Clúid Housing, Mercy gift in the West
The following short video has interviews residents of Saint Jarlath’s Court and a member of staff. It introduces some of the benefits of Clúid and Mercy friendship. Please turn up your speakers and enjoy! To view the video, please click here.
Clúid is an Irish non-profit making housing association. The word itself has been translated as: the seat beside the fire; the corner seat that was vacated for the guest, or reserved for the venerable elderly member of the family. Clúid vision: “A society where everyone has a great place to live”; and mission: “Providing quality housing and services to enable people to create homes and thriving communities.
Group from St. Jarlath’s Court, Tuam, attending the event in the County Offices, Galway, July 23rd, 2019
Standing: Norman Coates, Mary Connolly, Olivia Murphy (Manager), Michael Grealish, Barbara Saville, Eamon Feran, Paddy Igoe, Suzanne Ryder, Deirdre O’Donnell (Clúid Co-Ordinator)
Seated: Brian O’Gorman CEO, Maureen Rock, Lord Mayor Mike Cubbard & Patricia Kerman
[Photograph courtesy of Clúid]
Marking the Silver Jubilee of Clúid in the Galway County Offices, Brian O’Gorman CEO began by thanking the Mercy Sisters of the Western Province, whose donation of land in Tuam, and a building in Clifden, were the first seed of Clúid social housing in the county. He writes:
The Mercy Congregation and Clúid Housing
Clúid Housing was a small and fledgling organisation when I first met with the Sisters of Mercy. The meetings at the provincial headquarters at Ballinasloe led to discussions concerning the potential for housing developments at Clifden and Tuam. As the Sisters were assessing their involvement in different communities they spoke to me about wishing to leave a legacy to give expression of their service to the communities that they had worked with.
The re-purposing of the building in County Galway and the development of land for social and affordable housing resonated with the mission of the Mercy Sisters. Today the housing in Clifden and Tuam continues to flourish. We hope that we have repaid the trust placed in us to create a living legacy. While Clúid Housing has continued to grow, we will be forever grateful for the opportunity extended to us by the Mercy Order. This gift has helped us to secure the future of the organisation and enabled us to help many other households, on other projects and in other counties.
Brian O’Gorman, CEO Clúid Housing
The provision of housing by Clúid in County Galway now comes to 360 housing units and 87 apartment units. All of this was enabled by the initial Mercy generous gesture.
“We commit ourselves to being radically and unequivocally on the side of those who are poor and marginalised and we dedicate our resources to this end.” (Mission Directive, Congregational Chapter 1994)
Homelessness was identified as a focus by the Congregation to mark the new millennium. In fidelity to this commitment, the Provincial Leadership Team of the Western Province endeavoured to respond. A working party interviewed various Social Housing Groups and considered various sites throughout the Province. It was decided to collaborate with St. Pancras Housing Association which in turn had established Clúid. This led to the donation of six acres of prime development land for Social Housing in Tuam, Co. Galway, as well as the convent building in Clifden.
Caitlín Conneely, Western Provincial at the time of the donation.
Mercy presence in these schemes
Invited to be a Mercy presence, two Sisters took up residence in Clifden, living there for nearly a decade. Marie Collins found this a totally different way of living community and was very happy to be involved with her neighbours. She was treasurer of the Residents’ Association for two years and, though she left there in 2013, still keeps in touch. Clare Halvey also still meets with some friends from Clúid. Her involvement there included setting up a prayer group, going to meetings and playing the piano at parties. Both speak of their happiness, living in Clifden’s Clúid.
Happy too were the four Sisters who lived for a time in Saint Jarlath’s Court in Tuam. Anne Farragher, Norrie McHale, Máire Nolan and Treasa Joyce (RIP) added much to the social fabric of this Clúid development, between setting up a Residents’ Association and encouraging social engagement. Once again, four Mercy Sisters are happy to live in Saint Jarlath’s Court:
The Mercy Sisters living in St. Jarlath’s Court now
Left to Right: Mary Potter, Anne Maria O’Shaughnessy, Suzanne Ryder and Teresa Nolan
Mercy wishes Clúid well for the future as they continue their excellent work.
Suzanne Ryder rsm