Suir Haven opens new 'Sensory Garden'

New era for Cancer Support Centre and North Tipperary Hospice

Suir Haven opens new 'Sensory Garden'
By Eoin Kelleher eoin.kelleher@tipperarystar.ie @tippstar

Suir Haven Cancer Support Centre in Thurles celebrated a new milestone in its existence recently with the opening of a new 'Sensory Garden'.

    Suir Haven offers emotional support, practical help and information to anyone with a cancer diagnosis, their carers or family members. 

Counselling, reflexology, massage, acupuncture, yoga, art therapy, mindfulness and support groups are among the services provided free of charge to clients here.

A quiet haven on the Clongour Road, the Centre has grown from strength to strength since it first opened its doors in 2009. 

Dozens of Carers, friends, volunteers and family members enjoyed the Opening Day of the new Garden on Wednesday, July 20th. The garden was designed, cultivated, planted and decorated by local business and crafts people. Chaired by JJ O'Sullivan, the garden committee includes John O'Shaughnessy, Hugh Ryan, Pat Lineen and Tomas Burke.

“Suir Haven would like to extend a special thank you to this hard-working team which saw the project through to fruition without any cost to Suir Haven/ North Tipperary Hospice.  Nothing was ever a problem with these men no matter what the ask and so the dream has been realized,” said Maria McGrath, Chairperson Suir Haven.

“The idea of having the garden completed voluntarily was JJ O Sullivan’s. He knew the construction industry locally would be more than willing to contribute, which they did.”

Ms McGrath, thanked all those who contributed to “this absolutely phenomenal garden. No words of mine can describe the gratitude we feel to each and every one of the following people who have contributed in some way to making this project possible. This is a spectacular, inspiring garden created with a vision for a truly relaxing, peaceful and empowering experience. It will replenish energy and resolve in all who come and sit here not only for our clients but also our volunteers and visitors.” 

The following people/companies contributed to making the dream a reality: John O Shaughnessy, Ciaran King, Eamonn O'Halloran, John Armstrong, Joe Pollard, Evan O Shaughnessy, Christine McClean, John Delaney, Liam Pollard, Mark Clancy, all at Clancy Construction, Tippcon/ JJ O Sullivan Construction. DH Ryan Architects. Pat Ely Centra, Tomas Bourke and staff Pat Lineen, Pat Whelan and Tom Comerford/ OMC Engineering, Tom Hennessy and Elaine/ Manor Stone and Garden centre, Philip Quinn and staff/ Stone Mad Ltd., Martin Campion and staff/ Campion Pumps, Maher Family, Jimmy Breen, Pat and John Stakelum/ Racecourse Retail Park, Eddie Clancy/ Clancy Electrical, David OMahoney and staff/David O Mahoney Electrical, John Purcell, P.J. Gleeson/ Gleeson Steel, David Abbott, Trevor Abbott. JJ O Sullivan, David Fleming, Peter Tkac, Eddie Lohan, Jamesie O Halloran/ JJ O Sullivan Construction, Ger Woodlock/ Premier Paving, James Norbury/ Landscaping, Gary Flood Grass Turf, O Driscoll garden centre, Michael Ronayne/ Ronaynes Hardware, Seamus Hanafin/ Hanafin’s furniture, Robert Stakelum/ Dinan’s, Anthony and Alan Kelly/ Kelly’s Fantane, Liam Byrne/ Roadstone Quarries, Peter Gleeson and John Kelly/ Gleeson Concrete, Seamus Shorley/ Shorley Construction, Seamus Duggan/ Duggan Bros. Ltd. Slattery Monumental Works, and Alley’s Dundrum Nurseries.

On the day, Thurles' own  Bridin O'Gorman and Tommy Barrett presented us with a whopping cheque for over €4,000 on behalf of the Moyne Road Residents Committee, following their successful Abba themed fund raiser night in the Premier Hall.

And sincere thanks to the person who so generously donated anonymously to the centre recently.

The Centre was the brainchild of Mary Ryan Maher and Maria McGrath, a dream which they shared back in 2008 as the pair wished to open a haven in Thurles for people on a cancer journey or affected by cancer. When North Tipperary Hospice agreed to fund and manage the centre the dream was partially realised. Maria says huge thanks to the wonderful volunteers who give of their talents and their time working in and for the centre. “We are so grateful to the massive number of people who fundraise and donate on behalf of the centre”.

North Tipperary Hospice pays €130,000 annually to Milford Hospice to help provide palliative home care at end of life to people in North Tipperary. It hires and organises delivery of specialist beds to homes of patients who wish to die in the comfort of their own homes. It manages and funds two cancer support centres also, Suir Haven in Thurles and Suaimhneas in Nenagh.