News → Loreto Christmas Project – House Makeover

Loreto Christmas Project – House Makeover

Hi all – wow what a day!!!

Well done to everybody who got stuck in last weekend in the delivery of our House Makeover Project.  Everybody involved should be very proud as this Christmas Project turned out to be an amazing success and a privilege to be involved in, when it was eventually completed at 8.10pm last Sunday. The response from Club Members, past and present, to help out this family in need was simply fantastic and it demonstrated everything good about the great spirit within Loreto Hockey Club.  Between the skipping, stripping, painting, gardening, cleaning and procurement teams over 100 Hockey Club members and friends supported and got involved in some way in this project.  Well done to everybody involved and thanks for all your enthusiasm, your generosity, your hard work and dedication and the great craic you brought to the project. (Think we had quite a few classic “Overheards” on the day – but most, while they were absolutely hilarious, are simply not printable on the website!!) Over the course of the project the hall, stairs, landing, three bedrooms, bathroom, living room and kitchen were stripped of all wallpaper and then painted (2 coats) from top to bottom. In addition, we installed new lino & carpets in the kitchen and bedrooms, an electric shower was fitted into the bathroom and we sourced and delivered new furniture and curtains for the kitchen, living room and bedrooms. A massive job was done to clean up the front & back gardens, and don’t ask me how, but we somehow found time (even though it was not in Dee Mooney’s pre-operation plan) to paint the exterior of the house – an incredible achievement, WELL DONE EVERYBODY!!! The family were just astounded by the fantastic change in their house when they returned Sunday night. They simply could not believe how much work was done and how their home had been totally transformed. The social worker involved said: “I can’t thank the members and friends of Loreto Hockey Club enough for what they have done today. The quality of the work is wonderful,  you have no idea how much this means to the family,  now it really will be a very special Christmas for them this year.” The House Makeover Project team were particularly thrilled to get the help of a number of skilled boyfriends, brothers and friends to come on board and we thank them all for giving their services for free. In particular, great credit and thanks must go to:

  1. Mick O’Brien – Painting Contractor (086 2440165)  & his fantastic painting crew of Chandor Gombos, Zoltan Gombas, Lazio Tibor Maria and Anzie – lads you were great and never stopped all day
  2. Sean McCarthy of Stillorgan Decor Center  (01 2884488) who kindly sponsored all the paints
  3. Barry Fitzgerald – Electrician – (087 9625840) plus Kevin Leavy who assisted Barry
  4. Eugene Nolan – Plumber – (087 2033501)
  5. Cathal Giltrap of Mr Hire Nutgrove – (01 4958877)
  6. ND Electrical Wholesalers Ltd  – (01 4937490)

(All these professional tradesmen would be delighted to get a few return jobs from Loreto members in the future!! – so if you need good Painters, Electricians, Plumbers etc you know who to call.)  In addition, many thanks to the following people who donated to ensure that we got all 25 items on Gemma’s Priority List – Hilly Hardiman, Emer McGee, Inez Cooper, Elma Connolly, Nikki King, Sarah O’B, Collette Branagan, Mary H, Hayley Mulcahy, Grainne Cregan, Susan Fanagan, City Bin Company, Jane Geoghegan, Sr Katrina, Sr Loreto, Sr Mercy, Sharks, Carol Fanagan, Mary Rafferty, Myra Fanagan, Sue Elliott, Teresa Cunniffe, Hannah’s Grandad, Jamie McConnell,  Jeremy Clarke, Louisa Healy, Olivia Brady and the Fanagan family – Thanks a mil everybody you all played a vital role. Great credit is due to our very hard working Project Committee,  who were the real driving force behind this House Makeover. This committee was made up of just incredible club members who gave their all and who were absolutely passionate about achieving the best results they could for the family. Special mention has to go to Dee Mooney who was the Project Manager for the whole event. We could not have had a better Project Manager and Dee certainly kept all us Team Leaders on their toes. Once you saw Dee coming into meetings with her clipboard and her Gant Charts you knew she meant business. Dee’s detailed pre-planning and her well known organisation skills ensured the superb delivery of this project.  – Thanks Dee you were brill and the real driving force behind the successful delivery of this project. Our House Makeover Project Committee was made up of:

Dee Mooney – Project Manager Extraordinaire + Team Leader –Painting Team

Peter Vincent – Team Leader –Skipping Team

Sue Vincent – Team Leader Cleaning Team

Gemma O’Flynn – Team Leader – Procurement Team

Orla Smith – Team Leader – Gardening Team

Bronnie – Team Leader – Stripping Team

Lads, as Team Leaders you were all great and so committed. Really appreciate all the time and effort you put into delivery of this project. See below report from the various Team Leaders who will give you a detailed insight into how their teams handled the day’s events. Many thanks also to Sarah Maher and Paula Cunniffe who videoed the whole project and who plan over the next week or so to pull together a video to music showing how this event unfolded from start to finish – watch out for it soon! Clearly another youtube Loreto Hockey Club video is on the way!! Well done to absolutely everybody who contributed and supported this House Makeover Project. Be very proud of your involvement, because it really has made a big difference to this family.    Bronnie 

Skip Team Report – By Peter Vincent I don’t think there is any doubt about which team had the X factor or which team won the “Loreto’s got talent” title. Not only were my team of 12 handsome men at 7.50am, but they were sharply dressed and ready for physical labour as soon as we got access to the house. On a bitter and dark morning maybe my eyesight was poor and they weren’t so handsome, (actually hold on, Country was there as well so there was some glamour). Anyway we were not there for any awards, we were there to do our duty and remove the required and predetermined items from the house to the skip. We got going immediately and in fact by the time the skip  arrived, we must have been half way through the removal. But with strict discipline insisted by Mr Dagg (despite his comments that this work was well outside of his coaching job description!!) the skip was filled with military precision. No just throwing it in to the skip for those Fanagan boys ( must run in the family eh!) Every item was placed to maximise the space in the 40 foot skip. Of course there were plenty of funny moments, not least when Ash Cooper arrived as the last item was put in the skip (she was straight from Coppers I believe!! ) but it seemed to us all that the 75 mins was very rewarding and satisfying, and we knew that we were making a difference to the occupants of the house. Despite the sadness of the situation, that there are people who are living like this in a supposedly civilised society, all of us enjoyed the bit of hard work early on a Saturday morning, and I think we all left there feeling a bit better about ourselves having done something positive, but even more thankful that whatever difficulties we all face, they really are nothing compared to what many others face every day. To all of Team Skippy,  I thank you for arriving promptly, working quickly and efficiently,  and just getting the tough job done and thereby creating the momentum for what was to follow later on Saturday and especially on Sunday. Skipping Team Members were– Peter Vincent, Conor O’Donnell, Gary & Michael Fanagan, Brian & Diarmuid Byrne, Trevor Dagg, John Elliott, Emmett Lawlor McHugh, Cathy McKean & Mark, Aislinn Cooper, & Country.  Stripping Team Report – By Bronnie Competition for places on the Stripping Team was keen from the start. The quality, enthusiasm and dedication of all on the Stripping Team was so evident. Kiara Ryan was immediately promoted to Team Leader with instructions to get the kitchen stripped and scrapped ASAP. Her team literally laughed all the way through their difficult task, especially when they saw Country scraping the Kitchen ceiling at 8am while wearing wrap around dark shades!!! Was she hungover or just protecting her eyes – who knows!!! Gillian Dawson, another Team Leader, had the very difficult task of stripping the Living Room. This task was made all the more difficult as there were at least 5 coats of paint on top of the wallpaper which was initially wallpapered 29 years ago!! It took almost three hours (amid all the laughing and slagging) for the task to be completed. This team were so so competitive that they even managed to blow the fuse box in the house as a result of too many of them trying to use electric wallpaper steamers all at the same time! Meanwhile upstairs Ger Ryan and Kate Kirwan were two of the most popular strippers of the day – as they had the only other two electric steamers. At one point Sue Vincent innocently asked if her team could borrow one of the two steamers; suddenly all 10 people in the room at once and in unison  shouted a resounding “NO” and sent Sue marching. Yolanda Liuzzi (with her well known Italian / mafia connections) was the true “BOSS or DON ” of the Stripping Team. Yolanda’s height was proving very useful to reach those high parts of the wall where Helen Cusack (who is a bit vertically challenged) was having difficulties – no wonder Helen was especially keen to stay close to Yolanda all day! Well done to all the Loreto Strippers – girls you were brillo, take a bow everybody, job very well done. Stripper Team Members were – Fiona Smith, Collette Brannigan, Dello, Bronnie, Megan Darcy, Helen Cusack, Kiara Ryan, Pauls O’Donoghue, Roisin Ryan, Sinead McGirr, Cliodna MacNamara, Country, Hannah Matthews, Kate Kirwin, Grainne Gregan, Gillian Dawson, Jerry Kelly, Laura Condron, Adriana and Yolanda Liuzzi, Dee Lyons, Catherine Nagle, Ger Ryan, Jill Barton and Karen Gray (Fitz)

Gardening Team Report – By Smithy As Team Leader,  Orla Smith had to make her first executive decision at 8.15am when her alarm went off. Deciding she was definitely in no fit state to drive a car she quickly instructed Ruth Murphy to call to her house to collect her along with the lawnmowers and all the gardening equipment that the team would need. When the team entered the Jungle (ie the back garden) poor Phoebe Lyons screamed that she saw a giant creature running into the weeds –turned out this giant creature was in fact a rather large beetle! The team got off to a slow start until Sylvia arrived and quickly whipped them all into shape. The back garden was done in 90 mins with the help of Loreto’s Garda Seamus Duffy who finished off by painting the shed. The front Garden took another two hours and again our hero Seamus Duffy got stuck in to help us. After clearing very stubborn and thick moss from the driveway and cutting the grass, the job was essentially done. But my team always goes the extra mile, and even though it was not in the original brief from Project Leader Dee Mooney, the girls all decided to stay on longer to paint the garden wall and pillars. Special mention must go to Ruth Murphy who did absolutely no work all day, but who kept us entertained with her observations and witty comments. There was a funny overheard when Orla was instructing Ruth how to paint a wall that was very uneven and bumpy in parts. “Ruth you’re doing it wrong, you’ve got to kind of stab at it,“ said Orla, to which Ruth replied, “Well, we are certainly in the right location for that!” The Gardening Team decided to call it quits at 2pm due to serious frostbite on their fingers and toes. Rumour has it the team retired to a very nice and well known “snug area” to defrost. Cheers!!! Gardening Team Members were – Smithy, Sylvia Ballagh, Ruth Murphy, Phoebe Lyons, Aideen McGuinness,  Gemma O’Flynn & Seamus Duffy. 

Painting Team Report – By Dee Mooney  Question – What do you get when you put four very professional painters with 15 well intentioned amateurs and tell them to paint a house from top to bottom? Answer – Great craic, hard work, organised chaos and almost a heart attack with the worry and stress of wondering if they can really pull this task off. Yes last Sunday  was truly a complete TEAM EFFORT. It was hard, it was tough at times, but by god it was incredibly rewarding for all involved, especially in those last few hours as it all suddenly came together. Despite all the dirt, the dust, the paint and the smell of cats wee, it was incredible to see everybody on the Painting Team pulling together. Thanks also for some Team members who doubled up to do some stripping  – clearly we have some great multi-taskers!! I have vivid memories of some very funny moments that made us all laugh. Firstly I have to admit I only learned last Sunday that Nikki Keegan and Paris are one and the same person –  I thought they were two sisters who played on the 1st XI !!! Talking of Paris/Nikki, she had only arrived two minutes when she managed to split her head open while painting the exterior of the building. It was quite interesting to see how different people viewed this injury on the day. Poor Sally Ann was clearly distressed and very concerned for the health of one of her 1st XI players as she rushed around frantically looking for bandages to stop the bleeding from her head wound. Meanwhile, all Bronnie was concerned about was did Nikki get any of the blood from her head wound on the newly painted exterior of the house, interesting reactions girls!!!! And speaking of Sally Ann, all who witnessed it were quite shocked when she virtually man handled Peter Vincent (a happily married man) in an apparent attempt to help him get into one of the CSI boiler suits. Enough said!!! From the amateur painter’s ranks, Sheena Murphy was clearly the very best painter on display. The speed at which she got things done and the perfection of it was superb. Another star performer on the day was little Kevin O’Donoghue who at only 9 years old, did fantastic painting. Indeed he proved much more valuable to the team than his mum Paula, who had a look of panic on her face as she began to paint the kitchen wall only to discover she was using white paint instead of the planned magnolia paint!!! Kevin also did a wonderful job putting up and decorating the Christmas Team in the Living Room. Well done to everybody who painted last Sunday, the end product was fantastic and I know from speaking to the family how delighted they were with their new surroundings. Congrats and well done to all involved but very especially Mick O’Brien and his team of Professional Painters – Mick we never could have got there without your help. Painting Team Members were – Jill Barton, Nikki Keegan, Ruth Kelly & Barry, Sheena Murphy, Gill Hollingsworth, Eimear O’Hanrahan, Smallie, Kerrie Ryan, Judith Taylor, Micheline Spooner, Rachael O’Brien, Bronnie, Seamus Duffy, Aisling O’Donnell Ammo/Elmo Byrne, and Sarah Mooney. 

Cleaning Team Report – By Sue V It is hard to believe that the challenge of the House Project is now behind us and has been completed successfully.  The Morning ‘Cleaning Team’ alias ‘Molly Maid Multi Taskers swung into action from 8.00 a.m. on Sunday morning. The morning shift of Yolanda & Adrianna Luizzi, Paula O’D, Sally Ann, Linda J (aka Psycho), and Country  arrived with buckets and cleaning products.  Some cleaned while others were drafted in to the ‘stripping’ and ‘sanding’ teams as the scale of the job in hand took hold.  It is difficult to describe the atmosphere in the house.  At one stage in the morning there were more than twelve people in the hall, on the stairs and landing.  Each and every person was focused and driven and the work-rate was just infectious.  People ‘double-teamed’ with one person ‘perforating’ the walls while another saturated them in preparation for stripping.  A few people were unlucky enough to double-team on occasions with Country, who really seemed quite out of control with the saturating end of things, wielding the roller and just not staying low!! The afternoon crew were called into action an hour later than scheduled as the house was not quite ready for the final clean!  Thanks to all on the team who took on additional tasks of painting skirting boards, doors and walls while waiting for the final cleaning to start. (Special thanks to Sally Ann who was there for the full duration of the 12 hour day). In the course of the afternoon Sally Ann headed off with a ‘young fella’ – yes you’ve guess it, the one in the CSI boiler suit’ to collect a van and deliver the furniture back to the house.  There was still lots to do but it would be done … Then the afternoon Cleaning Team arrive (Noreen O’Riordan, Country, Eimear Naughton, Gemma O’Flynn, Anne King,  Lisa Tully, Linda J, Paula & Kevin O’Donoghue, Aisling O’Donnell Kate Brehony & the Stooney Team). Floors were washed and windows cleaned, the challenge was being met and exceeded – Club Dinner Awards for Team of the year: The Molly Maids! Many thanks also to Team Stooney, aka Stu and Mooney who together (ah how lovely!!) did great work putting up shower panelling in the bathroom. We hear Stu used so much “Tex 7 Glue” that he was on a serious “high” for days afterwards! Prior to the project the house was dull and dreary to say the least.  At the end of the day the environment had been completely transformed.  We hope that this will impact in a positive way on the occupants. The success of the makeover was down to each and every person who volunteered so enthusiastically.  Thank you for your time and work rate. I hope you all feel proud to have been so involved, I know I do.

Procurement Team Report – By Bronnie In conclusion I want give a very special mention for the fantastic work done by Gemma O’Flynn who was the solo member of the Procurement Team for our house makeover project. On the day itself, Gemma looked after providing teas/coffees and subsistence for all those working. Her work was invaluable and I think she was dispatched to the shops on at least ten different occasions. What people may not be aware of is that in the weeks leading up to the makeover Gemma was out working hard day after day, in an effort to secure all the 25 items that we identified as “Priority Items” that we simply just had to get. While we were aware Gemma was busy securing these items,  I for one did not realise that she had procured a very tasteful and colour co-ordinated selection of duvet covers, sheets, curtains, towels, cushions, and throws. Gemma’s attention to detail and her brilliantly co-ordinate interior design skills were incredible. Seeing the way she carefully laid out each room was the icing on the cake, as it finished off the project in total style. Well done Gems.

More News


Loreto Leader Newsletter – Autumn 2021

Photo 08-03-2020, 13 49 01

Wellness Wednesdays!

Loreto flags newsletter

Loreto Leader – End of 2019/2020

Sign up to the Loreto Leader

News, results, events and more all to your inbox

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.