RTE's Claire Byrne invited back to Laois for big news on Down Syndrome Ireland - Laois branch

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan



RTE's Claire Byrne back in Laois for big news on Down Syndrome Ireland Laois branch

RTE journalist Claire Byrne is hoped to attend as special guest of Down Syndrome Ireland Laois Branch

RTE journalist Claire Byrne is hoped to visit her native Laois this Sunday, to help mark a big announcement from Down Syndrome Ireland 'Laois branch'. 

The Mountrath native is invited to officially turn the switch to light up Laois County Council offices in purple (the official colour of Down Syndrome) on Sunday March 18, switching it from green on St Patrick's Day.

What will follow is an official announcement that the group has found a site for its 'Field of Dreams', to build a job training centre for adults with Down Syndrome.

"The Laois Field of Dreams Sheltered Employment Training Facility will give our adults with intellectual difficulties the opportunity to gain the basic skills to get and hold down meaningful employment in our community for a living wage," said Chairperson Margaret Miron.

The light-up and announcement will be done in conjunction with Laois County Council.

Celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean who has previously pledged €10,000 for the Laois Field of Dreams, will also attend the afternoon. Also in attendance will be Down Syndrome Ireland President Mary Doherty and the new CEO Gary Owens.

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DSI Laois branch is expecting to shortly sucessfully conclude negotiations with Laois County Council for a lease on an identified site in Abbeyleix.

"This project will give our adults the opportunity to complete the life cycle which will help to maintain their good mental health and well-being going forward," said branch PRO Michael Gorman, who along with Antoinette Dowling are directors on the Board of Down Syndrome Ireland.

Down Syndrome Ireland 'Laois Branch' will march in the Abbeyleix St Patrick's Day Parade, with the theme 'inclusion and employment'.

The branch held their AGM recently.  More in Tuesday's Leinster Express print edition.