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Elaine’s Story

Thanks to an incredibly generous legacy donation from Elaine, we have been able to create a purpose-built wellness room for the women and mothers in Ashleigh House. This gift will provide a space for relaxation and peace for those residing in Ashleigh House for years to come. The words below have been provided by Elaine’s husband, Eamon.

“Elaine entered this world on the 14th March 1959. Due to her mothers circumstances she spent her childhood years in the “care” of the Sisters of Nazareth in Nazareth House, Derry. She had an incredibly difficult childhood suffering extreme physical and emotional abuse. In her late teens she moved to Dublin, where her life quickly went out of control, mainly due to alcohol abuse and also drug use. She was in and out of Jervis Street hospital for detoxification where she was helped by two social workers, Peggy Cumberton and Barbara Law. They persuaded her to enter Coolmine Therapeutic Community for rehabilitation, which she did early in 1979. She successfully completed the programme in Coolmine in 1980.

“Upon leaving Coolmine she lived and worked in Dublin for a number of years, then moved back to Derry. In 1997 she moved to San Francisco and lived and worked there for 14 years. She moved to Barcelona in 2011, partly because she wanted to be closer to home in order to follow up on issues relating to her childhood. Her childhood abuse remained a constant problem for her, resulting in post traumatic stress syndrome, for which she attended counselling for many years. She participated in the HIA inquiry into institutional abuse in Northern Ireland. The inquiry awarded her the maximum amount of compensation, unfortunately this was not forthcoming until after her death in July 2020. Part of this compensation has been used for the construction of an extension to Ashleigh House, in appreciation of the important positive role that Coolmine Therapeutic Community played in her early adult life.”

Can you donate to Coolmine today so we can spend the next 50 years supporting people like Elaine?

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We have a busy schedule of events ahead for our 50th year of Coolmine and we would love to celebrate with you.

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