The Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath T.D., officially opened the new Spinal Injuries Ireland Aileen McCarthy Resource Centre on Monday March 26th in Dun Laoghaire.
Spinal Injuries Ireland moved from the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) to Pottery Road Business Centre in Dun Laoghaire recently to facilitate the development of the new NRH hospital.
The new resource centre is officially named after Sr Aileen McCarthy, as not only was she one of the founding members of Spinal Injuries Ireland in 1992, but she also dedicated her life to the rehabilitation of people who sustained a spinal cord injury since the 1960s. In one of her many roles, she would often visit people in their homes all over Ireland and train their families about the injury.
Sr Aileen (89), who is also known by her convent name of Sr Marie of the Cross, attended the opening of the new resource centre today alongside Minister Finian McGrath T.D. Also, in attendance at the opening was 11-time Paralympian athlete and Chairman of Spinal Injuries Ireland, John Twomey.
Sr Aileen, spoke at the opening of the new resource centre and said: “I am delighted to see how far Spinal Injuries Ireland has come since its first inception 25 years ago in a small office on the NRH campus. The work that the team at SII carry out everyday is very important and this new premises will allow them to enhance their services even more. I’m humbled that the new resource centre has been named after me.”
Fiona Bolger, CEO at SII said: “This is a very exciting day for us here at Spinal Injuries Ireland as we now have a state of the art resource centre where we can welcome patients from the NRH, their family members and our service users all year round. We are very grateful to Minister McGrath and the HSE for working with us over the last year to secure this premises as it will allow our dedicated staff to continue to deliver our vital and important services to people living with spinal cord injuries around Ireland.
“We currently support over 2,000 people and their families nationwide and this figure is rising more every year. A spinal cord injury is a devastating and life changing event and we are always available to help in any way as our service users adapt to their new lives post-injury.”
Ms Bolger added: “We are delighted to name our new resource centre after Sr Aileen as we are indebted to her for the tireless work she has carried out for patients undergoing rehabilitation at the NRH and for people living with spinal cord injuries around Ireland. Her constant campaigning, care and kindness to people living with spinal cord injuries over the last six decades is the cornerstone on which our organisation is founded.”
Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath T.D. said: “I am delighted to officially open the Aileen McCarthy Resource Centre on behalf of Spinal Injuries Ireland. It is imperative that the work of this dedicated organisation continues, as it is of enormous importance to its service users. The new resource centre will ensure that the dedicated staff at Spinal Injuries Ireland will continue to deliver its services to people living with spinal cord injuries.”