Hopes that the opening of a new centre will help ease the problems of homeless men in Galway.

A new service for homeless men run by the Western Health Board and the Simon Community opens in Galway.

The city has about twenty homeless men and up to fairly recently, they've had to live rough in the most appalling conditions.

Some of these homeless men have resorted to sleeping in galvanised sheds, disused cars and caravans, and abandoned houses. 

Since 1979 Galway's Simon Community has been working to help these homeless men through meals on wheels and the provision of temporary shelter. The opening of the 'Fairgreen House' is seen as a huge step forward. The centre was built by the Western Health Board and will be run by the city's Social Services Council alongside the Simon Community. The centre will provide residential accommodation for fifteen men, have a staff of five full-time workers and an annual budget of around £50,000.

Health Board CEO Mr Eamon Hannon performed the official opening of the centre and there was an ecumenical blessing ceremony performed by Bishop Eamon Casey.

The first of the city's homeless men will move in next week. 

Mr Hannon acknowledges that the centre will not solve all of Galway's problems. 

There are now more homeless men in the city looking for services and seeking services than this centre has a capacity to accommodate.

Conal Mac Riocard of the Simon Community welcomes the opening of the Fairgreen Centre as a step towards providing shelter for people who have for too long been ignored.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 24 June 1983. The reporter is Jim Fahy.