The new facility will straddle the Waterford/Kilkenny county boundary.

The new facility will straddle the Waterford/Kilkenny county boundary.

Minister Martin Cullen turns the sod on a new home for the elderly in Waterford and its environs this week, the construction of which shall generate 70 jobs in the flagging construction sector.

The Little Sisters of the Poor are to relocate from Manor Hill once the new residential unit, which shall house up to 90 persons, is completed on the site of the original Sacred Heart of Mary School in Ferrybank.

The new facility will straddle the Waterford/Kilkenny county boundary, with half of the new building to be located in either county.

Adjoining the Convent of the Sacred Heart of Mary Sisters, the project has been budgeted at €20 million.

Sisk shall oversee the construction which has been architecturally prepared by Gary Falconer, who has thanked the company and Waterford City Council senior planner John Andrews for their assistance on the project to date.

“I know there are many hurdles to cross, but the end result for the people of Waterford when the facility is built will be tremendous as it will raise the quality of care for the elderly to a new level,” he said.

In order to go ahead with the project, the French-based religious order sold properties in both Waterford and Dublin to finance this major development. While there’s also been a pledge of Government aid, it is believed that a further €1 million will have to be raised locally.

As part of the granted planning permission, the Ferrybank community will benefit from a new community hall with full stage facilities, which will also include a restaurant, an arts and crafts area, a computer training centre, library and shop.

The care accommodation, based on an existing home in Greenock, Scotland, will provide 48 care room and 22 self-contained apartments for elderly couples.

The Little Sisters operate residential care for the elderly facilities in 22 countries across the world.

City Council officials are understandably delighted that such excellent accommodation will be provided for the region’s elderly in Ferrybank, many of whom will be able to live in a home with a warm, friendly atmosphere.

“We are very excited about this new development,” said Reverend Mother Sister Rosaleen McMahon. “And I would like to thank all who have helped in making this project come about.”