Minister commits €250k to design and feasibility study for new additional needs centre in Creggs

Minister of State Anne Rabbitte has announced that €250,000 will be allocated for the design and feasibility study of a proposed residential and day care facility for young adults with additional needs in Creggs.

The Minister of State at the Department of Health made the announcement at public meeting in Creggs National School on Thursday last.

The meeting was organised by Creggs Care Association, who, along with Ability West, has been running the Avondale Centre at the rugby club in the village since 2021.

Creggs Care Association Chairman and Creggs NS Principal, Ger Dowd, who has been at the forefront of efforts to improve services for those with additional needs in the village, said the plan was to build a day centre for young adults, which would include a respite centre for families as well as a community enterprise hub.

Addressing the meeting, Minister Anne Rabbitte said the overall project could cost up to €8 million but would be seen as a ‘centre of excellence’ in the provision of services to those with additional needs. She urged local councillors and other public representatives to get the project ‘over the line’ once it reached the planning stage.

“I don’t want anything I commit to tied up in bureaucracy, I need the job done. So tonight, I’m committing €250,000 for a design and feasibility study,” she said.

“I want it done now because I need to head into an estimates process knowing what this would cost. My time is limited…so I have to much sure I have a design study done so this is on a Capital plan”.

Creggs has long been considered a centre of learning for children and adolescents with additional needs and the Sunshine Room at the local national school has provided a warm and caring learning environment for children for the last number of years.

Ger Dowd said the new facility, which would be built on land donated by his brother and Tarmon NS Principal Kieran Dowd, was vital as children reached school-leaving age.

“15 years ago, we started the special class in Creggs NS and it has developed from there. We have two classes now, but a lot of the children are now moving on to secondary school and adult services and this is something that we have to address,” he told last Thursday’s meeting.

The meeting was also addressed by local TDs, Senators, Councillors and representatives from both the HSE and Ability West.


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