Residents of Mount Anthony housing scheme in Dublin celebrate 60th anniversary in style

Rory Guinness and his daughter Aoife with magician Waffles at the Iveagh Trust 60th anniversary party in Rathmines. Picture: Mark Condren

Seoirse Mulgrew

The residents of a sheltered housing scheme in Dublin have been described as the “heart and soul” of the local community.

Mount Anthony is a housing scheme for older people that supports independent living with a range of communal facilities and services.

The Iveagh Trust built the first dedicated sheltered housing scheme in 1962 at Mount Anthony in Rathmines.

Residents and staff celebrated the scheme’s 60th anniversary on Tuesday with afternoon tea, a magician and a rendition of Molly Malone.

The first phase of development consisted of 40 homes and there are now 143 homes providing accessible and comfortable accommodation for older people in a supported setting.

Bert Taylor (72), who is originally from Co Sligo, has been living in Mount Anthony since 2011.

He said he could not imagine his life without the help of the Iveagh Trust and that his “heart was singing” when he first walked through the door of his new apartment 11 years ago.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the apartment, the most beautiful apartment on the top floor. I was so happy my heart was singing and I’ve never looked back,” he said.

“It’s a beautiful place and I think what makes it is, the thesis of Iveagh Trust, the way they look after people and the staff that I’ve met, they all portray that, they really do.

“There is a good community feel, we have a day room, and they organise stuff and we have our free outings as well.

“I wouldn’t be able to live in the city, I really wouldn’t. It’s a reasonable rent and the terms and conditions, I couldn’t speak highly enough of it and it’s really one of the best places to live in in Dublin.”

Tenant liaison officer Antoinette Kiely said tenants enjoy the safety and security of the facility. She said it also benefits those who may feel socially isolated.

She has worked at Mount Anthony for seven years and supports tenants with a range of issues such as changing bank accounts.

“Some tenants just need to have a chat and some of them have no family or anything so I’m there to lend an ear as well. All through the pandemic I was here as well,” she said.

“My role is, I’m there with a listening ear and if I can help them within boundaries I will. If I observe someone declining, I flag that with the nurses, and we work really well as a team.

“Every year I organise a free day trip for every tenant that lives in the Iveagh Trust, so it funds a day trip for all tenants.”

Chairman of the Iveagh Trust Board of Trustees, Rory Guinness, said the service has kept going for 60 years. He said the tenants are the “heart and soul” of the community.

“This particular estate is 60-years-old, the trust itself is 130-years-old. So, we were building social housing way before the foundation of the State and even back then there was hardly any social housing, it was a new concept,” he said.

“We’re really proud of all our estates. We work really closely with a nursing organisation as well, so between Antoinette, the estate staff, because we have people actually living on the estate to keep an eye, and then we have a nursing service. So, between the three of them, it’s lovely to have that backbone.”

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