PHOTOS: Baile Mhuire Welcomes Clients Back After 15 Months

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George Galvin enters Baile Mhuire Day Care Centre on Wednesday for the first time in 15 months. Photo by Dermot Crean

“IT’S a new beginning.”

The words of 93 year old George Galvin as he returned to the Baile Mhuire Day Care Centre after a break of 15 months.

It was an emotional morning at the facility in Caherslee on Wednesday as clients made their way back to the centre for the first time since mid-March of 2020.

It’s been a very hard time for clients, many of who live alone and love the company and chats with friends at the centre.

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While the centre was closed, the staff still maintained contact with the elderly clients as Chairperson of the board at Baile Mhuire, Paddy Garvey, explained.

“We’ve been in constant contact with our clients since we closed our doors in March of 2020. We started a Meals on Wheels service at that stage and to date we’ve given out around 9,000 meals. But as the lockdown eased, people were able to get out more for shopping so there’s a reduced demand for that service now.”

Rose O’Doherty (centre) with Care Assistant Anne Carey and bus driver Noel Conway at Baile Mhuire Day Care Centre on Wednesday. Photo by Dermot Crean

“We also held regular Zoom meetings, or ‘Virtual Day Care’ sessions, and they loved that. We’ve tried to keep up the contact all along.”

Unfortunately, they couldn’t have all their clients back on Wednesday due to COVID guidelines, so just 12 were allowed back on the day.

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“Before some of our clients would be in for three, four or five days a week but we have to restrict them to one now. We’re hoping to bring that up to 20 people a day soon if the two metre rule is reduced to one,” said Paddy.

One service user, Mary Thornton, was delighted to return. “It’s great to be back. I missed it very much, I never thought when it shut last March it would stay closed for so long.”

Mary Thornton (seated) with Denise Leahy (left) and Nurse Manager Rose Daly at Baile Mhuire Day Care Centre on Wednesday. Photo by Dermot Crean

Rose O’Doherty, who celebrated her 90th birthday back in April, was also happy to come back. “It breaks the week and I really enjoy it here. I recognise some of the faces here so it’s great to see them again,” she said.

Donie Carmody and George Galvin at Baile Mhuire Day Care Centre on Wednesday. Photo by Dermot Crean

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