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In 1998 a Non-Profit Company was formed, called the Desmond Ability Resource Complex CLG to put in place much needed facilities for the people in the local community. The company commissioned an feasibility study, following the findings of the study, a multi faceted complex was being proposed for the town of Newcastle West providing the much-needed facilities.

The company made up of the following concerned local people who were actively involved in securing the facility for the town of Newcastle West and surrounding area:

Paddy Guiney, Richard Nolan, Michael Duane, Jerry Scanlan, Anthony Coleman, Gerard O’Connor, Nora O’Donoghue, Kathleen Sheehy, Tim Geary, Liam Woulfe, Hannah Mortell,  Noreen Heverin, Mary Bustin, Brenda Lenihan, Michael O'Connor, Stephen O’Shea, Mary McCarthy, Evelyn Lambert,  James Nash, Bridie O'Connor, Kathleen Moore, Patricia Nolan, Deirdre Barrett and Margaret Enright to list just a few.

The group shared the vision that the Complex shall be owned, managed and run by local people who are committed to providing an open and friendly environment. It is open to all groups, families and individuals to improve their quality of life irrespective of age or ability. No group or individual will have the right to impose an agenda that is contrary to the ethos of the Complex.


  • The formation of a non-profit company to manage and develop the project.

  • A comprehensive feasibility study carried out locally into all aspects of the multi faceted complex.

  • A comprehensive consultancy process with local community groups, local government, appropriate state agencies and government departments.

  • Securing of site, of 2.1 acres, which is located at the back of the existing town swimming pool in a central location in the town.

  • Hiring of a Architect firm with extensive experience in project management and technical systems to design a building that is both functional and sculptural pleasing.

  • Applications for funding to all the relevant bodies for the different aspects of the project.

  • Organizing of major fund raising activities to secure much needed funds for the project.

  • The Desmond Complex - planning permission granted, “the long awaited vision has become a reality”.

  • The Desmond Complex has received very positive financial support from JP McManus Invitational PRO-AM, National Lottery, the Irish Government, the corporate sector and the local community.

In 2006 building work started at the 2.1 acre site at the  back of the town swimming pool. The main building (Resource Complex) was quickly followed by the modern crèche facility.

On Tuesday 27 October 2009, President Mary McAleese arrived in the town of Newcastle West to officially open the mutli-million euro Desmond Ability Resource Complex. Hundreds of locals of all ages attended to be a part of a piece of local history, which marked the culmination of almost 12 years of community fundraising, planning and volunteer work.

Addressing the crowd that had gathered in the main functional hall, President McAleese said that the facility was "without an equal anywhere in the country". "There are so many things going on under this roof. From the moment you come in the door, that label 'ability' says everything.

Liam Woulfe of the Desmond Complex committee said that Tuesday was a "milestone" in the development of the €3.3 million facility. "This facility is a milestone in the journey to achieving the dreams and objectives of the small group of people who first got together in the mid 1990s.”This Desmond Complex has been born out of well-meaning, focused volunteerism. Initially financed by monthly draws, which succeeded because of its very committed 40 or so promoters who shared the vision, aspirations and determination. Today these promoters and members can justifiably be very proud of the fruit of their efforts." Contact Us

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