The original Home, founded in 1872 by Miss Frances Fitzgerald Gregg (daughter of Bishop John Gregg), was located in Albert House,Victoria Road, Cork, and rejoiced in the name ‘The Home for Protestant Incurables’. From time to time disquiet about the name was voiced. Eventually, in 1966 – 55 years after the subject was mooted – the name was changed to St. Luke’s Home, Cork (Incorporated).
The original Home accommodated 19 residents and quickly proved too small. In 1879 a major move was made to Military Hill. 80 years later St. Brendan’s House was added. Still the demand for places grew, resulting in a 12 bed extension to the main building in 1962. St. Brendan’s was modernised in 1979, enabling a further 12 residents to move in and bringing the bed complement to 107.
Subsequently this number was increased to 123.
In 1993 the Board found itself at a crossroads. New health and safety regulations and the ever increasing cost of maintaining an ageing building placed the future in jeopardy.
The courageous decision was taken to build on a green- field site in Mahon. Incorporating the latest thinking in care for the elderly, the building is in four modules, three with 30 beds and one with 38. The latter is for those with Alzheimers and other forms of dementia. All rooms are on the ground floor, with easy access to the landscaped gardens and secure internal courtyards. Facilities include a restaurant, a hairdressing service, physiotherapy and rooms for recreation – art, crafts, music, library etc.There is a Chapel for regular services and private worship.
Residents and staff transferred from Military Hill to Mahon in 1994.
Facilities to meet modern needs continue to be added, with the support and financial backing of the Health Services Executive – South. A Day Care Centre operates five days a week.
A large conservatory has been provided as a Millennium project.
With its patio doors looking out onto the landscaped grounds towards the river Lee, this provides a relaxed, tranquil setting for residents to meet friends or relatives.
Bishop Paul Colton, like his episcopal predecessors, is President of the Home, and presides at Board meetings. Directors are drawn from the Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches, but the Home welcomes those of every faith and no faith.
Throughout its history the Home has enjoyed the support of the community, in terms of fundraising and invaluable voluntary help.
Civic and Government agencies also assist in many practical ways.
“The tradition of Christian community and caring which in 1872 inspired our founder, Miss Frances (Fanny) Fitzgerald Gregg (daughter of the then Bishop of Cork, Bishop John Gregg), continues to shape the life and work of the home to this day.”
Significant dates in a unique record of caring:
1872 – The first Home opened in Albert House, Victoria Road, Cork quickly became too small.
1879 – The Home on Military Hill was opened by Bishop Robert Gregg (brother of the founder Miss Frances Gregg and son of Bishop John Gregg).
1959 – St. Brendan’s House was opened by Archbishop George Otto Simms and Bishop Gordon Perdue.
1962 – 12 beds were added in an extension to the main building.
1979 – During the Presidency of Bishop Samuel Poyntz, St. Brendan’s was modernised and a further 12 residents moved in.
1993 – Work began on the building of the present Home in Mahon. Bishop Robert Warke presided at the turning of the sod by Lord Mayor Cllr John Murray.
1994 – Residents and staff transferred from Military Hill to Mahon.
1995 – The Home was officially opened by President Mary Robinson.
1997 – 125th Anniversary Celebrations.
2000 – Day Care Centre was opened by President Mary McAleese, and blessed by Bishop Paul Colton.
2002 – The Conservatory, a Millennium project, was completed.
2003 – Michael Martin TD, Minister for Health & Children, turns the sod for the fourth unit, and officially opens the conservatory.
2004 – Exham House becomes operational.
2005 – New entrance lobby, plus major refurbishment and upgrading on all three original care units completed.
2008 – Upgrading of main corridors, dining room, and kitchen extension completed.
2010 – Work commences on the new Education Centre – Northridge House together with a further extension to the secure Dementia care unit
2011 – St Luke’s Home Foundation established
Northridge House Education Centre opens
Maguire House becomes a 38-bed Dementia Care Unit
Day Care Centre expanded and rebuilt
2012 – Northridge House opened officially by President Michael D Higgins and blessed by Bishop Paul Colton
For a detailed history see “Luke Here!” by Annie Stephens published to mark the 125th anniversary of the Home is on sale at reception – tel: 021-4359444.