Down Syndrome Ireland on track to meet €1.75m target

By Hayden Moore

DOWN Syndrome Ireland are well on track to meet their €1.75 million yearly target after taking in six times their usual daily profit on the opening day of their new Templeogue shop.

In what turned out to be a hugely successful day for Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI), crowds arrived in their droves at the launch of their sixth shop in Templeogue on Thursday afternoon (July 25).

Bus June Rodgers and volunteer Emma Byrne cut the ribbon of the new Down Syndrome Ireland shop in Templeogue 1

June Rodgers and volunteer Emma Byrne cut the ribbon of the new Down Syndrome Ireland shop in Templeogue

Having made just over €1,000 in the four hours they were open, there was a massive attendance at the launch with store manager Marian Kane, Head of Fundraising and Retail with DSI, Mark O’Doherty, and June Rodgers all there for the ribbon cutting.

The non-profit store sells clothing, bric-a-brac, kitchenware and books among other things to fund their list of services for people with Down Syndrome.

After the launch, Mark O’Doherty spoke to The Echo about the generosity of people that ultimately funds their services.

“We rely on the public to donate, and they are very generous with not only their donations but their time as well,” explained Mr O’Doherty.

“We have two or three volunteers in each shop and we have a target to have more people with Down Syndrome actually working in our shops – and we have Emma, who will be working on Thursday afternoons in the Templeogue shop.

“It is very important for us; our six stores have to raise €1.75 million a year to keep our services going – and we are well on track to meet that target.”

DSI fundraise to enable them to provide services such as speech and language classes for people with Down syndrome, services for expecting mothers of babies diagnosed and people with Down syndrome who are getting older and may need more assistance.

“We also have an ability programme, because less than five per cent of people with Down syndrome in Ireland have a job,” Mark continued.

“So, we have a three-year high employment training programme that enables them to get what we would consider a high-standard job, with a salary and everything.”

Located in Templeogue Village, the Down Syndrome Ireland shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5.30pm.

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