Pride of Place – Mountrath

Mountrath Pride of PlaceThere was a great buzz in Mounrath in July for the judging of the All Island Pride of Place. The estate has been nominated by Laois County Council for the competition. The estate comprises of Local Authority, Cluid housing, Private and Respond! housing. It is a positive example of an integrated estate working together with a lot of support from Laois Partnership.

Mountrath 4Mountrath 3Well done to all the residents supported by Resident Support Worker Jason Delaney.

Roll on December when the results will be announced.

Posted: August 2017

Minister announces 59 new social homes for Athy

170728_T1_123Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy today joined with local representative Deputy Martin Heydon and Respond Housing to announce the development of 59 new social homes in Athy, Co. Kildare.

Respond is planning a new 35-unit development alongside one of our existing estates in Athy. Flinter´s Field will have 12 x 2-bed, 18 x 3-bed and 5 x 4-bed family homes for those on the social housing list in Kildare. Our existing Flinter’s Place estate has 44 family homes and the new adjoining estate will expand the community as the residents in Flinter´s Field can avail of the services in existing active community building.

170728_T1_005Part VIII planning was recently granted by Kildare County Council who are providing the site to Respond Housing so now we can commence preparation of the tender documentation for construction. It is planned that we will be on site in Quarter 1 of 2018 with completion and families in their new homes in Quarter 2 of 2019.

170728_T1_036Also in Athy, Respond is planning to finish the Gallow Hill estate with 24 new social homes. 16 x 3-bed and 8 x 4-bed homes are to be built on the site. Respond is finalising arrangements to bring this development onstream. It is intended that construction will commence in Gallow Hill in September of this year with the completion date set in Quarter 3 of 2018.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said:

“This development is an example of how we can unlock the potential of state owned land. 59 new families will move into new homes across both sites and I welcome the work of Respond and Kildare County Council.”

170728_T1_137Declan Dunne, CEO of Respond Housing said:

“We are delighted to progress these projects which will see 59 families in permanent homes of their own in the second half of 2019. Respond is significantly ramping up our pipeline of social housing projects in order to help deliver the scale of housing that Ireland so dearly needs.

170728_T1_131We are grateful to Kildare County Council for their support on these projects and in particular for the land to develop Flinter´s Field. We will continue to vigorously pursue and identify sites and suitable projects for social housing in order to help alleviate Ireland’s current housing and homelessness crisis.”

Deputy Martin Heydon said:

“I’m delighted that progress is being made on the delivery on social housing for South Kildare families in Flinters Field and Gallowshill, Athy. I will continue to work with Respond!, Kildare County Council and the Department to ensure these badly needed units are delivered as soon as possible”

170728_T1_001These developments will bring Respond’s housing in county Kildare to 221 homes when completed.

Water Harvesting Project – Rineanna View, Shannon

YouthGroupandwindowboxesOur residents in Rineanna View, Shannon, have just launched a new Water Harvesting Project and celebrated the occasion by filling window boxes and pots with flowers for the entire estate.

Young people, under the guidance of Clare Youth Service, have gifted window boxes to residents of Rineanna View in Shannon.The residents were assisted by Resident Support Worker Patricia Pienaar.

More than 30 local young people have delivered colourful window boxes to residents of Rineanna View housing estate following a sustainable energies project undertaken by the Clare Youth Service in Shannon. The project involved the design, The project involved the design, assembly, and painting of window boxes.

The young people also grew and planted the flowers and installed the finished articles in Rineanna View. The project was supported by SPY Projects, Local Agenda 21 grant assistance from Clare County Council, Respond! Housing Association and the Garda Youth Diversion Project. Shane Mulvey, a youth worker with the Clare Youth Service, hailed the project as The project was supported by SPY Projects, Local Agenda 21 grant assistance from Clare County Council,

Respond! and the Garda Youth Diversion Project. Shane Mulvey, a youth worker with the Clare Youth Service, hailed the project as Shane Mulvey, a youth worker with the Clare Youth Service, hailed the project as a “brilliant collaboration between various community and groups and local authorities in the Shannon area“. Shane thanked all the young people involved and the various groups who had partnered on the project.

Participants on the project acquired new skills in hobby style carpentry as well as learning about water conservation in a practical way. The young people worked alongside local Gardaí in generating a sense of positivity within the community. Flowers were grown by the young people in an allotment taken on by the Clare Youth Service.

Next year it is planned to expand into a sustainable living project.

Well done everybody, the estate looks incredible!

Posted: July 2017

Marquis Drive, Dungarvan, Family Summer Mural Project 2017

CAroline photos July 2017 015Parents and children living in Marquis Drive, Dungarvan recently came together to decorate the internal walls of the community building with a vibrant mural, the theme of the event celebrated Our Community Marquis Drive.. Children aged 3 to 11 took part in the project, parents attended each session, guiding and mentoring the children.

CAroline photos July 2017 008

The works were overseen CAroline photos July 2017 032by ETB tutor Cora Cummins.

CAroline photos July 2017 005CAroline photos July 2017 078Drawings were inspired by the families’ ideas connecting them to their community. This inspiration came from experiences shared during family learning projects such as fun learning through crafts, inclusion of family and friends, friendships made in the community, working together through participation in family projects including wellness programmes, cookery and pottery.

The drawings from participants were projected onto the walls to create some fantastic colourful fun murals.

The end result was the re-vamping of the community building, which now displays a selection of the murals dedicated to families living in the area and who use the community building.

Acknowledgement and thanks to the ETB Dungarvan for funding this community activity and well done to all the participants for their enthusiasm and creativity.CAroline photos July 2017 075

Posted by Caroline Stewart RSW July 2017

Sinn Féin TDs visit Respond flagship development in Waterford


Brid McGrath, David Phelan, Cllr John Hearne, Susan Goulding, David Cullinane TD, Mary Lou McDonald TD, Tom Power, Declan Dunne CEO and Cllr Breda Brennan.

Deputy Leader of Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald TD and local TD David Cullinane visited Respond! Housing’s development at John’s College in Waterford city.

14They viewed the impressive 67-unit facility got older people and those with specific needs and requirements and met residents and locals who come to avail of the services and the very popular ‘Hub’ coffee shop. 

39Declan Dunne, CEO of Respond said: 

“We are delighted to welcome Deputies McDonald and Cullinane to showcase our building and housing management expertise. John’s College is home to a whole new community that gets more vibrant and active by the day. 

“Respond was glad to show our projects in operation and also to discuss how we can all play our part in addressing Ireland’s housing and homelessness crisis. We discussed the importance of resident participation in the decisions of an Approved Housing Body, the new model of Family Hubs and how we have a responsibility to provide truly caring surroundings in high quality accommodation as a basic need for all our citizens. We look forward to working with Sinn Féin and all parties to deliver the new social housing Ireland so dearly needs”. 

22632Posted: July 2017



AHB’s back credit union housing investment

4 AHB logosSpeaking at the Joint Committee on Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government in the Oireachtas on the 4th July, representatives of four of Ireland’s housing providers backed calls for proposals from the Central Bank that would allow credit union investment in social housing.

Joint Committee_ Credit Union_ 4 JulyThe Housing Alliance is a group of four national housing associations:
Clúid Housing, Co-operative Housing Ireland, Oaklee Housing, and Respond!
Members of the Housing Alliance are responsible for approximately 12,500 social housing tenancies which represents over a third of all housing provided by Irish housing associations. The group have collectively provided more than 3,000 homes since 2010 and have a delivery pipeline of a further 6,000 homes to be delivered by 2020.

Joint Committee_ Credit Union_ 4 July 2At the Oireachtas, the group set out the investment potential for credit unions in supporting new housing supply.  Housing associations are a well regulated sector with robust policy support from central government.

For credit unions, housing investment could help to diversify the investment of members’ funds and support better dividends over the longer term.  Housing provision would also allow credit unions to make a highly visible contribution to their local communities.

The Housing Alliance opening statement at the Joint Committee can be accessed here.

The Alliance’s submission to the Central Bank consultation is available here.

Posted: July 2017


Respond! College holds Graduation Ceremony in Knocknaheeney, Cork for its Healthcare Support Class of 2016.

5Respond! College held a graduation ceremony for its second Cork based group of FETAC Level 5 Healthcare Support Students on May 25th 2017 at the Knocknaheeney/Hollyhill Youth Centre, Cork City. 13 Students graduated with a Major award in Healthcare Support with another 12 attaining minor awards.

7The Healthcare Support programme was delivered by Respond! College and funded by the Department of Social Protection through the Community Employment Scheme. The students are now qualified carers with many now using their qualifications in paid employment.

6Chief Operations Officer of Respond! Housing Association Ned Brennan, in his conference address, said: “I congratulate the students and their families on this great achievement… Your education has developed your capacity to question, to argue, to think creatively and to imagine new things. Your education should foster a growing courage and confidence to speak out when you see something wrong or a better way of being and doing”.

2Professor Cathal O’Connell of University College Cork also delivered a conference address, and commended the tutors and students on all their hard work. Addressing the graduates Professor O’Connell said: “I invite you to reflect on how you have changed as a result of this course. You are now members of the caring profession, and I ask you to similarly bring about change in the lives of the people who you will now care for”.

3Gift were presented to Cllr. Tony Fitzgerald, centre manager of Knocknaheeney/Hollyhill Youth service, and to Patricia Savani, one of the many Community Employment Supervisors who support the programme, in recognition of their ongoing support of the course. Programme Leader Dr Lorcan Byrne said: “This programme shows what can happen when the community pulls together. We are very grateful to all of the Community Employment Supervisors as they enabled the students, helping them to assess funding, supporting and encouraging the students over the entire year. We are also very grateful to our good friends and colleagues in Knocknaheeney/Hollyhill Youth Service who made a great contribution with facilities, friendship and support.”

4The students are looking forward to their careers as qualified carers as holding the Healthcare Support Certificate is now a prerequisite for entry or advancement within the caring profession. Respond! College’s teaching philosophy means that the students’ life experiences, both personal and professional, is highly valued and this becomes the centre point of the entire learning process. This allowed students and tutors to share knowledge, skills and experience in ways that were mutually beneficial.

98Pic 1Posted: June 2017

Bike Week at Oakley – June 2017

Bike week at OakleyFamilies of Oakley Wood came together to enjoy an afternoon to mark bike week in June 2017.

The children enjoyed taking part in bike races and obstacle courses, Parents and children then enjoyed glitzing up their bike, a well-earned fruit and water break was then enjoyed on the green.

The event concluded with a medal presentation, healthy goodie bag and a safety demonstration from cycling Ireland.

This is the second year for Oakley wood to mark bike week event, the event promotes positive physical health and well-being within the community, this year we were delighted to have Barbara from cycling Ireland to give a demonstration around bike safety.

The event was thoroughly enjoyed by all families.

A special thanks to sports partnership Carlow, Barbara from cycling Ireland and all the parents who helped out on the day.

Posted June 2017:  Jen Danagher (Respond!) AND Niamh Flavin Beresford (FSW Respond Support)


Initiative to Create a Community Sensory Garden in Leixlip

Respond! celebrate European Neighbours’ Day 2017

Respond hosted a number of events around the county to celebrate European Neighbours Day 2017. The western region celebrated European Neighbours Day in Ballygrennan Close, Moyross, Limerick on 19th May.

DSC_0928 It was a really special day and enjoyed by all, lots of craic, good food, activities (such as planting) and of course, fab neighbours!!  Thanks to Maureen and Sylvia for organising this event.


Respond! also organised a BBQ at our offices in Waterford with live music supplied by our very own residents, the Johns College Choir.

St Johns College Choir at Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (cropped)

Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (12)BBQ at Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (2)

This year marks the 17th anniversary of Neighbours’ Day, since it was launched in Paris, in 2000.

Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (13)This event is now celebrated around the world by millions of people – 1450 partner cities, housing organisations and associations are participating in over 36 countries with more than 30 million participants!

Scones arrive Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (6)The impressive development of neighbour’s day is living proof that there is a desire to promote a ‘better living together’ with no borders.

Dermot at Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (4)Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (9)The  BBQ at lunch time at Airmount was celebrated by more than 75 attendees staff, and residents from Airmount, Luke Court, Aisling Court, Francis Court, Spring Gardens, Johns College and Oak Crescent Tramore. The delicious  food was supplied by Molloys and disappeared very quickly indeed, along with the sunshine.

Choir sing at Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (3)This years uncertain weather created a bit of a challenge with the highlight of the day being the performance by Respond! residents from Johns College Choir (in the rain) well done to the choir for their fantastic enthusiasm.

Roll on next year