The laying of a foundation stone for a new reception building at Moore Haven by two of the founding members- Mrs Ena Kiely and Mrs Joan Moore was celebrated recently. Their late husbands Larry Kiely [RIP) and Arthur Moore [RIP] were the two members registered on the Company formed in 1981 under Tipperary Workshop for the Handicapped Ltd. The formation of this company by parents and friends, a voluntary committee, was to sow the seeds for what today is The MooreHaven Centre catering for the support needs of 108 adults. The centre opened its doors in 1983 on O’Brien Street and three of the first four service users are here today in MooreHaven, Jarlath Culbert, Noelle Kiely and Kathleen Power. Donal Withero was the fourth person, Donal passed on two years ago [RIP]. The centre will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, 2013.
The MooreHaven Centre is in Phase 3 of a capital development programme, a E€1.7 m project that will put the centre firmly on the map with regard to the resources and facilities forservice users and staff. It will also put the centre on the map, as a major part of the project is a new reception building on O’Brien Street, on the site of what was originally Donies. The building will consist of training rooms, day activation and therapy rooms with a state of the art reception building that will link into a revamped 82 O’Brien Street, the former home of the late Charlie Edmonds [RIP].
The project is the culmination of six years of intensive work from acquiring the two adjoining buildings, Donies and 82, O’Brien Street to deciding on the requirements for the centre’s future needs based on providing for the support needs of service users, both now and in the years and decades to come. The work was ably assisted through the support of the HSE capital projects manager for disability, Nicky Maher and the area co-ordinator for disability, Carol Moore. The old workshop building, the original and first home of the centre, was demolished in 2009 on health and safety grounds. Since then, the hall, constructed in 2006, has been the home to the day activation section and the sewing section. Once the planning brief for Phase 3 was finalised, the next part of the process was to select an architect, to put in place a design team. Moloney, O’Beirne Architects were selected as the architects. They have a long track record of being involved in health care projects. Tom Carew, consulting engineer, Barry Sheppard, quantity surveyor and John Harkin, mechanical and electrical are the other members of the design team. There were three different site options considered and the current site option was put forward for planning permission to Tipperary Town Council in November 2010. Planning permission was granted in March 2011 providing the green light to proceed with the project. We are developing a 720 sq meter building.
Public procurement rules were used to advertise the work through etendering. Twenty four building contractors expressed an interest in the project. Six were randomly selected to receive the design specification for the project. K & J Townmore Construction were awarded the work and they commenced on site on 2nd April 2012. The project duration is for ten months. K & J Townmore are represented here today by Kevin Enright and David Murphy. Local suppliers are being used for materials and local builders are also working on the site.
MooreHaven currently caters for the support needs of 108 service users and the building, when completed, will provide state of the art facilities to deliver on the support needs of over half of the centre’s population. A feature of the development is a separate oval shaped building that will be a haven for service users to relax and unwind; a place to be still away from the hustle of the world of doing. The new facilities will also provide the scope to cater for the support needs of an aging population, to do things at their pace. A key feature of the uniqueness of this development is its location right in the heart of Tipperary Town with the scope for people to engage in the commerce of the town right at the centre’s doorstep. It will put O’Brien Street on the map providing an injection to this side of the town with an impressive new reception building linking into an old revamped building, 82 O’Brien Street with a glass structure bridging the gap between the new and the old.
The funding of the project is through the centre’s reserves built up through church gate collections and fund raising efforts and through a donation of €600k from the JP McManus Golf Pro-Am held in 2010. The centre would like to thank everyone who has contributed to church gate collections and fund raising activities. Thank you to JP & Noreen McManus for the wonderful pledge from the 2010 Pro-Am golf classic which has made the dream become a reality. Ongoing efforts are being made to fund the balance of the capital required for the project.
The Centre is delighted to have the foundation stone laying ceremony to honour two of the founding members for their foresight in establishing a Centre for Adults with an Intellectual Disability in Tipperary. This project, when completed, will provide the best of facilities for staff to provide for the ongoing support needs of our service user population from Tipperary Town and County Tipperary to Counties Limerick and Cork.