Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has commended the staff and organisers of the Deenagh Lodge Tea Rooms in Killarney.
The Ireland South MEP visited the tea rooms, which provide training and employment for young people with Down Syndrome, while in Killarney for constituency work.
Ms Ní Riada said the tea rooms should act as model for special needs work and communities across the country.
“I was delighted to visit the Deenagh Lodge Tea Rooms in the beautiful surrounds of Killarney National Park,” she said.
“And was particularly honoured to be able to present the inaugural Employee of the Week award to Anthony Jones. Congratulations, Anthony! From what I understand it is well deserved.
“The tea room staff are absolutely wonderful. Friendly and helpful and witty and a perfect example of how young people with Down Syndrome can and do play full, vital and vibrant roles in our community.
“The training they receive here not only helps them with working in the tea room but also provides them with a huge advantage when seeking employment elsewhere or going on to further education.
“The Deenagh Lodge is a model for how this type of inclusive, respectful, integrative and holistic work can and should be done around the country. I cannot commend the people behind it and of course the staff, enough.
“They are currently fundraising to help finance a number of projects they are working on and I would encourage everyone to pop in, enjoy the beautiful surroundings, meet the wonderful staff and of course, have a damn fine cup of tea or coffee.”