Area’s first adult autism centre will apply for planning in 2023

January 14th, 2023 10:10 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The tractor run has raised €120k for the ASD unit in Kilbrittain National School. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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THE committee behind the annual Kilbrittain Autism Tractor Run hope to apply for planning permission  this  year for what will be West Cork’s first residential centre for adults with autism.

The fundraising event, which started in 2013, last week attracted over 500 tractors for the 25km spin around the area, which has so far raised over €120,000 for the ASD Unit in Kilbrittain National School.

Last year, the committee confirmed that John and Mary McCarthy of JMC Parts have donated lands in Dunmanway for the facility for adults with autism in West Cork and funds raised from the tractor run will go towards this development. Anne Sheehan, secretary of the tractor run committee said they intend to apply for planning permission early in 2023 for the €10m unit.

‘We need to raise €150,000 and once that is done the Government will step in and fund the construction of the unit. By bringing it to shovel ready stage ourselves we will be speeding up the project,’ said Anne.

‘We are asking the people of  West Cork to fundraise for this too and we also have a GoFundMe page in place.’

Earlier this summer, Anne and her husband Jim, along with committee members met with the then Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Disabilities Anne Rabbitte to discuss the construction of the centre. Minister Rabbitte said that is ‘an exciting project and one that could be a blueprint for the rest of the country.

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