Down Syndrome Ireland Laois Branch was established on the 7th of March 1995. We are the principle organisation supporting people with Down syndrome and their families in County Laois.
We currently represent nearly 60 families throughout the county. A number of years ago we adopted a “Cradle to Grave Philosophy” whereby our members are supported throughout their life cycle. In support of this policy we have extended our therapeutic services to include not only Speech and Language and Occupational Therapies but also now Chiropody, Reflexology, Physiotherapy, Yoga, Swimming, Music & Cycling. The latest service we are providing is a Counselling Service for families of people experiencing poor mental health and well-being. These services are available at greatly reduced costs to all our members who require them.
We have agreed in principle the lease of a plot of land from Laois County Council in the picturesque town of Abbeyleix to create our own “Field of Dreams” here in Laois. This land will be used as a ‘Sheltered Employment Training Centre’ for our adults to gain the basic skills required to acquire and hold down meaningful paid employment in our community. This will be a huge step forward in implementing our Cradle to Grave Philosophy. We hope to have a Coffee Shop, a Charity Shop and a range of Arts and Crafts Pods to give variety and choice to our members in deciding what they want to do with their lives. We plan to run all our therapeutic services and supports from this Centre in the fullness of time. It is hoped that this enterprise will encourage independence and good mental health and well-being amongst our membership.
We have our Family Resource Centre in Gort Na nOir, Abbeyleix from where we currently run our therapies, services and supports, including educational talks and seminars in a state of the art building.
Our branch is going from strength to strength and the future looks bright and cheerful for all our membership. For this, we have to thank the huge generosity of the people of Laois who have consistently supported our branch over the last twenty-three years of our existence in the county and hopefully will continue to do so into the future.
Contact Names and Numbers
Mark McManus, Chairperson – 0879275044
Margaret Miron, Secretary – 086 8279942
Michael Greene, Treasurer – 0861452501
Additional Branch Services
Education and Therapy
Life Skills and Social Groups
- St Patrick's Day Festival
- Easter Festivities
- Halloween Party
- Pamper Night
- Santa Train Experience
- Christmas Party