Big donation to help Cunamh

Sinead Kelleher

Cunamh Iveragh is currently in talks with an architect to draw up plans for a respite home for adults with special needs in South Kerry in a bid to move the project forward.

In recent weeks the local organisation has also received a huge boost in funding which will also help secure the project for the region. 

John Fitzpatrick (New York /Ballinskelligs) presented a cheque of $15,000 on behalf of The Irish American Partnership to Cúnamh Iveragh Chairman Adrian Griffin in recent weeks to help fund the vital project. The funding comes from  the Skellig Region group, which is part of the Irish American Partnership, and provides money for underfunded projects in the region. John Fitzpatrick, Michael Sugrue and Donal O'Sullivan are involved and the funding is very welcome according to PRO Loreto Lynch. 

Cunamh Iveragh have met with the HSE and with Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath, earlier this year to discuss the respite centre and are confident that the project will be developed.

Mrs Lynch said the Minister was 'impressed by the project' and supports the need for such a facility in South Kerry. The HSE are also supportive of the project. 

She said that the project is looking positive and the recent funding also 'endorsed' the project and has given a boost to the campaign group to continue their quest for this facility for the parents and young adults with disabilities in South Kerry. 

Cunamh Iveragh have purchased the building for the respite centre but will  need €250,000 to help bring it up to HIQA standards. 

Part of the buildings purchased have already been developed into a day care centre, which has proven a huge success and it is now hoped that the respite centre will also help families with adults with special needs get a much needed break. 

The charity is also one of this year's Ring of Kerry Cycle beneficiaries and the funds, which will be distributed later this year from the major event, will also help develop the respite centre. Cunamh Iveragh have also previously received funding from the cycle and this has helped to pay off the loan for the purchase of the building and now the cycle will help the next stage of this vital project. 

Loreto says that they are hopeful of starting work later this year, but funding is key and it will depend on what the Ring of Kerry Cycle has raised for the project. 

"We are hoping that we can start construction later this year and we have a commitment from the Minister that the project will be supported." 

Currently parents' only option for respite care is in Kilmorna in Listowel, which is very difficult for parents from South Kerry. Cunamh Iveragh's respite centre will be of benefit to the entire South Kerry region. 

"It would service the entire area not just Cahersiveen. Respite care is huge for us, it helps sustain us and give us and other parents a much needed break."

"We hoped we can start work later this year or early next year. It is looking positive and this is thanks to all the local support we have received  in recent years."