Irish Wheelchair Association

  • Galway comedian Stevo Timothy is attempting to complete a charity cycle tomorrow evening in aid of the Irish Wheelchair Association.

    The Galway comic, who has incomplete paraplegia following a motorbike accident in 2015, uses a wheelchair and walks with the aid of crutches.

    Mr Timothy whose Mother is from Mayo, is known for his Farmer Michael sketches, said training for the 5km cycle saw him get back on a bicycle for the first time in "six or seven years".

    Stevo will undertake the cycle on a 400m track tomorrow, and so far he has raised over €46,000 through his GoFundMe page.

  • The Cuisle centre in Donamon, Co Roscommon is to close at the end of this month.

    The centre is operated by the Irish Wheelchair Association, and provides accessible holidays and respite breaks for people with physical disabilities.

    However, staff were informed on Friday evening that the centre is to close at the end of this month and will not reopen in 2020.

    The Irish Wheelchair Association says more hotels are now offering accessible facilities for people with disabilities, and they have decided - given the upgrades needed at the Cuisle Centre - to provide accessible hotel holidays into the future, rather than at its centre in Donamon, where the lease is due to expire in 2026.

    The building is leased to the Irish Wheelchair Association by the Divine Word Missionaries.

    The association says work needed on wiring the building alone would cost over €1 million, and the decision has been taken now to close the centre at the end of November.

    It's understood over 40 people are employed there.

    Tony Cunningham, Director of Service with the Irish Wheelchair Association, told Midwest News this afternoon that the staff will be offered redeployment or redundancy.

    He acknowledged that the news has come as a major blow to the staff, and he paid tribute to their work at the centre over the years.

     

  • Representatives of the Irish Wheelchair Association are due to come before TDs and Senators at the Oireachtas Health Committee tomorrow to explain their decision to close the Cuisle centre at Donamon in Co Roscommon.

    The centre has been a holiday facility for over two decades for people with physical disabilities, employing over 40 people, but is set to close at the end of this month.

    Previously, the Irish Wheelchair Association said it was unable to access the funds needed to bring the facility up to standard, and also explained that their holiday model is changing, and they will instead use wheelchair-accessible hotels  - rather than the Cuisle centre in Donamon.

    The decision led to a protest outside Leinster House last week, and a rally is planned for Roscommon Town this Saturday.

     

  • The Irish Wheelchair Association has won another national award for the independent-living houses in Belmullet.

    The Chartered Institute of Housing hosted its annual awards ceremony in Belfast recently, to recognise outstanding achievement in all aspects of housing.

    There were eight categories, and An Fraoch - the independent-living houses in Belmullet developed by the IWA -  won the CIH 2020 award in excellence in the Health and Wellbeing section.

    The flagship housing project in Erris enables wheelchair users to live independently in their own homes, and the development was already recognised as best "Housing for People with Disabilities" at the ICSH Allianz Community Housing Awards last September.

     

     

  • A public rally in Roscommon town today, will call for the closure of a wheelchair accessible holiday centre to be reversed.

    The #SaveCuisle Support Group has organised the demonstration over plans to shut Cuisle Donamon next Friday.

    It'll also lead to the loss of 48 jobs at the centre, which is run by the Irish Wheelchair Association.

    The march will begin at the new Civic Headquarters of Roscommon County Council at 1pm and proceed to the town square for a public rally at 1.30pm.

  • SIPTU representatives will meet this afternoon with the Irish Wheelchair Association to seek details reasons for the proposed closure of the Cuisle accessible holiday resort in Dunamon.

    The IWA announced to staff at the Co Roscommon facility last Friday that it will close at the end of this month, with the loss of over 40 jobs.

    The Cuisle centre has been in operation for over 20 years, providing respite holidays for people with physical disabilities.

    SIPTU Sector Organiser Eddie Mullins says that, at today's meeting, they will seek detailed reasons for the closure and will be calling for the decision to be reversed.