St Johnston - Carrigans     ~ Co Donegal.


In 1963, the County Medical Health Officer expressed a concern to Nurse Rita Pearson about the need for welfare services for senior citizens belonging to the St Johnston and Carrigans area. 

A group got together in response to this in St Johnston in 1966 and formed the Social Services committee.  Nurse Pearson called a meeting in the St Johnston No 1 School and so the group and committee were formed as a result. 

They held the first Social Services Christmas Party that year in St Baithinís  National School, Blue Ball, St Johnston.  The Christmas party has been held every year since.  In later years, Friel's Hotel in Raphoe was used.  Then when the Resource Centre opened the Christmas Party was held there since.

The Social Services Annual Summer outing first took place in 1967 and has continued to recent times. 

Members of the Committee went to Drumcondra Football Club to see how the Dublin Meals on Wheels system was implemented and decided to seek funding from Donegal County Council towards  establishing a similar system in the St Johnston and Carrigans area.  The funding was granted and Meals on Wheels began.  Meals on Wheels takes place twice a week to this day. A container was made for the storage of food as it got delivered and there were drivers and cooks.  One time there was a snowstorm and a tractor was used to deliver the food.

Home and hospital visits and a laundry service was introduced. 

A Variety Concert was held in the Main Hall, St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre, on Wednesday 30 August 2006 starting at 7.00 pm to mark the fortieth anniversary of St Johnston Social Services.  An ecumenical blessing was given by Rev Brian Brown, Canon David Crooks and Monsignor Dan Carr.  There was about 170 people in attendance.

A buffet was provided by Frankie Duddy and Mrs Kathleen Rodgers.  And the MC was Mr Ian McCracken assisted by Leslie Mathews who provided some songs.  The artists on the evening were Leslie Matthews, the traditional musicians the McDaid family with Brendan Coll, Irish Dancing by Niamh Lynch, Line Dancing by Sonya Duddy and Gemma and Michaela her daughters.  Robert Allen and Thomas Curran also provided the music.  Thomas Curran had been playing the music at the Christmas parties for nearly twenty-three years.  Miss Kay Shannon presented a slide-show of days gone by.

Tommy Peoples, the popular and well-known fiddler, played as did Thomas Strain.  John Gamble and Jean McCready sang.  Bobby McNulty entertained the audience by playing the bagpipes.  A good night was had by all.

On 21 May 2009, a Supper Dance was held in the St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre.  Music was by Edward and James and 1200 Euro was raised.  Brendan Wilson presented the cheque to Mabel Porter on behalf of the local social services committee.



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