'I make new friends – it's great fun'
DERMOT O'Mahony lives independently in a retirement village in Skibbereen with the support of his family, home help and Co-Action, an organisation providing support to children and adults with intellectual disability.
He never misses a Thursday evening Open Door session, says Kay Harris, an instructor at the town's Co-Action Day Centre.
"Dermot loves to play music – he plays the harmonica and is very talented at it. He also enjoys listening to the music and has a great general knowledge of the music industry. Thursday night is definitely the biggest night of the week for him.
"It's very informal, very casual. People sit around in a circle and sing, and play instruments."
Declares Dermot (58):
"I really like Open Door. I play the mouth organ and sometimes I sing as well.
"I make new friends there and we play music for an hour, it's great fun. I can play 'Amazing Grace' and 'Wooden Heart' on the mouth organ.
"I'd like to keep going there because I'm anxious to get out of the house and it's good fun!"
Dermot, who is visually impaired and has a mild learning disability, lives for Thursday evenings, says Kay.
"He's made a lot of new friends and he's really blossomed since he started attending Open Door about a year ago.
"He's even made new friends among his neighbours in the retirement village where he lives, because they also attend Open Door. It's brought him out in to the community even more. He knows everyone now!"
Health & Living