Tánaiste Simon Coveney Officially Opens Enable Ireland’s Newest Children’s Service Centre in Cork | Enable Ireland

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Tánaiste Simon Coveney Officially Opens Enable Ireland’s Newest Children’s Service Centre in Cork

Man in suit beside young girl in wheelchair holding a cut ribbon with people in background

Today, Tánaiste Simon Coveney was joined by Hannah Morrisey (aged 10) for the official opening of Enable Ireland’s newest Children’s Service Centre in Curraheen, Cork. Known as the Lavanagh Centre, the state-of-the-art purpose build facility represents an investment of €7.5milllion in current and future generations of children with disabilities from Cork city and county. Over 800 children and their families will receive vital therapy and support services at the centre every year. 

Speaking at the event, Tánaiste Coveney commented on the important role that Enable Ireland has played in the lives of people with disabilities in Cork since their foundation in 1954. He said, “I am delighted to be here today to open this fantastic and much-needed facility. This new Children’s Centre will ensure that children with disabilities in Cork will get the services they need and deserve in the best possible facilities. I commend the incredible efforts of Enable Ireland and all involved in making this possible.”  

Also speaking at the event was Stephen Ryan, whose two children attend the Lavanagh Centre. “As with all of the families here today, we’ve been looking forward to this new building for many years. Being able to bring our children for therapy sessions in a purpose-built and well-equipped facility is something that we all deserve and it will make a huge difference to anyone coming to the Lavanagh Centre now and in the years to come.” 

The new facility cost €7.5million to construct and was funded by corporate and community supporters, a €2million Capital Allocation Grant from the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Enable Ireland. Fundraising efforts for the final €1million needed are ongoing. Speaking at the official opening Donal Cashman, Chairman of the Enable Ireland Board of Directors acknowledged the generosity of the people of Cork who made the vision for a new children’s centre a reality through their outstanding support. 

Also in attendance at the event were the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr John Sheehan, John O’Sullivan, Enable Ireland CEO, representatives from the HSE, as well as children, parents, staff and friends of Enable Ireland Cork.

The seven-acre site in Curaheen includes a Children’s Services Centre with assessment and treatment facilities, a hydrotherapy pool, meeting rooms, preschool supports, an accessible playground and family facilities. The colourful child-friendly interior design provides a welcoming place for the children and their families who attend the new centre for a range of therapy, social and educational services. Also on the site is Lavanagh House, a children’s respite house, where children with disabilities can develop their independence skills while giving their families a much-needed break. 

At the Lavanagh Centre, Enable Ireland provides core therapy and support services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, psychology and social work.  The following specialist services are also 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.