Kevin Lynch - Deaf Village Ireland Launch March 2013

Wonderful Speech by Kevin Lynch, Chairperson of National Deaf Village Sports and Leisure Company Limited

Monday, March 4, 2013

Kevin Lynch, Chairperson of National Deaf Village Sports and Leisure Company Limited delivers his speech on our official launch of Deaf Village Ireland which it was held on the 4th of March 2013.

Ladies & Gentlemen, Minister:

It gives me great pleasure to be here with you all today for this very special occasion. It is also a great day for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Community as well as the surrounding Cabra community.

This project – Deaf Village Ireland – is a significant milestone in the development and progress of our Deaf community in Ireland.

It is a truly marvelous achievement, for all the teams of people who have worked so hard, to make the vision behind this project for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Community a reality. It really is the first of its kind, and for that we can be truly proud.

Among us today are those who dreamed the impossible dream . . . to develop this magnificent Centre. Here present today are so many who played a vital part in bringing our vision into reality – the architects, designers, engineers, construction workers, managers, volunteers, and so many others whose work has helped to translate our hopes into something tangible.

We want to acknowledge the HSE grant of 3 million Euro towards the building and also a €200,000 Lotto Grant from Department of Sports. Thank you, Minister for approving the allocation.

Special thanks are due to Ger Houlihan and Emma Kilbegan for their practical support with a Deaf space design in August 2010.

We must not forget to acknowledge our project Managers, Frank Murray and Mark Johnson for their invaluable advice and support since the project started over 4 years ago.

Also we acknowledge the support and help from Gallaudet University, Washington, USA.

We acknowledge this today, and we are deeply indebted to you all. Thank You.

So many people have helped to make our vision become a reality. We want to thank CIDP and, in particular, Fr. Michael Cullen, Chairman, for providing us with their lands to enable us to build this very impressive, state-of-the-art facility which provides sport, social, religious, heritage, educational services and amenities for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and hearing people, with a unique, integrated, communication ethos.

It was Fr. Cullen who got Philip Ryan to undertake research with Liam O’Dwyer, CEO. Their committee came up with three phases. . .

Phase no. 1 has now materialised due to Liam’s hard work. Not just hard work, but also his business acumen. He knew who to approach, and organised several trips both in Ireland and abroad, to study similar models, as well as lots of meetings with the Deaf community. Without Liam we would not have this beautiful village.

So we would like to give our thanks to Fr. Cullen and Liam. Thank you both.

Incidentally, Liam’s work is not complete – he is now working on Phase 2 which is about education and schools; and then Phase 3 for Senior Deaf Adults.

At this point I want to acknowledge the work of SportsCo Board.

The generous support I received from them and their sharing of expertise and knowledge of the sports-related issues was invaluable. We greatly appreciate the quality of their work and professionalism, without which, this would not have happened.

I can truly say that we could not have had more supportive colleagues than the SportsCo Board and the DVI Board of Management. We thank them for all they have shared with us on this journey together since the beginning of the project over 4 years ago.

We would like to extend our praise to the Management of the Inspire Fitness Centre for their efficiency and skill in running the sport & leisure services. Amazingly, they have managed to enrol more than two thousand members, both Deaf and Hearing, within a very short period of time.

As we believe that Sport is the key to building a better future; one of the goals of Deaf Sports Ireland is to increase the number of members participating in sport at all levels of the system, and to open the door to that opportunity as widely as possible. In that respect the Management have got us off to a flying start! Thank You.

In conclusion, I would like to congratulate all those of you who have been involved in the building of this truly fine and wonderful development, and I wish all of you every success in the future.

My heartfelt congratulations and sincere thanks to you all. Well done!

Kevin Lynch