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Community and Sense of Belonging

The service was created as a diocesan response to the needs of Limerick people, in recognition of the serious inadequacy of existing statutory services, identified in a report entitled Caritas Christi Urget Nos. Together with a team of six parish-based social workers, Fr Andrew Kennedy - its first director and himself a professional social worker - was by 1969 delivering a range of services to families, to the unemployed and to the elderly. Other services included supports for the travelling community and the homeless, the creation of pre-school facilities for children and the Meals-on-Wheels service. This was only the second such service in the country and, at its peak in the late 1960s, provided some 50,000 meals every year. Many of these services were delivered in co-operation with Catholic and other voluntary agencies. Bishop Murphy and Fr Kennedy envisioned a community of services responding in unity to all those in need: the underlying vision that continues to inform the work of Limerick Social Services to the present day.