Older people have a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer us. In this week’s Community Matters, Stephen Corrigan meets staff and residents at Clúid’s sheltered housing scheme at St Joseph’s Centre in Clifden who say their model should be the template for keeping older people in the community.
“It is about enabling older people to be a part of a wider community and enabling them to live independently.”
That’s the motivation behind Clúid Housing’s sheltered accommodation for older people in Clifden – with St Joseph’s Court providing 43 apartments for older people in the area for the past 14 years.
Unlike residential care, St Joseph’s Court is independent living with the added support of the Clúid team.
Housing Officer, Kathleen Aspel Mortimer, says the scheme has been such a success that it should be a template for the entire country.
“They are making choices about their lives without somebody telling them that they have to have breakfast at six o’clock or tea at six o’clock, or that they have to be in bed by a certain time.
“The whole project here has been set up over 14 years – this didn’t happen overnight and because of the way that it has been implemented, we can see the huge benefits that it gives to older people,” says Kathleen.
Specifically designed for those on the council housing waiting list, aged over 59, St Joseph’s has given older people in the Connemara area a way out of the turbulent rental market – and instead offered them a secure tenancy at equitable rates.
The importance of making the apartment their own and integrating with the people living around them is most important, says Kathleen.
“The wider picture with Clúid is that we provide houses, but it’s about building thriving communities within that.
“It is their place of living – we provide the housing, they provide the home,” says Kathleen.
Those living at St Joseph’s Court come from all walks of life – those who have lived in Connemara all their lives, those who moved to the area and made their life there – and 21 returned emigrants who wanted to come home.
One of those who returned is Marguerite Jackson who has been living at St Joseph’s since it opened 14 years ago.
“I enjoy the place – I needed it badly. We have a good life here. All my family had gone living their own lives and I was on my own – my husband had died, so I wanted to come home to roost.
“I was 39 years in England but I was glad to get back,” says Marguerite with a smile.
Sitting around the table in one of the block’s communal areas, there’s no hiding the fact that all those present are happy with their lot – as a conversation equal in measures of praise and gentle ribbing breaks out.
Another resident at St Joseph’s Court is Pat Bowyer, who moved to Clifden from France with a young family, and she believes the freedom they all have in their own space is crucially important.
Kathleen says that maintaining the right to choose how your own day pans out is paramount to all of us, regardless of age, and while they organise trips and outings, there is no pressure on anybody to do anything.
“We try to get away for a couple of days to a hotel somewhere and to have different outings around the area but for all of that, you have to hire buses.
“It is quite expensive to live in an area like this because while it is lovely, it costs a lot of money to move one inch outside it,” she laughs.
Mike Carr, a local man living at St Josephs, says aside from all the options available to them, the security of knowing your apartment is yours for as long as you need it is a great comfort.
Similarly, upon her return from Egypt during the Arab Spring, Sister Barbara Molloy says St Joseph’s gave her a chance to return home to Galway while continuing to volunteer and avoid retirement.
Older Persons Support Officer, Maureen Batley, says they make a concerted effort to ensure there are activities and links with the community available as often as people want it – something that is coordinated between the GRETB and Patricia Jacques.
“We have intergenerational projects that we do with the local national schools and it is a lovely project.
“We also have social inclusion day where we set up board games that you mightn’t have played for years and we have the residents here, the Transition Years, Ability West and we have people with different abilities all together,” she explains.
Another highlight of the annual calendar is Culture Night – something that resonates greatly amongst the residents given their broad range of backgrounds.
“There are so many cultures in here that we have represented so we would have a table for Germany, France, England, America and Egypt; and then we would have food from all the different countries,” says Kathleen.
Residents can avail of services on site like chiropody, a hair salon, a gym and increased contact with management, should they wish – as well as Food Cloud where local supermarket, Aldi, donates food to be shared amongst residents.
Other staff members include Male Support Worker, Dave O’Holleran and Olive Delap – both of whom Kathleen says are integral to residents’ comfort and safety.
Well-known artist, Joe Boske, says part of the attraction to the centre is the fact that nobody “threads on anybody’s corns”.
“All of that is available, which is brilliant, but it is not in your face and you don’t feel that you must comply with whatever the rules of the house are,” says Joe.
Mary Diamond lived in Boston for many years before returning to Clifden eight years ago and she says St Joseph’s rescued her from high rents and uncertainty when she moved there four years ago.
Similarly, Esther Bolger says the ambiguity of private rental was eliminated for her when she moved to Clifden from Dublin – having returned from England.
Kathleen says the important thing is to get the right people, establish links with the community and have the support of local health professionals – at the same time as ensuring people have the right to determine their own lives.
“With older people, their life can change in a heartbeat – with anyone, it can change in a heartbeat.
“At least here, in a social setting, there is an opportunity for you not to go into full-time care. You might not be able to live out in Ballyconneely on your own but you might here – it is giving people an added opportunity at that time of life,” says Kathleen.
Shopping local, supporting local business is more important now than ever before
When we shop locally, we are not just supporting a local business; we are looking after our own communities. And we need to look after each other, and protect our communities, now more than ever.
We urge all our readers to support your community, support your town and support each other.
The Connacht Tribune is supporting local businesses which remain open and continue to trade despite the introduction of Level 5 restrictions.
Each day, on our website and social channels, the Connacht Tribune will publish a list of local businesses who are open for business and providing a service to their customers during lockdown.
While only essential retailers are allowed to operate as normal during Level 5, all retailers are allowed to operate a “click and collect” service under the regulations.
If you want to appear on the list please contact our Advertising Department at 091 536222
Here are today’s list of businesses:
Beautiful You, Clifden
We sell on line www.patriciaotoole.com
We are doing Click and Collect
We are also doing Call and Collect – 087-7717563
Yes we sell online – https://walshsbakery.ie/shop/
We also are doing
Click & collect, call & collect and offer gift vouchers.
Phone: (095) 21283
Carpets & Rugs, Furniture, Sliding Wardrobes, Beds, Wood Flooring & Vinyl
Main Street, Loughrea, County Galway
Telephone: 091 880503
Our Opening times are:
Monday-Friday: 9.30 am to 6.00 pm
Saturday: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Carpets & Rugs
Whether you are looking for luxury, trendy, cosiness, or budget, we offer a truly massive range of carpets and rugs from many leading manufacturers.
Check out our full range of carefully selected beds in modern and traditional styles. Double and Single beds, and mattresses in a huge range of sizes.
We stock an extensive range of high-quality wooden flooring from well-known brands, all at competitive prices.
Seymours Loughrea provide a professional installation service for any carpet or flooring you choose.
Cló Iar-Chonnacht is a publishers and Irish-language book shop based in An Spidéal and online at www.cic.ie.
The company, which is celebrating 35 years in business this year, stocks a wide range of books in Irish for young and old as well as a selection of traditional music CDs.
Their annual sale is running from 1 – 23 December and they are offering a click and collect service as well as postal delivery for online and phone orders.
Orders can be placed online at www.cic.ie 24/7 and there is also a phone ordering service from Monday to Friday at 091 593307.
We are OPEN
Contact: 091 791273
Opening hours are:
7:30a.m. – 5.00 p.m. Monday to Friday
9.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m. Saturdays
CLIFDEN BIKE SHOP
We sell on line and you can click and collect.
Contact number is 09522630
Vouchers – yes yes – we sell vouchers.
Our email address is clifdenbikeshop.ie
Sarsfield Rd, Townparks, Ballinasloe.
Chadwicks Group operates nationwide and are the #1 Builders Merchants and Home Improvement Specialist in Ireland.
From building & plumbing materials to DIY supplies & equipment hire. We’re here to help with all your home or building projects. Let’s Get It Done.
Monday 8am – 5pm
Tuesday 8am – 5pm
Wednesday 8am – 5pm
Thursday 8am – 5pm
Friday 8am – 4pm
Saturday 9am – 1pm
Phone – 09096 42212
Your Local Co-op in Athenry
Number: 0818 222 272
OH! BY GUM
We are doing click and collect or you can order online on www.ohhbygum.ie or phone 0858000377 Clifden, Co Galway.
Vouchers available both digital for website and for use instore.
We believe fashion should be good for the planet and good for the people who make it too. It’s why we source everything we sell from makers and suppliers who share our vision.
It’s why all the items in our range are ethically produced and include organic, vegan, sustainable and recycled options.
It’s why we try and ensure that the people who make our products are fairly paid for what they do. We also believe that being conscious of what you buy, shouldn’t mean sacrificing value, quality or style.
Which is why you’ll not only look good wearing our clothes. You’ll feel good too.
ALL THINGS CONNEMARA
Market Street Clifden
Telephone 095 22360
Vouchers available, we are also doing click or call and collect.
Pure Natural focuses on sourcing premium and local products and bringing them to your doorstep.
We have a unique range of natural and organic beverages, Irish cosmetics and handcrafts that are all available for home delivery.
Our Christmas Gift Boxes contain the finest of beverages and all our food products are sourced in the west of Ireland.
Please order online www.purenatural.ie or contact Padraic Conroy on 086-2382616.
We deliver for FREE in Galway city or alternatively anywhere else in Ireland for €7.35.
Corrib Oil, 9 Abbey Trinity, Tuam 093 26772
Corrib Oil, 37-79 Brackernagh, Ballinasloe 090 9646054
Corrib Oil, 2 The Hill, Dublin Rd, Loughrea 091 841003
Corrib Oil, Crowe Street, Gort 091 631818
Tuam Road, Galway City 091 751311
CLAYTON HOTEL GALWAY
Open for essential workers
Click and Collect Menu available.
Gift vouchers available
EYRE SQUARE DENTAL CLINIC
As an essential service We are open during level 5 restrictions.
We are located at the bottom of Eyre Square, opposite the AIB Bank on the corner.
Phone – 091 562932
DUANES HARDWARE AND FOODSTORE
Kiltulla, Athenry, Galway.
Duanes Hardware is located in the Heart of Kiltullagh village.
We are a family run local business operating since 1940’s.
- Building supplies • Agri & Fertiliser • DIY Supplies • Delivery service
- Filling Station • Deli (hot & Cold), 9 grams Coffee station • National Lottery • Postpoint Services
Tel: +353 91 848019 Fax: +353 91 848984
16 Eyre Square, Galway
Berwick Solicitors, Galway is a full-service firm with offices in Galway, Dublin and Clare.
Phone – 091 – 567545
Email – email@example.com
SALMONS DEPARTMENT STORE
Main Street, Ballinasloe
Our new online store is now Live
Courier delivery and same day click and collect available
Phone- 09096 42120
Tuam Road, Galway 091 752561
Sean Mulvoy Road, Galway
18 Shop St, Galway.
Anthony Ryans Homestore Ltd.
7 Lombard Street. Galway.
Phone : 091 539627
Shop for Homewares, Bedlinen, Luggage and Curtains online at:
South Galway Office 0761 07 2570
National Helpline 076 107 2000
Tuam Road Retail Centre, Tuam Rd, Galway, H91 NX64
Main dealers for Massey Ferguson
Whelan’s also deal with a range of manufacturers including Fendt, Honda, Husqvarna, Draper and more.
Long established business with 3 locations in Clare and South Galway. Employs over 40 staff
Loughrea Depot – 091 880050 Contact Padraig 087 6755189
Kilrush Depot – 065 9051147
Ennis Depot – 065 6822272
Newcastle Road Foodhall, Galway
We’re open for instore shopping and collection orders 24/7 and offer a delivery service from 9am – Late (2am weekdays and 4am at weekends).
Our phone number is 091-585708 and our website is www.londisonline.ie.
We also have an app that’s available on Google Play and the App Store.
Farrell Auctioneers, Valuers & Estate Agents LTD
Courtney House, George’ s St, Gort.
091 – 632688
086 – 2455925
Our doors maybe closed but we are still working please feel free to contact us anytime. In the current lockdown 5 guidelines we can carry out viewings and valuations.
Kinvarra, Moy Road, Co. Galway, H91 XD52
091 637317 / 091 638126 / 091 561677
Supplying your Home Heating Needs for the past 25 years
– Serving Galway City & County and North Clare
– Super 6 Day Delivery
– Same Day Delivery for “Out of Oil” Customers
– Competitive Prices – Guaranteed
– Prompt Delivery Services
– Gift Vouchers Available
– Authorised EMO Distributor
Corrandulla, Co Galway
Parklawn Tree Services Ltd
Church Park, Tremane, Roscommon, Co. Roscommon F42Y767
Professional tree surgery & Arboricultural Consultancy
Parklawn Tree Services is a professional tree surgery and arboricultural consulting company providing a wide range of services to customers and clients across Ireland. Since 1998, we have steadily expanded our business to cover a wide range of land based services; from small urban garden trees to the large rural forests.
We provide sensitive domestic tree care to large-scale commercial tree surgery contracts.
Office: 086 6077307
Enda Stephens: 086 8125165
John Nolan: 086 6077302
Garrett Murphy: 087 9059892
Lorraine Brennan: 087 9836302
Delight Café, Renmore Avenue, Galway
Delight Health Café in Galway is striving to promote good food and drinks. This is done using the most fresh and top quality ingredients, and as many local suppliers as possible! Come check us out… Fabulous-food-fast!
Tel: 091 761466
The Twelve Hotel,
Barna Village, Galway
Telephone: 091 597012
Drive Through – Wednesday to Sunday 1pm to 8pm and Friday/Sat 9pm
Oranmore Lodge Hotel
We have a wide range of gift vouchers available for the festive season.
They are an ideal gift for a loved one, ranging from dining, hotel stays and leisure club vouchers.
All vouchers available to purchase online
www.oranmorelodge.ie or call us on 091 794400
Meadow Court Hotel
Looking for that ideal gift for your loved one this Christmas ?
Why not purchase a meadow court hotel gift voucher
By website- www.meadowcourthotel.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone- 091- 851051
The team at Topline Flynns and Flynns of Lackagh Ltd. is very proud to be serving the community in Lackagh, Co. Galway and its environs for the past 170 years. Our dedicated group of well trained, professional and long serving staff are always on hand, striving to ensure customer service, quality and value are at the forefront.
Telephone: 091 797116
2020 has really highlighted the importance of looking after our physical and mental health, and what better way to treat your loved ones or reward your employees this Christmas than with the gift of an exhilarating adventure at Wildlands. Vouchers available to suit all budgets from €20 stocking fillers to corporate bundles.
Looking for fast, reliable Broadband Internet in Galway? Lightnet is a leading provider of broadband and landline service to homes and businesses. We can offer you options to best suit your individual needs.
Telephone 091 395804
McD’s Garden Centre Galway
Galway Irish Crystal Centre Merlin Park, Old Dublin Rd, Galway, H91 NN56
McD’s Garden Centre Loughrea
The Green, Loughrea, Co. Galway, H62 Y668
Christmas trees at McD’s! Nothing says Christmas like having your living room decorated with a beautiful Christmas tree. Here at McD’s we look to offer the best range of artificial Christmas trees in Ireland at the best possible value. We deliver across Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Connemara Gifts at Peacockes Hotel Maam Cross
Free Local Collection
Gift Wrapping Available
A family run gift shop based in the heart of Connemara, selling a wide range of carefully selected Irish giftware
Phone 091 552 306
Lydons Carpets and Flooring
Moycullen, Co. Galway.
Open for all essential trade
Phone -091 555962
Tom Dempsey Flooring
Our measurement services continues for new builds, extensions and unoccupied homes and businesses
Click and collect in operation
Contactless delivery remains fully operational
Phone- 091 795777
Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones
These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.
But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.
If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.
All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.
You can email that with a photograph to us, to email@example.com or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.
We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.
This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances. You can contact our team for further details at firstname.lastname@example.org
King reigns supreme with Connemara roots!
‘Heart-warming’ is how CNN’s John King describes the outpouring of affection he’s received from these shores over the past couple of weeks, since the news network’s Chief National Correspondent confirmed that his family heritage is firmly rooted in Connemara.
While the bookies have been busy taking bets on when Joe Biden will touch down on Irish soil, anticipation has been building in Galway for the return of one of its own – the man who had the undivided attention of countless Irish households over the course of a painstaking US election count that gripped the world.
Speaking to the Connacht Tribune from his home in Washington DC this week, King says the response he’s had from Irish viewers has taken him by surprise, but provided some much-needed comic relief amid hours of gruelling live television coverage.
“It has surprised me, and some of it is my own doing, in that I responded to a ‘is John King Irish?’ Tweet. When I’m in the live TV craziness, every now and then when I have two minutes, I just look for comic relief. I was flipping through Twitter and I said ‘always’, so I decided to just type it,” he laughs.
“That’s just me trying to find 30 seconds of comic relief or normalcy or fun in the madness of the election.”
It was later that he told someone else on Twitter that ‘it all begins in Doonloughan’ starting a flurry of interest in the veteran journalist.
He has since revealed that his grandparents, Christy ‘Festy’ King and Bridget Joyce, were from North Connemara, making their respective journeys to Boston in the early 1900s.
Read the full interview with CNN’s John King in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie