Field of Dreams – Turning of the Sod

Press Release. 18th February 2017

The Field of Dreams is a horticultural and social farming initiative by Down Syndrome Cork which will provided meaningful work and life skills development opportunities for adults with Down syndrome. On Saturday 18th February, the ceremonial ‘turning of the sod’ was celebrated at the Field of Dreams ,in Clash Road, Curraheen, on a 3 acre site leased from Munster Agricultural Society. Adults with Down Syndrome were joined by their families, invited guests and supporters on this beautiful spring day to mark the culmination of five years hard work.
Ray O’Callaghan, Chairman of Down Syndrome Cork gave a brief background to the project, what inspired it, and why it is so badly needed. He thanked the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the Department of Health and Cork Educational Training Board for their essential support.
Special guests included County Mayor Cllr Seamus McGrath, Minister Michael Creed TD, Kathleen Lynch and celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin – all of whom spoke eloquently about the challenges facing adults with Down Syndrome and their families. They acknowledged that the 95% unemployment rate among adults with Down Syndrome is unacceptably high. They also endorsed the aim of DS Cork in supporting its adult members to gain skills and experience that will improve their job opportunities.
Ray thanked the Cork business community for their help in making the Field of Dreams a reality, in particular the following key sponsors: PM Group, CField Construction, M&S, ESB, Keelings, Dansko Food Ltd.
A reception at the Kingsley Hotel, Victoria Cross ensued, with Dansko Foods kindly sponsoring refreshments for the 80+ people who attended. Adults with Ds hosted this reception, and they used this opportunity to showcase their own achievements and abilities.
The event was formally closed by Ray, who thanked everyone again for their support, and he commended the unwavering dedication of the Board members for to the project. He reminded all present that we DO need more financial support, we DO need expertise in different shapes and forms…we DO need volunteers….in his words ‘loads done, loads more to do!’
As a fitting note to the Sod-turning event, builders are scheduled to break ground at the site over the coming weeks.

For more information on being part of the Field of Dreams, contact Sharon Mulcahy on email

For more photographs follow Facebook link

Field of Dreams ‘Turning of the Sod’

Plans are underway for the official ‘turning of the sod’ on Saturday 18th February. The 3 acre site, which has been leased to Down Syndrome Cork for 5 years will be a high of activity in the coming weeks when the site goes live. The official ‘turning of the sod’ is a much yearned for moment for the team involved in making the Field of Dreams a reality.

Ministers Simon Coveney and Michael Creed will be present along with celebrity gardner Diarmuid Gavin.

Kathleen Lynch, former Minister for Health will also be present, having been a firm supporter of this project from the outset.

Keep up to date with developments here and on the Facebook page.

As always, we are seeking supporters and welcome every call.
The support of the greater Cork community is of vital importance to this ground breaking demonstrator project.
Diarmuid Gavin

Field of Dreams General Meeting

The general meeting of the Field of Dreams was held on the 20th January in Cork Airport Hotel. The evening was inspiring and uplifting and the room was filled with enthusiasm and hope.

The video clip is an insight as to how the Field of Dreams is progressing.

Field of Dreams Inaugural General Meeting

The Inaugural general meeting of DSCork Field of Dreams took place on Friday, 20th January.

The Cork Airport Hotel hosted the event and the organisers were not disappointed with the numbers in attendance.

The meeting was opened by chairperson of DSCork, Ray O’Callaghan and vice chairperson Jason Bane chaired the meeting.

There was a presentation from Jason Bane on the journey so far, a background to the work involved in getting close to the site going live.

Tony McGrath of Project Management updated the audience on the planning process so far and details of the site going live in the next month to 6 weeks. PM Group have been very generous in their pro bono work and will manage all aspects of the site development in consultation with CField Construction.

Liam Ahern, board member of DSCork gave an update on the proposed education and training for adults in the Field of Dreams. This is being organised in conjunction with the Cork ETB.

Sharon Mulcahy, parent in DSCork has been very active in the organisation of the Field of Dreams and Sharon gave an outline on the different aspects of volunteers that will be needed.

Parent Marie Fitzgerald gave a very moving account of her journey with her son Paul and what the Field of Dreams will mean to them.

There was a plea to the members for volunteers with a particular emphasis on expertise in marketing the Field of Dreams and fundraising.

The meeting was an excellent success. The future is exciting and the parents of adults who will avail in the short term are anxious to move forward. The foundation and format will be well and truly set for the children of today who are the adults of tomorrow.

Please do get in touch with us if you have expertise that may benefit us or willing hands to help.

We all have a Dream, Video

We had great fun filming this thanks to Gerard and Eugene from Dell/EMC who sponsored the production. They were so engaging and natural with us and made us feel really special. Thank you lads and thank you DELL/EMC for your confidence in our project. We think this short video gives a great insight into the value and potential of Field of Dreams; we hope you agree.

If you would like to contribute to our dream we will bring you to our EVERYDAY HERO donation page here.

The Pride of Marks & Spencer – Ray does us proud

Pride of Marks and Spencer
Ray receiving the Pride of Marks and Spencer Award from Simon Lucas, Head of Region, Republic of Ireland business, Marks & Spencer.

How delighted are we to report that our already Gold sponsors Marks & Spencer have recognised their employee Ray O’Callaghan’s volunteering work with an award? To top it off the award comes with a further £10,000 towards Field of Dreams. Read more

Positive energy flowing from ESB to Field of Dreams

Cork, September 12 2016 – ESB Energy for Generations Fund has awarded funding of €25,000 to Down Syndrome Cork for its inspiring Field of Dreams project at a special cheque presentation in Cork city today

ESB Energy for Generations Fund

Pictured at the announcement of the funding at Down Syndrome Cork, were, Aoife O’Sullivan and Meghan O’Halloran, Down Syndrome Cork Members, with Jerry O’Sullivan, Deputy CEO ESB and Jason Bane, Field of Dreams Board Member. Pic John Sheehan

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