Maureen Kiernan, Ita Reilly, Eileen Culcannen, Bridie Kiernan, Mary Smith and Rosemary O'Toole enjoying the sunshine before the music and dancing starts at the Ballymahon Convent Resouce Centre.
Ballymahon was buzzing last Wednesday afternoon as members of the Convent Resource Centre gathered for their end of year celebrations.
Staff, members of the public, councillors and even Minister of State for the OPW Kevin 'Boxer' Moran TD got together to enjoy a special mass, followed by food and dancing to celebrate the successes of the facility over the past 12 months.
Speaking after the mass, organiser of the event Breda Greaves thanked everyone who made the past year so special, and added that things are about to get even better for the facility after the summer holiday.
“In addition to our daily activities such as art and crafts, exercise classes, social dancing, skittles and our daily bingo sessions, we have been granted a therapy dog for one day a week, starting this September when we resume from our summer recess,” she said.
“We only applied less than a month ago and usually the waiting list is for 12 months so we have done exceptionally well to secure this so quickly.”
Minister Moran was thrilled to attend the event last week.
“If you look in here, everyone is in such good humour, having such good fun. And that’s all down to Breda and the staff,” he said.
“I love politics and I love being involved in everything I do. But when I come to places like this, it warms my heart to say that these people recognise it as well.
“Today is their day and it’s the day before they go on their holidays. It’s a great celebration for them and they’ll have a bit of craic and a bit of music and fun. I think that’s what it’s all about.
“For me, in Dáil Éireann, it’s about helping people like this, with funding for Breda and her team and other centres right across the whole constituency of Longford/Westmeath.”
Ballymahon Cllr Pat O'Toole was also delighted to be involved with the facility.
“It’s a great facility - absolutely brilliant. And it’s going from strength to strength, which I’m delighted to see too. It’s getting better. It’s a fabulous facility and I’m delighted to be associated with it,” he told the Leader last week.
And he wasn't the only local councillor enjoying the celebrations.
Over a cup of tea, Cllr Micheál Carrigy said that all of the towns in Longford should have a facility like this.
“It’s a fantastic facility for the community. I think there’s a duty here on us that we look after the elderly and bring people in that are maybe living alone,” he said.
“It should be supported by our local authority and by all state services. Facilities like these should be expanded in every urban area. I think it’s a prime example of looking after the elderly and social inclusion. I fully support it and well done to all the staff.”
The room was filled with happy faces as those who avail of the services enjoyed catching up with friends over delicious food.
One lady, Rose Conlon, was only too happy to sing the praises of the facility when approached by the Leader.
“The place is wonderful and the kindness they show you is second to none,” she said.
“Everybody’s tastes are seen to. I’ve never heard one harsh word about the place. The food is second to none. The staff are so kind and I can say the same for the volunteers.
“I never felt I wasn’t wanted - the reception you get is just brilliant. I really couldn’t say enough about it. It’s second to none.”
The facility will reopen after a short recess in September.
For more information on the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 090 64 38445.