In 1985, thanks to the vision and foresight of the late Maura Halleran and Canon Stephen Ludden, their committee, North Connemara Social Services and was set up.
The Day Centre was established in May 1985 with the support of the then Western Health Board and from that day to this, it meets twice a week and caters for the elderly and those living alone from the Clonbur, Cloughbrack, Corr na Mona, Cong, Finney/Kilbride areas.
There is a great atmosphere and sense of companionship and all those who attend look forward to their twice weekly visits to the Day Centre where they have lunch, chat, play bingo, take part in different craft making activities, take part in an exercise programme and say the Rosary. Our parish priest, Fr Gerry visits weekly.
The Day Centre also provides meals and a laundry service to people in their homes if needed.
There are usually one or two outings every year to places like Knock or a tour of Connemara as well as a Christmas party.
Clonbur Hale & Hearty committee also organizes a very successful and well attended annual Christmas party. They have a special mass followed by a meal, music, raffle and craic – No one wants to go home at the end of the night!
Also in the 1980’s, North Connemara Voluntary Housing Association built eight sheltered houses behind the Day Centre.
The houses are compact, containing a kitchen/dining room/sitting room, a single bed room and bathroom. They are warm, nicely decorated and well maintained and they allow those who live in them to remain in their own community. They are ideally located, being just behind Clonbur Primary Care Centre, where the local GP, the Public Health Nurse and the HSE Physiotherapist attends fortnightly.
They are adjacent to the church, and close to the local shop, restaurants, pubs and services such as the post office, hairdressers, taxi etc – this is vitally important especially as there is no public transport in Clonbur.
When President Mary McAleese visited Clonbur in 1998 she said ‘North Connemara Social Services and North Connemara Voluntary Housing Association and all members of this community have worked to provide for the needs of older people in this area. Such hard work and effort is a tribute to the community spirit and generosity that exists in Clonbur’.
What Clonbur means to me?
We asked the people who attend the Day Centre; ‘What Clonbur means to me?’ Here is a selection of their poignant (and anonymous) responses:
‘Clonbur is a very friendly place with lovely scenery and good neighbours’.
‘Clonbur is a lovely place to live. Plenty of entertainment, a lovely Day Centre with lovely food, staff and friends.
'I have lovely friends and neighbours’.
‘Lovely Health Centre, friendly people’.
‘Good neighbours and a lovely centre to attend two days a week’.
'Clonbur means Home to me in old age. I go to the centre on Wednesdays and Fridays and meet friends and play bingo’.
‘Lovely village, friendly people. Most of all we have a lovely centre for the elderly and not too elderly with dinner, two days a week’.
‘Clonbur means a lot to me, the place is lovely. The people are lovely in Clonbur’.
‘I love the Day Centre. Lovely neighbours, lovely scenery’.
‘Clonbur is a wonderful place, great in every way. Helpful people. It’s the only place I’d like to rest my bones at the end of my life’.
What beautiful sentiments. We wish to thank all those who contributed.