Lourdes Day Care Centre in Dublin’s North East Inner City reopened today following a much-anticipated refurbishment project funded by the Government under Dublin’s North East Inner City Initiative (NEIC). The centre, which is located on Sean McDermott Street, was officially reopened by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, this afternoon.
Founded in 1979 by a group of local people, the Lourdes Day Care Centre was created to serve as a social centre, providing a place for older people to meet and enjoy a hot meal. Through hard work and fundraising, Dublin City Council agreed to build the centre to help cater for physical, psychological and social needs of the elderly in the parish.
Paddy Murdiff, Chairman of the Lourdes Day Care Centre, said, “Forty years later, the Day Care Centre is embedded in the fabric of the local community and offers a home away from home for many older people and the most vulnerable in the community. Combating social isolation, it is a place for people to come together, to have fun, laugh and communicate with other people.”
The Lourdes Day Care Centre was listed in the 2017 Mulvey Report Dublin North East Inner City : Creating a Bright Future – The Social and Economic Regeneration of Dublin’s North East Inner City as a community project to “merit particular support and staffing/funding assistance in the initial years of the Regeneration Plan.”
Following the allocation of core funding by the NEIC Programme Implementation Board for refurbishment and extension of the existing Lourdes Day Care facility at Sean McDermott Street planning permission was granted by Dublin City Council in 2017 and construction commenced in March 2018. The refurbishment involved internal alterations as well as a single storey extension to incorporate a new sitting room, wet room, locker room and general store. Further support funding was provided by Dublin City Council and the HSE to upgrade the existing building and complete the fit out, with the total cost of the project amounting to €0.5M. There was minimal disruption to services at the Centre for the duration of the construction works.
In addition to the construction project Lourdes Day Care Centre was also approved for three additional staff posts under the NEIC Social Employment Programme in 2018 and these are now in place. To date, this programme has approved 50 new posts for a range of community organisations in the north east inner city.
Speaking at the reopening Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, said, “This is a great day for Lourdes Day Care Centre and its users. The centre and its staff have operated at the very heart of this community for forty years and offers wonderful support to the older people living in the North Inner City. It is vital that the government continues to support and invest in such fantastic community initiatives and I know that the Lourdes Day Care Centre, led by the wonderfully kind and caring Bernie Pierce, will continue to provide care, comfort and companionship to those who need it for many years to come.”
Bernie Pierce, Manager of the Lourdes Day Care Centre, said, “We have waited a long time for this refurbishment to materialise and are delighted to welcome back our members to the new and improved Centre on Sean McDermott Street. The introduction of natural light to rooms and the bigger space will be of huge benefit to our members’ physical and mental well-being, and to the community at large.”
Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., said, “I have been visiting the Lourdes Day Care Centre for a number of years and I am particularly pleased to be here today for this very special milestone in the history of the Centre. The refurbishment and extension of this community facility is testament to Government’s commitment to improving the quality of life for the people of Dublin’s North East Inner City.”
Minister Donohoe continued, “To date almost €20M has been specifically allocated for additional projects and programmes in this community since the launch of the North East Inner City Initiative. I look forward to seeing other community projects coming to fruition in the coming months and meeting local people who, like the members of the Lourdes Day Care Centre, will enjoy the benefits of this investment for many years to come.”
Michael Stone, Chairman North East Inner City, Programme Implementation Board, commented, “The Lourdes Day Care Centre was one of the first community services I visited when I took up the role of Chairman of the NEIC Board. I was impressed by the wonderful spirit of the people there and it was obvious to me on that first visit why the Mulvey report had identified the Centreas a community project that merited particular support. I was more than happy in my role as Chairman to push forward with the refurbishment and extension of the Centre as a priority and I am proud to be here today at the official opening of the first significant construction project to be delivered under the North East Inner City Initiative.”