IRELAND star Shay Given was the guest of honour today as he opened the new Donegal Independent Living Centre in Letterkenny.
Centre manager Rosaleen Bradley said it was a proud day for the organisation at Ballymacool House.
“Today is a great day for Donegal and in particular people with disabilities within the county,” she said.
“It is a day in which we can all be proud of and is a true reflection of what can be achieved if we believe in something strong enough.
“It was a brave move for DCIL in very uncertain times…. but a challenge has never been something we have shied away from and it’s that determination and dedication that brings us here today.”
She went on: “In order for us to truly appreciate what we are celebrating here today – we must appreciate just how far we have come, and so i’d like to take the opportunity to share with you some history and a snapshot of where we are today compared to 16 years ago when we first established as a group.”
She said the group had fought for decades for funding and recognition.
“We were visitors to Dail Eireann on a number of occasions to advocate for the right to properly funded PA services, in fact I remember clearly on one trip to Dublin us having to hire an ambulance as the only form of accessible transport to get one of our boards members to dublin – which is an example of how the word “can’t” just didn’t exist for us in DCIL back then,” she added.
Shay was given a tour of the premises and met many of those who use the superb new facilities.