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Retiring boss treated to 'This Is Your Life' send-off

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Peter McKevitt (centre, front row), General Manager, RehabCare, North East, Midlands at his retirement function held in The Crowne Plaza, with Sheila McKevitt, members of staff and a group of RehabCare service users

Peter McKevitt (centre, front row), General Manager, RehabCare, North East, Midlands at his retirement function held in The Crowne Plaza, with Sheila McKevitt, members of staff and a group of RehabCare service users

Peter McKevitt (centre, front row), General Manager, RehabCare, North East, Midlands at his retirement function held in The Crowne Plaza, with Sheila McKevitt, members of staff and a group of RehabCare service users

Peter McKevitt, General Manager of RehabCare in the North East was treated to a 'This is Your Life' production by many of the people that he has supported over the last 32 years to mark his retirement.

Encore Productions, the drama group of people who use the services provided by RehabCare in Dundalk, staged the tribute to the Dundalk native at his retirement party in the Crowne Plaza Hotel last Friday.

A huge crowd turned out to pay tribute to Peter and bid him farewell on his retirement. His RehabCare family were joined by his real family, his wife Sheila, two sons Peter and Vincent, daughter in law Donna and granddaughter Katie and Sarah.

Peter grew up in the Quay area of Dundalk. He was educated at the CBS Secondary School and went on to study Industrial Engineering at DKIT. He started his professional career in the former Clarke's shoe factory before commencing with Rehab in 1983.

Peter worked with Rehab as manager of the newly opened vocational training centre in Dundalk and the service grew to accommodate 70 people at any one time. In 1990 Peter took over the role of regional director covering the North East and developed a range of new training programmes and successfully negotiated European Regional Development Funding to support the building of new modern facilities in each county.

Peter also developed Newgrove Housing Association which provides accommodation and housing for people with disabilities. In 2003 Peter transferred to the role of general manager for the Midlands and North East of the country covering eight counties.

During the past year Peter took on the role of Head of Change Management for RehabCare, which saw him preparing RehabCare's services all over the country to embrace the principles of the HSE's New Directions policy for adult day services. He served on the Boards of the Combat Poverty Agency, Disability Federation of Ireland, The Irish Association for Supported Employment, Rehab Foundation, and Independent Living Community Services. He was appointed Chairperson of the National Disability Authority from 2009 to 2013 which provides policy advice to Government on disability in Ireland.

Peter said: 'The best thing about the job was being part of a highly committed and dynamic team of people who gave of themselves so selflessly in support of people with disabilities. You were always reminded that you were in a very privileged position in that your work entailed helping and supporting people to create a better life for themselves and this would not have been at all possible without the help, guidance and support of my colleagues, directors and counterparts in state agencies, but most particularly my wife Sheila, sons Peter and Vincent and immediate family'.

Laura Keane, Director, Health and Social Care, Rehab, said Peter had 'contributed enormously' to developing disability services, was 'tireless' in fundraising and 'always put the service user first'. She said his colleagues would miss his 'wisdom, wit and expansive knowledge' and wished him a long and happy retirement.


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