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St Gabriels government funding - Eoin Coleman and his father Paul with Aisling Cullen pictured above at St Gabriel’s Centre in Limerick. Picture: Arthur Ellis St Gabriels government funding - Eoin Coleman and his father Paul with Aisling Cullen pictured above at St Gabriel’s Centre in Limerick. Picture: Arthur Ellis

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Government announces funding to open St Gabriels Children’s Respite House

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St Gabriels government funding – Eoin Coleman and his father Paul with Aisling Cullen pictured above at St Gabriel’s Centre in Limerick. Picture: Arthur Ellis

Government announces funding to open St Gabriels Children’s Respite House 

St. Gabriel’s has been lobbying for two years to secure funding to open the facility

St. Gabriel’s has been lobbying for two years to secure funding to open the facility

Following the official announcement by the Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Anne Rabbitte TD, St. Gabriel’s School, and Centre, Limerick, is delighted to say that funding has been allocated by the Government to open St. Gabriel’s Children’s Respite House at Mungret.

The 6-bed house was built with almost €3m of fundraised money. The Government has now committed to providing multi-annual funding to open the respite house. This is very welcome news for families of children with disabilities, especially during these challenging times.

Máire O’Leary, CEO, St. Gabriel’s said, “the provision of an overnight respite service for children with disabilities is a matter of social justice. We have a responsibility to ensure we support a meaningful level of service to exhausted parents and families. These children have very complex needs, require specialist services and around-the-clock care which is provided by their families. Many of the children are non-verbal, use wheelchairs and are Peg fed, and may require oxygen and suction during the day. Some children that will use the service have life-limiting conditions.”

“This has been a truly inspirational project. It is a testament to the generosity of people from all walks of life who wanted to support it and make the dream a reality. It was built with monies raised from a wide range of community fundraising activities, donations, grants, corporate and business support including significant donations received from the McManus Charitable Foundation.”

Máire went on to say, “We developed this wonderful respite facility for these children and their family’s needs as our focus. It is absolutely wonderful to know it will be used now when it is most needed. It is the only respite house of this type in the country and a perfect setting for children and families who need support now more than ever during COVID.”

Máire thanked all the families who supported St. Gabriel’s in the development of this service over the past 10 years saying, “Family needs were the inspiration behind this project, and without their relentless advocacy on behalf of their children we may not have had the courage to embark on such an ambitious plan. Some of these children have sadly passed away but I hope that their families will get comfort today in knowing that their drive to support us will have a lasting legacy for all children with complex disabilities and their families in the region.”

St. Gabriel’s has an excellent relationship with the local HSE disability office, and we want to acknowledge their commitment in supporting our application for funding to be made available to open the house. Our sincere thanks to everyone in the Disability office at CHO3 and in the National Disability Office who helped to make this happen.

St. Gabriel’s has been lobbying for two years to secure funding to open the facility and Máire went on to acknowledge all the public representatives who visited the house and added their support for it to open saying, “no one who visited the facility ever came away without pledging their support, as they could all see the impact this service will have on children with complex disabilities and their families in the Midwest.” St Gabriels Government funding

Máire thanked St. Gabriel’s Board, staff, committees, and volunteers who supported this project every step of the way.

It has been a long journey and now is the time to look forward. We will commence recruiting staff and meet with families who need this service. We look forward to working with the local HSE team to ensure we can progress this to opening as soon as possible in 2021.

For more stories on St Gabriels go HERE

For more info on St Gabriels go HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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