It is approaching two decades on from the announcement that the Presentation Order in Castleisland had donated the land necessary to facilitate the building of the town’s proposed day care centre.
That announcement was made in June 2000 and it meant a full steam ahead programme of work and fundraising to get the plan from concept to concrete.
Earlier this week the facility’s nurse / manager, Marcella Finn announced that the centre management and staff would honour the generosity of the order in a special ceremony on the coming Tuesday afternoon.
“I wish to inform you that Castleisland Day Care Centre wish to recognise the enormous contribution of the Presentation Sisters, Castleisland towards Castleisland Day Care Centre,” said Ms. Finn.
“It was through their generous donation of the site almost seventeen years ago which makes the centre such an accessible facility in the centre of Castleisland town.
“A wall plaque will be unveiled on Tuesday May 2nd at 3pm by board of management chairperson Monica Prendiville at the centre. Representatives from the Presentation Order, board of management, staff and service users will be in attendance on the occasion,” she said.
Minister Micheál Martin, TD.
The then Minister for Health and Children, Micheál Martin TD visited Castleisland twice in the early months of 2002.
The first of these, in January, was to look over the facilities at the fledgling Castleisland Day Care Centre with a view to providing funding for its work in the area; his second visit was on Friday, March 21st. to officially open the centre at Creamery Lane / Convent Street.
The minister was greeted, for the second time that spring by centre chairman Jack Nolan.
Minister Martin then proceeded to meet with the board of directors and staff members at the brightly furnished building.
Set out a Policy
He learned of the centre’s mission statement which set out a policy to cater for the elderly and those suffering from poor mental health in Castleisland and its broad hinterland.
The centre had been developed, to the point of opening, by a local voluntary group under the umbrella title: Castleisland Day Care Centre Limited.
This group had the support of the community and the Southern Health Board and through funds from the National Development Plan.
The minister heard that, as well as the town and its environs, the building would service the neighbouring parishes of : Knocknagoshel, Brosna, Cordal, Scartaglin, Currow, Currans and areas of Ballymacelligott.
Castleisland and District Social Group
Soon after its official opening came the news that the Castleisland and District Social Group was being formed. The group, made up of a team of volunteers, set out to hold informal gatherings on the first Sunday of every month at the centre – and they’re still at it.
They would provide afternoon tea, lots of entertainment, music, singing, dancing and chat with a welcome on the mat for all comers.
Tuesday’s unveiling ceremony will neatly encapsulate nearly two decades of the kind of generosity, positivity and self help of which Castleisland is rightly known for and proud of.
In this fine instance it will mark a gesture of solidarity by the Presentation Order with the community it has served here since 1846. A service which often went above and beyond the call of ordinary duty – and at a time when many of the people of the area struggled to feed themselves and their children.
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