THE announcement of over €1m funding for St Gabriel’s Children’s Respite Service in Mungret this week has been widely welcomed by local campaigners and families of children with disabilities.

Minister for Disability Anne Rabbitte’s allocation means that St Gabriel’s Children’s can now open following a long campaign.

“In Budget 2021, I committed to provide funding to the HSE to develop nine additional respite services across the country. I am delighted to announce St Gabriel’s as the first of these services. I want to thank all those who worked tirelessly to fundraise for this respite house which will provide specialist respite supports to children,” Minister Rabbitte said.

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“I have requested the HSE to give the utmost priority to putting these new facilities and services in place without delay and to provide me with regular reports so I can ensure this additional funding is directly targeted at the people who need it most.”

Limerick Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell was among those to welcome this week’s funding announcement.

“I wish to commend all at St Gabriel’s and families on a long campaign to secure the funding to open this Children’s respite centre. This respite centre will make an enormously positive difference to the lives of children and their families.

“I also welcome that the Minister has asked that the HSE would give utmost priority to putting this new service at St Gabriel’s in place without further delay,” Deputy O’Donnell said.

City West councillor Dan McSweeney described  Minister Rabbitte’s announcement as a welcome boost for the centre which has remained underused since its construction due to lack of funding.

“This respite facility will be of enormous benefit  to the families whose children will be able to avail of this facility. It is extremely important to acknowledge the work of many volunteers who fundraised to enable the construction of this facility and the JP McManus Benevolent Fund which also contributed to its construction,” Cllr McSweeney said.