AN important day in the history of St Lazerian’s House in Bagenalstown took place recently with the official opening of its new extension.
Resident Esther Dowling along with junior minister for older people Helen McEntee cut the ribbon on the new facility, which cost €180,000.
It was the result of seven years’ hard work and fundraising by St Lazerian’s.
“It was an important day for us,” said manager Marian Manning. “We are now fully compliant with HIQA and there has been a lot of work with staff and local community over the last seven years to get us here.”
The opening was attended by residents, their families and members of the local community.
Deputies Pat Deering and John McGuinness, senator Jennifer Murnane O’Connor and Carlow County Council cathaoirleach John Murphy were also present, along with contractor Mick Miley and architect Pat Joyce.
Bagenalstown PP Fr Declan Foley blessed the extension, while representatives from the HSE were also in attendance.
Minister McEntee spoke of her admiration of the St Lazerian’s model.
“She liked to see that people were up and mobile and very happy,” said Marian. “She could see we have a good family feel to the place.”
The new extension includes two bedrooms, a shower room, two toilets, a hairdressing room, a chiropody room, a clincia1room and a sluice room.
It’s been a team effort at St Lazerian’s, with Mary Gaule, CE co-ordinator, and administrator Catherine Maddock providing great support to Marion in the fundraisers.
Breda O’Hara produced beautiful cakes for the opening, and her delicious bakes had been a feature of many a St Lazerian’s fundraiser.
Ms Manning also praised the support of local public representatives for lobbying on behalf of St Lazerian’s to secure the vital funding.
Dave Thompson, Tom Flynn and Thomas Byrne on the CE scheme, along with Tom Elliott, were lauded for their fantastic work.
“They do all our gardens and have them beautiful and looking lovely,” she said.
Next up for St Lazerian’s is the annual procession on Thursday 11 May, and children who have received their First Holy Communion are invited to attend.