President Higgins officially opens new Claremorris Family Resource Centre
Posted in Local News on October 30, 2014.
President of Ireland Michael D Higgins performed the official opening of Claremorris Family Resource Centre.
“A truly functioning community is one which understands the importance of reaching out to all of its people, offering support, advice and a way forward,” said President of Ireland Michael D Higgins last week, when he performed the official opening of Claremorris Family Resource Centre.
A guard of honour by local children and parents greeted President Higgins and Mrs Higgins on arrival for the special occasion, along with the management committee and staff of the centre.
In his address to invited guests, members of the community, service users, management and staff and local and public representatives – President Higgins said that working with rather than for the people it serves was the mission statement of Claremorris Family Resource Centre, and added that the facility provides a vital resource for the community.
“You can be proud of what you have achieved, and what you will continue to achieve, in this new centre so that all of our citizens are given the opportunity to explore and celebrate their possibilities, and feel that they can fully participate in society,” he said.
“Claremorris’s Family Resource Centre plays an important part in the fulfillment of that goal. I have no doubt that these new premises, which were opened to the public last March, will allow you to expand further your activities and run more programmes – and I wish to congratulate all those involved in bringing this project of a new venue to fruition.”
Eight years of growing
Seán Gallagher (Chairperson) and Nuala Gilligan (Co-ordinator) gave a guided tour of the centre and introductions to service users and groups of the centre: Friday Friends, Claremorris Scribblers, Claremorris Men’s Shed, course participants and facilitators and representatives from government agencies. TJ Keane of the management committee performed his role as MC very professionally on the day.
On behalf of the Management Committee, Seán Gallagher gave a brief overview of the story of Claremorris Family Resource Centre, which began eight years ago when a group of six volunteers met with Padraig Kelly from West Training and commenced the journey that would lead to the opening of the centre in February 2008.
“Our first premises was on James’ Street and owned by Jimmy and Mary Mulryan where we had excellent accommodation until we needed to extend our services and to seek a larger building,” he said.
“Our Co-ordinator Nuala Gilligan was employed at that time and has been at the heart of our centre since then. Nuala has brought great enthusiasm and commitment to the job and has expanded the activity programme year on year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nuala for all her work to date and hope we will have her in this role for many years to come. Behind Nuala are our two Administrators – Rhona Murphy and Lisa Jordan, two more dedicated members of our team. I wish to acknowledge the great work they do and thank them sincerely for their work and participation in the centre.”
He also thanked the contractor Pat Coyne from Surebuild Services, who was absent for the opening as he was attending another auspicious occasion – his wedding, and landlord JP Prendergast for his co-operation throughout the development.
Nuala Gilligan, Co-ordinator, in her address on behalf of staff, volunteers and students stated that having the new state-of-the-art facility to work from will enable Claremorris Family Resource Centre to continue the important community work they do and increase individual and group supports to the people of Claremorris and the surrounding areas.
Nuala acknowledged the funding assistance from South West Mayo Development Company, the Department of Health and National Lottery and the other people who made the day possible were thanked individually, before President Higgins was presented with a beautiful piece of art by Management Committee member Louise Murphy.