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08/06/22 Sensory Garden Official Opening

Cllr Jack Murray Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council and Liam Galbraith Vice-Chair iCARE Board of Directors at the Official Opening of the Sensory Garden iCARE Centre, Buncrana


The iCARE Sensory Garden, Looking Glass Brae, Ballymacarry, Buncrana was officially opened on Friday the 3rd June 2022 by the Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council,  Cllr. Jack Murray.”


The project received funding as part of Donegal County Council’s €5.5m Local Authority Action Plan, which has been financed under the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme. The PEACE IV Programme is managed by The Special EU Programmes Body.


This event celebrated the opening of the new Sensory Garden for iCARE offering opportunities for interactive play for children and adults of varying ages and abilities. The garden creates different areas to provide a variety of multi-sensory experiences, such as sheltered sensory activity area, sensory path, play area and a garden for growing flowers, fruits and vegetables.  The new Sensory Garden also includes a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Communications Board, which provides communications support, with particular benefit to children or adults who are either pre-verbal or non-verbal and/or have communication difficulties.


Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland. Donegal County Council through the PEACE IV Partnership Committee secured PEACE IV funding under Objective 3 Shared Spaces and Services – Action 3.2 Local Authority Shared Spaces Projects – Sensory Garden.


Mr Liam Galbraith, Vice-Chairperson iCARE Board of Directors, acted as MC for the event. Keynote speakers included: Cllr Jack Murray, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council,  Cllr Nicholas Crossan, Leas-Chathaoirleach Inishowen MD,  Cllr. Paul Canning, Chairperson of the PEACE IV Partnership Committee, Cllr. Rena Donaghey, Doreen Friel, Secretary iCARE Board of Directors and Angela Tourish, iCARE Centre Manager. Fr John Walsh and Rev Judi McGaffin led an interdenominational blessing of the Sensory Garden.


With members of the local community in attendance alongside key stakeholders including representatives of Donegal County Council, iCARE Board of Directors and the Peace IV Partnership, it made for an inspiring event. The project has re-imagined an undeveloped space and created a shared space to support peace and reconciliation through sensory play.


iCARE 24

Picutre at the official opening - Niamh Clerkin iCARE Manager, Liam Gill iAdult Manager, Cllr Jack Murray Cathaoirleach DCC, Pádraig MacLochlainn TD, Cllr Paul Canning Chairperson PEACE IV Partnership, Liam Galbraith Vice-Chair iCARE Board of Directors, Cllr Nicholas Crossan Leas-Chathaoirleach Inishowen MD, Doreen Friel Secretary iCARE Board of Directors, Anna Kelly iCARE Director, Orla Tracey,  Angela Tourish, Margaret Farren iCARE Director, George McLaughlin iCARE Director, Cllr Rena Donaghey


A special thank you to SEUPB for their ongoing support to deliver PEACE IV projects successfully across the county and to the contractor for the new Sensory Garden, McGonagle Plant Hire Ltd.

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