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St. Gabriel’s History & Developments
St. Gabriel's History & Developments
In 1961 Arthur Crabtree, the visionary founder of St.Gabriel’s School & Centre and a group of Limerick business people recognised what few if any facilities were available to help and support families of children with disabilities at that particular time in Limerick. Having come together out of concern to try to bring about change, they set up the Limerick Children’s Handicapped Association, a non-residential treatment centre in St. Joseph’s Street, Limerick. This was the early days of what was later to become known as St. Gabriel’s School & Centre.
After Arthur’s death, Wyn Crabtree, Arthur’s daughter carried on the outstanding work her father had started. Over time and with the support of her voluntary committee, chaired by Dr.Billy Cahill, their determination and commitment to have a special needs school and centre for children with multiple disabilities established in Limerick paid off and a new green-field site in Dooradoyle was purchased.
In April 1997 a purpose built special needs school and outpatient centre was opened by the then Minister, Michael Noonan, T.D.
This marked a new era in the treatment of children with disabilities. Sadly Wyn passed away in March 2009 at the age of 93 however her memory and spirit live on in St.Gabriel’s today. That very same dedication she displayed throughout her life’s work still is still evident amongst staff who now work in a multi-disciplinary team approach to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities in the Mid-West region.
Overview & Developments
1961 Arthur Crabtree established the first Limerick Handicapped Children’s Committee
1978 Official recognition was granted to St.Gabriel’s School by Dept. Of Education & Science
1997 Moved to a new green field site in Dooradoyle and St.Gabriel’s developed a partnership with the Dept. of Health & Children, Dept. Ed & Science
2003 New extension opened to provide Clinic and new Therapy Services
2003 Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) established in St.Gabriel’s Centre
2005 Established Limerick Early Intervention Services& School Age Team
2008 Established Regional Orthotics Service
2009 Opened new Hydrotherapy Pool
The continuing development and expansion of the St Gabriel’s School and Centre over the years has been made possible in a very large way by fundraising efforts and philanthropic donations.