On Friday 16th September 2016, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney T.D. officially turned the sod for Enable Ireland Cork’s Children's Centre at Curraheen, with Enable Ireland CEO Fionnuala O'Donovan. The event also marked the formal launch of Enable Ireland’s fundraising appeal for the €7.5 million development.
More than 640 children and young people with disabilities currently receiving vital therapy and support services from Enable Ireland at the Lavanagh Centre in Ballintemple. However, the building is no longer fit to accommodate the needs of these children and their families.
Speaking at the event, the Minister commented on the important role that Enable Ireland have played in the lives of people with disabilities in Cork since their foundation in 1954. He said, “This new Children’s Centre will ensure that future generations of children with disabilities in Cork will get the services they need and deserve in the best possible facilities.”
Also speaking at the sod turning, Enable Ireland CEO Fionnuala O’Donovan commented “We have been delivering services in Cork since 1954. Over that time, the number of children needing services have increased significantly. We currently have highly skilled staff working with over 640 children and their families and now we need a new premises within which to continue to provide our vital services. Our children deserve the best. We’ve set ourselves a challenging task to raise €7.5 million. We now ask the people of Cork to join us in making this centre a reality.”
The seven acre site in Curaheen will house a new Children’s Services Centre, where therapy and support services will be provided to children with disabilities and their families. Once operational, the new centre will house a hydrotherapy pool, therapy rooms and sensory rooms to accommodate the needs of the current and future children with disabilities. The site will also accommodate a children’s respite house, where children with disabilities can develop their independence skills while giving their families a much needed break. The location, close to the Curaheen flyover, provides easy access for families. This centre will be state of the art and amongst the best in Europe.
Enable Ireland, together with the Health Services Executive and its other partner agencies, will continue to provide core therapy and support services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, psychology and social work. The following specialist services will also be provided from the new centre: feeding, assistive technology, spasticity and tone management, seating, an upper limb assessment clinic, Cork/Kerry orthopaedic clinic, hip and spinal surveillance, casting and GAIT analysis. This new development will help to further enhance the delivery of those services.