Joyous re-opening of Cahir Day Care Centre

Sian Moloughney

Sian Moloughney

What could have been a terrible disaster for the people of the Cahir area turned into a miraculous save, when an early warning ensured the Fire Service were able to save the Day Care Centre, when it was threatened by fire, last

Thanks to the quick thinking of a local taxi driver, and the brave fire-fighting of the Fire Service, the centre was able to open its doors again last week, after a ‘facelift’ and repair work.

In the early hours of May 31 a fire began at the back of the Day Care Centre that spread to the main building when an oil tank blew up. Last week the centre was able to reopen and to mark that special occasion a presentation was made to those whose actions prevented the centre from being destroyed that night.

At a special thanksgiving mass Kevin Maguire, the local man who saw the fire and rang for help, and fire fighters John Murphy and Jim O’Donnell were honoured for their actions.

Centre manager Lil Davis told The Nationalist that the fire had been a devastating blow, “it was horrendous. Before we had it we didn’t realise the value of it,” she said, adding that the clients who go there every week not only were afraid of missing the tasty hot dinners cooked there, but there was the fear of loneliness if they had nowhere to go and meet friends.

Lil says that while she could never speak about much that goes on at the centre there are days when someone will arrive distraught but leave with a smile on their face.

The centre has a family atmosphere and everyone who goes there has a brilliant time.

After the fire the people of the town rallied around and more than one group offered alternative accommodation while repairs were being carried out. The most suitable was the new Youth Club premises on Church Street. “It was fantastic to have it,” Lil said.

However, when the first group left the temporary premises and were the first back inside the Day Care Centre, for some afternoon tea, there were tears of joy. They walked around, admired the work, and were so excited, Lil described.

Changes to the centre include a new, metal, shed and the centre has also now been connected to the town gas supply and will no longer have an oil tank.

Last week 80 people participated in the mass and lunch to mark the centre’s official reopening. There was music from Stephan and Mike, Fr Bobby Power of Ardfinnan gave the thanksgiving mass, and presentations were made to Kevin and firemen John and Jim, who all agreed the fire had been a very scary night.

In the run up to Christmas the Day Care Centre will be ‘fundraising big time.’ There will be a bag-pack in Dunnes Stores on the Waterford Road, Clonmel, on December 9 and 10, and there will also be a raffle on December 15, during the centre’s Christmas Party. Tickets are on sale in many outlets, as well as the Day Care Centre itself.