New DSI Regional Centre will provide services for the west of Ireland

Down Syndrome Ireland is developing a new regional centre in Swinford Co. Mayo to provide vital services to children and adults with Down syndrome in the west of Ireland.We are redeveloping a home donated to Down Syndrome Ireland by Máirt Cambell (R.I.P.), who wished to provide a focal point and space for people with Down syndrome in the area.

Services that will be offered at the centre include Speech & Language, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, early intervention supports, education supports and adult education and training courses. The centre will also boast a fully accessible playground and sensory room.

Work has just gotten underway in the project, and it is hoped that the centre will be completed by the end of this year. Located just off the N5, the centre is close to the major population centres and enjoys easy access not only to Mayo but to Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim and Galway.

We have set up a dedicated fundraising page to raise money for the project here.

If you could help in anyway, please contact Adrian at 0857190948 or email adrian.doherty26@gmail.com.

Memories of Máirt 

“I remember the exciting championship Sunday in my grand uncle Máirt’s house in Newpark Swinford, the house I was born into, watching Kerry and Cork in the Munster final in 2014. As we sat, and had his lovely Sunday roast, discussing Mayo football passionately, I decided to tell him I was moving to London in September.

“As I mentioned London, he soon started to forget about the GAA, he reminisced of his many years he spent working for the post office and how he loved where he lived in Wanstead, but more than anything he liked about London, was his evening walks in Epping Forest.

“One story I will always remember that day was him telling me that he was out walking with his dog, and as he took a break and sat on a park bench a little girl with Down syndrome ran over and sat beside him, her mother followed suit but the little girl sat there just infatuated with the dog, laughing hysterically at the dog licking her face.

“As her mom told her it was time to go, Máirt walked with the little girl and her mother back to her car where they said their goodbyes the little girl gave Máirt a great big hug and asked to see him tomorrow.

“He said he might and as that girl and her mother drove off that evening Máirt said he would never forget that girl’s face and how she stayed smiling until the car was out of view.

“This was “an old man”, “a stranger”, a “don’t talk to him”….but to the girl and her mother he was an immediate friend!

“That day in particular for Máirt was a day which had a massive impact. For a man that was quite, for anyone that knew him, but with a smile and a laugh that girl had a lasting effect!

“That’s why he wanted his house to be donated to a great organisation which Down Syndrome Ireland certainly is.”

This story was recounted by Máirt’s grand nephew.

Rest in Piece Máirt.