Handover of keys was emotional

A house built by the McArdle family nearly 80 years ago is to become a state of the art refuge for the Women's Aid organisation, who recently took possession of the stunning Newry Road property, 'Highfield'.

The owner of the house, which is set on almost 1.2 acres, Bernadette McArdle Kavanagh, said she was aware of the 'incredible dedication' it had taken from Women's Aid to reach this point in their journey.

Bernadette said: 'I'm handing over these keys and I feel I am handing over the happiness my family had in this home. My parents had this house built in 1939.

'I'm quite sure they and all the family would be delighted that such a wonderful organisation as Women's Aid Dundalk are going to continue their work here. I am conscious of the incredible dedication and hard work which is carried our by all concerned in this invaluable association. It is my sincere wish that you will continue your caring work in trouble free happiness. May laughter be a permanent resident'.

Auctioneer Anthony McArdle, who is a grandson of Elizabeth and Philip A. McArdle who built Highfield, said: 'As our family solicitors Donal O'Hagan & Co. completed the sale and my aunt Bernadette handed over the keys, it was quite emotional.

'And not only because we were saying goodbye to a home loved and fondly remembered by all my family but because Highfield is entering a new era, providing a valuable facility to women and children in our community through Women's Aid Dundalk.

'We wish them every success with their important work and hope everybody who visits Highfield will enjoy it and benefit from it in the future as much as we did as a family in the past. Highfield - a never-ending story'."

Women's Aid Dundalk's Lisa Marmion said: 'We are beyond excited to share our news with you all. As you know, we've been searching and waiting a long time to find the perfect place for us to grow our residential and support services. And we have found it!

'We closed the deal and got the keys recently. We could not have done this without the public. We're going to need your continued support to transform this beautiful home and surroundings to a beautiful home and support services for women and children in need of safety and recovery from their experiences'.

David Kieran