A community fund raising initiative has seen the opening of a new autism unit at Radharc na Mara Primary School, in Mervue in Galway City.

There are currently 12 junior and senior infants enrolled at the school which will provide a sensory room, occupational therapy area, an outdoor play area and a life-skills kitchen.

Doireann Hanrahan, one of the teachers in the autism classes, said: "Radharc na Mara is a designated DEIS One school which means it has a disadvantaged status due to the socio-economic demographic of the local community.

"Unlike other, more affluent schoools, we cannot rely on parents and the local community for financial help.

"Local businesses responded with their time and money and we got this badly needed project over the line.

"These rooms will have long-lasting effects, with considerable influence on the lives of children with autism from Mervue and surrounding areas."

The sensory room will be available to children as a calm and sheltered space with the new occupational therapy unit allowing children's professional disability teams carry out prescribed therapy.