The Mayo Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland wishes to propose a redevelopment and multi-functional use of the house located in Swinford, Co. Mayo. The Mayo branch foresees this house being used to provide services and as a regional centre for the west of Ireland.
Máirt Campbell (R.I.P.) left his home to DSI so that it could be used to provide services and support to the Down syndrome community.
It was his wish that the house would be used to provide the necessary and vital supports needed and also to provide a focal point that people could use to advance the outcomes for people with Trisomy 21. With this in mind, Down Syndrome Mayo Branch wish to use Martin’s legacy as intended and develop the house into a setting that can be used by as many people as possible.
We would wish to have treatment rooms, a sensory room, meeting space, office/training space and special needs playground in the garden of the house. Due to the strategic house location, just off the N5, close to the major population centres and with easy access to Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim and Galway we feel that this house would not only be of vital benefit to Mayo but to the wider Connaught region. This centre could be of vital benefit to Down Syndrome Ireland members in the west and allow our community to build a successful and sustainable service led model.
“Due to the strategic house location, just off the N5, close to the major population centres and with easy access to Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim and Galway we feel that this house would not only be of vital benefit to Mayo but to the wider Connaught region.”
We would propose changing it to a large meeting/ training/office space and treatment rooms and a sensory play room. To the outside of the house, we would like to provide for an enclosed safe playground with special play equipment for children with special needs thus providing the house with the assets that are so desperately needed in the wider Connaught region.
Having this outdoor play area coupled with the sensory room we feel will provide a significant draw for children and parents alike. The front garden of the house will need to be used to provide for extra parking. The rear could be used for the playground and play area.
“To the outside of the house, we would like to provide for an enclosed safe playground with special play equipment for children with special needs thus providing the house with the assets that are so desperately needed in the wider Connaught region.”
A subcommittee was formed with Enda Campbell, Barry Robinson, Chris Gilmartin and Adrian Doherty to start the project. Sean Langan has helped with planning information and we now have an architect called Ian Pudney from Rathigans in Sligo who has donated his time and expertise to the project. The subcommittee went to Limerick and visited the Down Syndrome Ireland centre with Ian to get ideas for the house. We are now getting ready to apply for planning permission to change the house from residential to community use.
“We are now getting ready to apply for planning permission to change the house from residential to community use.”
DSI have made two site visits, one from Gary Owens and one from William and George from national office; they have committed to the project and wish to see a regional officer placed in the house, thus drawing services and resources to the house.
Kathleen Fitzsimons has done great work and was key to getting a €100,000 grant from Smurfit Kappa Foundation for the project. Along with Máirt’s donation of 25% of his will and of his forestry, the project is well on its way to being funded.
Our Mayo members have donated their time and expertise. Padraig Caulfield who is an engineer has helped and Brendan McDonagh and Andrew Carney who are builders have also offered help. Nikki Curran – Sligo branch, Tom Mulry – Roscommon, Brian Smyth – Leitrim, Deirdre Nugent – Galway, Gearoid Melvin – Donegal and Maire Galvin-Byrne from Athlone branches have all helped with spreading the information about the project and have provided help and support.
We have set up a gofundme page to raise money for the project at:
If you could help in any way please contact Adrian at 0857190948 or firstname.lastname@example.org