Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan was on hand to cut the ribbon to officially open a new shop and social housing apartments for the Society o f St. Vincent de Paul in Newcastle West. The complex which is located in Lower Maiden Street was blessed by the Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy who was assisted by Fr. Pat Bluett C.C. The opening of the shop and apartments was the culmination of years of work by the local conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, first initiated over 10 years ago when the late John Hickey was President; it was delayed due to problems in the planning process and availability of grants. In early 2013 the project was enabled to proceed due to a substantial grant via Limerick County Council from the Dept of Social Housing where Jan O’Sullivan was Minister, as well as donations from the JP McManus Foundation, the Diocesan Fund, Airtricity and the society itself. The first shop run by the society was opened in South Quay in 1991, this followed a series of jumble sales organised in the parish hall on weekends, the shop later transferred to Mrs. Roche’s on Maiden Street and then to Sean Kelly’s premises in Cool Lane and finally to Bridge St in 2013. The new building is located on the site of three former houses, the first of which was donated by Tom and Nancy Mulcahy, the other two were later purchased by the society, one from Mrs. Baker and the other from Limerick County Council. All money from the shop is used to help those in need in the local community. The 4 apartments will be allocated to those on the Limerick County Council Social Housing list.