Green light given to national children’s respite centre to be based in Kerry

Photo By : Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD ©

The green light has been given to a new national respite and palliative care support centre for children to be based in Kerry.

The 14 million-euro Liam’s Lodge at Curragraigue, Blennerville will be cater for children with complex needs, genetic and rare and life limiting disorders.

Liam’s Lodge is the first facility of its kind in Ireland and is being spearheaded by the Saoirse Foundation, which was founded by Tony and Mary Heffernan from Keel; the couple lost both of their children Saoirse and Liam to the rare incurable condition Batten’s Disease.

Liam’s Lodge will include eight three bed family residential lodges, 14 two bed residential family lodges, therapy and sensory rooms, playroom, reception area and offices with meeting rooms.

Planning permission subject to conditions approved by Kerry County Council had been appealed to An Bord Pleanala by the local GAA Club; St Pat’s and Patricia Griffin who lives and works in Cork but returns to visit Curragraigue where her family own property.

Their concerns included the choice of location, traffic and impacts on flooding.

The planning appeals board decided to uphold the local authority decision and granted permission subject to 15 conditions.

The board said the development would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity and would be beneficial in terms of public health.

It is anticipated the facility catering for over 1,000 families annually, which will create around 117 jobs locally when operational, will be open by 2021.