Wednesday 26 October 2016

Meals-on-wheels Marie is a 'powerhouse' who is knitting the community together

Susie Kelly (left) and Marie Gorman
Susie Kelly (left) and Marie Gorman

Marie Gorman is regarded as something of a powerhouse by anyone who has met her.

The "woman with the grey hair and the glasses", as she refers to herself, runs the Ballybough Court Senior Citizens' Centre and a meals-on-wheels service in the area.

On any given day, the women who work in the centre could serve up to 50 meals to elderly or vulnerable people in the inner city.

The centre also organises activities, including bingo once a week and a knitting club.

"We have a 'don't like' list for the people we give meals to, so if they don't like it we don't give it to them. We're giving them a dinner that they'll eat, not just a dinner to please us… some of them won't have anything else," she said.

Marie receives minimal funding and charges €3 a day for a meal and dessert. She has been running the centre for the past 33 years.

"I only came down to play darts, I never planned to run the centre," she said. On top of her duties in the centre, she also tends to a small garden for the residents of Ballybough Court.


"Nobody has ever come down and done damage here, the kids never come down and do any devilment. The respect that people have over the years for this place is great," she said.

Ballybough Court is largely reserved for older residents and Marie always makes sure to have appliances and household wares to pass on to anyone who needs them.

Meanwhile, in another part of the community, Joe Dowling, who is well-known in the inner city, runs the North Inner City Old People's Group alongside Tony Dunleavy.

The voluntary organisation hosts two days out a year with around 150 older residents usually attending the events.

The group has fund-raised in the past, but are finding it difficult now to secure enough money to host the event.

They are seeking sponsorship from locals or local businesses to help them continue the tradition.

Anyone wishing to donate can get in touch with Joe via the Hope centre in Killarney Court on Buckingham Street Upper.

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