all the people, groups, individuals and the many children have been looking forward to this day as well.
“The pool is operational now and we will be welcoming so many of our groups, both from the school and the centre here. They will be so happy to use it again. It’s a wonderful resource, and it is really a social enterprise within this region,” she told the Limerick Leader this Wednesday.
She said that for the past three months, many were without a “unique” service.
“For a lot of those children, because of their disabilities and their condition, they have very few outlets where they can enjoy some recreational leisure time. And the hydrotherapy pool is for their therapy and rehabilitation purposes.”
Ms Sheahan added: “I want to thank so many of the small donations that came from individuals, a lot of donations came from community groups in the region, and people held fundraisers for us.”