Order of Malta gets approval for new Galway City social centre

Galway Daily news Order of Malta gets approval for new Galway City social centre
The current Galway City Order of Malta premises on St Helen Street.

The Order of Malta is getting a new social centre in Galway City which will allow it to better provide its first aid and community care services compared to the current aging premises.

Planning permission has been granted to the charity for the conversion of Unit 3 Kilkerrin Business Park in the Liosbain Industrial Estate to its new social centre in Galway City.

The charity has been seeking a new home in Galway City for a number of years, as its current premises, a decades old converted garage, is not fit for purposes.

Galway City Council approved the application, for the change of use from light industrial to social centre and retention for the first floor of the unit, with four standard conditions attached.

One submission related to this development was received from City Councillor John Connolly, saying that this would allow the Order of Malta to move from its current premises which has “clearly outlived its practical use” and is more challenging for service users to access.

“The Order of Malta provide first aid training and services for a variety of organisations and events throughout the city. In addition to this work, the Order of Malta operate a communal centre to provide social care to elderly citizens who live alone.”

The site, which is zoned C1, allowing for the development of community and cultural facilities, would be appropriate for such a group Councillor Connolly said.

The Order of Malta Ireland first established in Galway back in 1938, establishing an ambulance corps under the Irish Association’s Chancellor, the Marquis Patrick MacSwiney of Marshanaglass, and Dr. Charles Conor O’Malley, Professor of Opthalmology and Otology in University College Galway.

On top of this continuing service, the charity also provides a wide range of first aid courses including paediatric, cardiac, and emergency first aid training.

The charity’s current Galway premises on Helen Street were purchased over 60 years ago, and are in a “poor structural state” and no longer fit for purpose the planning application states.

This building is mainly used in the operation of their Centre for Older People and as a training and meeting facility for the organisations’ members.

“Since the onset of Covid-19 our centre has been suspended and the need to acquire a suitable replacement premises has become more evident, in order for our organisation to be compliant, especially from a Health and Safety perspective.”

The new centre in the Liosbain Industrial Estate will be used to enable the provision of first aid services at sporting, civic, cultural, and religious events around the city.

It will also be used to better facilitate the Centre for Older People, which sees older people collected from their homes three times a week, and brought their for an evening meal and entertainment, providing an essential social outlet for older people living alone.