The ceiling on the corridor of Moorefield House
The first L’Arche house ever built in Ireland, located in Kilkenny, turns 40 next month — but the years are catching up with it.
Moorefield House, across from the Garda Station in Kilmoganny, has hosted countless people with disabilities and volunteers for four decades. It is now in need of repairs and a little TLC. Humidity and damp has damaged some of the timber work, parts of the roof are leaking, while there may be also be some structural problems with the building.
L’Arche Kilkenny is now inviting people to help them fundraise in order to fix the roof leaks and bathroom in the house, so it can look its best for its 40th anniversary.
“If the walls could talk, the stories they would tell would be unbelievable,” said Chris Hayes, L’Arche Kilkenny community leader.
“Unfortunately some of the spaces in Moorefield House do talk. Two of them, specifically, are shouting at us, letting us know they need to be worked on.
“Our lovely house is showing its age in the living room and one of the corridors, where humidity is corroding the wooden structures and needs to be addressed quite urgently.
“Also, one of the bathrooms probably has structural deficiencies in the floor framing, plumbing problems, and quite likely waterproofing issues. Additionally, it needs new tiles and panels.”
The bathroom at Moorefield House. L'Arche says there are structural problems hiding behind the tiles
L’Arche is an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together.
L’Arche Kilkenny was the first L'Arche community in Ireland. During the past 39 years the community has grown so that today it includes four residential houses, a café, four independent Living Core Member houses, a garden workshop and a craft workshop.
To address the problems in Moorefield House, L’Arche Kilkenny has launched an appeal to invite people to fundraise €15,000.
“We are inviting people to join in by organizing Coffee Mornings, Table Quizzes, walks, discos or any other event,” says Chris.
“We are also looking for corporate partners who have Social Responsibility programs and want to partner up with us.”
For more information, to donate or see the progress of the campaign visit www.larcheireland.org or the group’s Facebook page.
“Moorefield House was the beginning of all of this and we love it very much,” says Chris.
“It has been home for some many people. So many stories have been lived in. It is a bit sad to see it decay, but we know we can fix it if we work together.”