Official Opening -
On Wednesday last, some 120 invited guests joined with management, staff, volunteers and representatives of “Friends of Waterman’s” in a specially erected marquee, for the official opening of the Waterman’s Lodge Daycare and Respite Centre by our President, Michael D Higgins. Unfortunately, due to space restrictions, this event was not open to the general public. Many people assembled close to the entrance for a “bird’s eye view” of our esteemed President who was visiting Ballina-Killaloe for the first time as President of Ireland. However, it was Eoin Little and his team at the Lakeside Hotel that struck “gold” on that sunny Wednesday morning as, having arrived in Ballina ahead of the scheduled 11 a.m. the President and Presidential entourage called at the Hotel for a ‘cuppa’! Here, the first photo to mark the great occasion was taken on the steps of The Lakeside Hotel.
Back at Waterman’s and unaware of the hotel visit, we all eagerly awaited with our public representatives, Minister Alan Kelly, Michael Lowry T.D. and Cllr Phyll Bugler, the arrival of the V.I.P. who, on entering the Marquee was greeted with rapturous applause. The President, Kevin Norton (Chairperson of the Board of Alzheimer Society of Ireland), Lillian Sullivan (Director of Alzheimer Society of Ireland), Martin Ryan (Regional Manager of Mid West Alzheimer’s) and Dr. Henry O’Connell (Chairperson of “The Friends of Waterman’s”) addressed all present and gratefully acknowledged the contribution of the HSE, the J.P. Mc Manus Foundation, The Alzheimer Association of Ireland and local fundraising efforts in securing a “state-of-the-art” establishment that under the direction of Caitríona Lavelle and her staff/volunteers has become a ‘home from home’ for thousands of service users over the past fourteen months.
The development of Waterman’s is ongoing and an Oratory will be added in the near future. Landscaping work and the introduction of a “Sensory Garden” will all contribute to making life easier and more enjoyable for all that use the facilities of the Day Care and Respite Centre.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.