Cuan Mhuire, Coolarne – Ten Successful Years

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On St. Patrick’s Day 1994, a small group of people arrived at Coolarne House, Turloughmore. Their mission was to set up the fourth Cuan Mhuire Centre in Ireland.

The group was led by Sr. Consilio Fitzgerald, a Sister of Mercy in Athy, Co Kildare.

While working as a nurse in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sr. Consilio encountered many men who travelled from home to county home in search of a meal and a bed for the night. These men usually had a bottle of wine in their pocket.

Sr. Consilio developed a soft spot for these lads and thought that if they had someone to love them and look after them, a place they could come home to in the evenings to a hot meal, a nice fire and a bed to sleep in, that they would get well. Subsequently the first Cuan Mhuire was founded in 1966 in Athy, Co. Kildare.

Sr Consillio Fitzgerald

From humble beginnings in an old disused dairy at the rear of St. Vincent’s Hospital, Cuan Mhuire has grown and developed and continues to do so in order to meet the demands for the service. In addition to Athy and Coolarne there are also Cuan Mhuire centres located in Bruree Co. Limerick and Newry, Co. Down. This year will see Cuan Mhuire open a new residential treatment centre for women with addiction problems in Farnanes, Co. Cork. There are also “half way” houses in Dublin, Galway and Limerick for those who have completed their treatment programme and are preparing to rejoin the work force.

The philosophy of the Cuan Mhuire programme is based on the value, the dignity and the uniqueness of each individual. While we recognise that the person coming for help is suffering from an addiction, we also recognize that they are much more than their addiction. They are in fact human beings made in the image and likeness of God which means that within each person there are unlimited capacities for life and living.

Many people go through life without ever learning how to discover these capacities.

Cuan Mhuire, Coolarne is only for those who suffer from alcoholism and abuse of prescribed medication. Our centres in Athy and Bruree have special programmes for those with drug addictions.

The Cuan Mhuire programme is made up of one week detoxification followed by an eight to ten weeks residential rehabilitation programme which includes group therapy, one to one counselling, AA meetings, occupational therapy, meditation, relaxation and family days. In addition to this there is an after-care programme which is run weekly in ten different locations throughout the country as well as monthly in each of our centres. While all

Cuan Mhuire centres cater for people from all over Ireland, here in Coolarne we service mainly the west and north west of the country.

In the 36 years since the first Cuan Mhuire opened its doors Sister Consilio has helped to change the lives of more than 70,000 people.

Cuan Mhuire is a voluntary Organisation with charitable status. We depend very much in the generosity of the public in general and those in the business community for financial support for the day to day running of our centres.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have so generously contributed by means of financial donation or otherwise towards our work in Coolarne since we first arrived here ten years ago.

If you would like to find out more about our work or our Programme in Coolarne we can be contacted on 091-797102

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About this record

Written by Ann Boland

Published here 10 Feb 2024 and originally published Spring 2004

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