Building work has started on a €4.8m step-down facility in Cork for men recovering from alcohol addiction.

The Tabor Group’s major expansion of its Fellowship House facility on the outskirts of Cork City will provide 15 accommodation units for men who have completed Tabor’s three-month alcohol addiction treatment programme but who need ongoing support as they move to independent living.

The project will also increase from 10 to 16 the number of residential spaces available on Tabor’s treatment programme. The expanded facilities are due to open in summer 2018.

Local Government Minister Simon Coveney, whose department is providing funding for the project, developed in association with Cork County Council, turned the sod on the site at Lehanagmore, Togher, yesterday.

He said the facilities will play a key role in rebuilding the lives of those addicted to alcohol, one of the core problems which leads to homelessness.

“This project will be a vital support for people who are homeless as well as addressing addiction problems in Cork,” said Mr Coveney.

Tabor Lodge opened in 1989 and began providing treatment to people addicted to alcohol. Since then, its services have grown to three centres providing support and care to people suffering addictions to alcohol, substances, gambling, and food.

The Tabor Group has three residential addiction treatment centres in Cork: Tabor Lodge, its main residential treatment centre; Renewal, a step-down facility for women on Shanakiel Rd in Cork City; and Fellowship House in Togher, a similar facility for men.

Chairman Pat Coughlan said the group has seen a huge demand for its services and treated up to 200 people last year for addictions.

“But alcohol accounted for about 55% of that figure — alcohol is still the drug of choice in Ireland. Not heroin or cocaine, it’s alcohol,” said Mr Coughlan.

“The biggest change over the years that I’ve seen is the age of the people we treat. It used to be middle-aged people but now it’s men and woman in their 20s and 30s. But they can rebuild their lives, they can overcome it, and live their lives to the full.”

He said step-down facilities is essential to ensure people can continue their journey of recovery.

While Tabor’s voluntary board of directors are delighted to see work starting on the expansion of Fellowship House, he said their attention is turning to expanding the Renewal facilities, where there is a three-month waiting list.

“It’s the only step-down facility of its kind in Ireland for women,” he said. “There is plenty of land next to it, we do have planning permissions and we will now approach the relevant departments for funding.”

The construction contract for the Fellowship House project was won by Conack Construction and more than 50 jobs will be created during the building phase.


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