Work starts on new facility at Limerick children’s respite centre

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St Gabriel's Centre
St Gabriel's Centre in Dooradoyle

WORK is underway on a €2.5 million purpose built six-bedroom facility at St Gabriel’s School and Centre in Dooradoyle to meet the individual respite needs of children with multiple disabilities, who have associated complex medical conditions.

Fine Gael TD Michael Noonan last week turned the sod on the site, which was purchased with funds raised locally. €1 million was received from the JP McManus Golf Pro Am which made it initially possible to undertake the project and St Gabriel’s have now started a campaign to secure the remaining €1m for the project.

There are at present more than 150 children in the Mid-West region who are dependent on technology for their care, such as those who require mechanical ventilation or feeding tubes. These children are on occasion admitted to an acute hospital setting due to the lack of an appropriate centre based respite service being available to them.

“The respite house will be fitted out to the highest of standards. Much thought has been given to the design in order that it is as accessible, fun and light filled as possible. It will have six adapted en-suite bedrooms, overhead hoists for ease of care, piped suction and oxygen throughout, with well-equipped clinical/nursing spaces,” St Gabriel’s chief executive Máire O’Leary said.

“There will also be a playroom and activities area, kitchen and dining room, sensory bathroom, garden and outdoor access to Mungret Park and playground. Children and their families who experience the need for this level of medical care deserve the best,” he said.

St. Gabriel’s provides a range of clinical therapies and interventions for up to 500 children and teens with disabilities. St. Gabriel’s school is adjacent to St. Gabriel’s Therapy centre and provides primary and post primary education to 69 pupils with very special needs.

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