Dún Henry Quinn is the latest initiative by Cashel and District Social Services Limited.
It is intended to enhance the quality of life of the elderly, those living alone, those on limited incomes and all who have particular needs in the community. Situated in the Parish Centre, Friar Street, it is a restaurant providing snacks and full meals as well as a meeting place for the people in the parish. It is open from 11 am to 4 pm and could remain open longer, if the demand warranted it.
Called after the late Henry Quinn of Mayfield, Cashel, it honours a benefactor who left a legacy to the parish, when he died in 1964. Born in 1881 Henry was a substantial farmer at Mayfield, and left a generous bequest to the parish for the benefit of the less well off, when he died. Some of his largesse helped to fit out the Parish Centre some years ago. Henry Quinn had a vision for a centre where elderly men (sic) could come, chat, have a good smoke and a cup of tea. When Cashel and District Social Services Limited opened the restaurant on November 6 last year, it was being faithful to Henry Quinn's broad vision.
The restaurant has been a good success to date. It is run by Cashel Social Services rather than the parish. Also very much involved are FS and five FS participants work the restaurant, sharing the work preparing and cooking the food in the kitchen or serving it to the customers, who are frequenting it in increasing numbers. The personnel have been trained to provide the service in accordance with statutory requirements in relation to health and safety.
In fact the kitchen had to be fitted out by Cashel and District Social Services with state of the art equipment in order to meet the rigorous standards of health and safety. It is now a mass of stainless steel equipment that meets the highest standards of hygiene. Considerable expense was involved in setting up the service.
Dn Henry Quinn is available to older people and those living alone, who have nobody to care for them or prepare a meal for them. They are welcome to come here during the day for a morning coffee or tea, a main course or an afternoon snack. Prices are very reasonable with teas or coffees costing ?1 and main courses available at ?5.
The restaurant complements rather than conflicts with the valuable work of Meals on Wheels. The latter is a service that is available three days a week and it brings soup and the main course to people living alone, not only in the town, but in the surrounding villages and townslands as well. It is an extremely welcome service and it is free, with the option of a voluntary contribution.
What Dun Henry Quinn has to offer is the same with a difference. The service is available five days a week instead of three. While the Meals on Wheels service brings the meal to the home, the recipient has to leave the home and travel to Dn Henry Quinn if he/she wishes to eat there. In doing so the person has the opportunity not only of getting a meal, but also of meeting people, having the chat, discussing problems, putting down an hour or two. It can have a benefit way beyond the nutrition of the meal.
In fact the two services can compliment one another. Maybe the person doesn't want to go out every day. It might therefore be possible to receive Meals on Wheels for some days and go to Dn Henry Quinn on the others. It is important to state that Meals on Wheels do need to know in advance who are receiving meals on the day.
It is also possible for carers to come to Dn Henry Quinn and collect meals for their care.
This can be very helpful in some cases.
Cashel and District Social services Limited is a voluntary organization, which has been actively involved in meeting the needs of the people of Cashel and surrounding areas during the past thirty years. The committee are always exploring ways of meeting contemporary needs in the community. The success to date of Dn Henry Quinn is an indication that the committee have identified another need and are meeting it in a very satisfactory way.