Fears for Daniel if funding is pulled on children’s centre

CONCERN... Daniel Mimnagh

CONCERN… Daniel Mimnagh

A CENTRE that helps children with Cerebral Palsy and Motor Disorders – including a young Fermanagh boy – is in danger of closure.

The Buddy Bear Trust in Dungannon has been existence for around 25 years, and may have to shut its doors due to a lack of funding.


Various politicians, including Health Minister Edwin Poots, have visited the conductive education school in recent times, and, for a local family it plays a vital part in the development of their child.

Daniel Mimnagh, from Ederney, is five and has Angelman’s Syndrome, a severe neurological disorder characterised by profound developmental delays, problems with motor co-ordination (ataxia) and balance, and epilepsy.

He lives with his mother and father, Barry and Claire, and brother Joseph.

And Claire explained that the centre has been a ‘life line’ for the family.

“I really fear for how Daniel would regress if he wasn’t receiving daily input from the Buddy Bear Trust,” she explained.

“We would not drive 100 miles a day to get him there if it was not really helping him.”

She went on: “Within a few months of attending Buddy Bear and having daily intensive Conductive Education, Daniel was able to sit up from lying down for the first time since he was born. He was nearly three years old.”


Claire also said that it would be a ‘great loss’ if the facility was no longer available.

Brendan McConville, the chairman of the Buddy Bear Trust which runs the school said: “The Dungannon Community which helped launch the Buddy Bear Trust 25 years ago and open the only Conductive Education school in Ireland will be delighted and proud that they have helped make a lifetime of difference to children and to their parents.

“They will know that some children given no or little hope have walked out of the school to lead independent lives while others have achieved greater independence.”

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