‘Convert old HSE facility to sensory unit’, says Limerick election candidate

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

‘Convert old HSE facility to sensory unit’, says Limerick election candidate

The former HSE facility that candidate PJ Carey wishes to see converted to a recreational centre for children with autism

THE soon-to-be-vacant HSE medical centre in Kilmallock should be converted into a recreational centre for children with autism.

That’s according to Independent Cappamore/Kilmallock candidate PJ Carey who has submitted a request to the HSE.

He wants the facility at Railway Road in the town to be transformed into a facility containing sensory and special play rooms.

A hangout area similar to those in Foróige Centres would also be included – and Mr Carey hopes to work with both Athletics Ireland and The Irish Autism Society to develop the project

Estelle Lewis, from the local parents support group has said such a centre is badly needed in the area and hopes it will help the children develop social skills as well as provide speech and language therapy.

She added that it is often the social aspect of their lives that causes the most stress to children on the autism spectrum.

Mr Carey said the facility would be based on the Rainbow Club in Mahon Cork, which was founded by Karen and Jon O'Mahony, whose sons Sean and Stephen have autism.

Opened in June 2015, it’s run by 62 volunteers without any government funding, providing services in occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, play therapy and art therapy as well as ASD Santa at Christmas.

Mr Carey believes a major attraction of the site is it's closeness to Kilmallock Athletics Club’s new training ground just off the Railway Road in the old Kilmallock Tennis Club's grounds.

In his role as chairman of Kilmallock’s athletics club, Mr Carey has worked with the HSE, which owns the tennis courts site.

This is why he is confident that they will be receptive to his new proposals. Having seen the response to that project, he has no doubt that the community will respond in a similarly generous way.