Deputy Seamus Kirk performed the official opening of the Maria Goretti Foundation Respite facility.
Mr Kirk said the late John Hanlon had a tremendous affinity and empathy with children with disabilities.
“In the period before his death, deputy Kirk said, “he initiated the concept of a respite centre and fully intended that it would be built. John’s wife Kathleen, and the extended Hanlon Family readily and enthusiastically agreed to proceed with the project.
“The Trustees wish to record their thanks and gratitude to the late Monica McDermott, who generously donated the site on which the building stands.
“I would like to acknowledge the presence of her sister Ursula at today. Also, Mr Dermot Monaghan, Area Manager, HSE Louth-Meath, Ms Fiona Murphy, General Manager, Louth Primary Care, and Ms Kathleen Lambe, Administration Manager, Louth Disability Services.
Kathleen Lambe was the HSE Liaison person for the project. I wish to thank her and the staff of the disability service for their interest and support at every stage.”
He also thanked architect, Jan van Dyke, Louth Disability Services, Fire Prevention Management and Occupational Therapy Services, building contractors, John and Eamon Doherty.
He also thanked the local Conference of St Vincent de Paul and the parish of Lordship-Ballymascanlon who helped with the enlargement of the site.
Deputy Kirk said the facility will be known as the Maria Goretti Foundation as the Hanlon family have had an attachment and close affinity with Saint Maria Goretti for many years.
“Today we express our thanks to Kathleen Hanlon and family, James Hanlon, Fr. Malachy, Conlon PP, John Woods, solicitor and Cathal MacArtain.
“We acknowledge the presence of many parents of children with disabilities who will hopefully avail of the services.
“We sincerely hope that this respite facility will prove to be an invaluable resource for parents of children with disabilities in all of Louth.”
He also thanked St Patrick’s GFC and the gardaí for traffic control and stewarding .