menlo square.jpg

Hear Chairman of Ability West Ray Kelly talk about this year's Menlo Walk on Galway Bay FM, interview starts at 1:38:00.

The annual 5 mile Menlo community walk in aid of Ability West is back for the 11th year and will take place on Sunday 11th February. The walk will start at 12 noon from Scoil Bhride Menlo, Galway City.

This popular event which will celebrate its 11th year has raised in the region of close to €65,000 for Ability West and is open to everyone. The walk is organised by the Kelly Family whose youngest child Andrew has Autism.

Since turning 18 in 2017 Andrew has transferred to the adult services of Ability West. Andrew receives a day service from New Directions in Knocknacarra and a respite service in Galway City. These support services are vital to him and to the family.

“The transition for Andrew has been seamless from child to adult service with Ability West. Andrew is very happy in himself and it was definitely down to forward planning and an eased move from services that has Andrew in such a good happy, relaxed place, “Explained Ray Kelly, Andrew’s Dad and Chairman of the Board of Ability West.



The Menlo Walk is one example of an important event where much needed funds are raised for Ability West. All of the proceeds raised for and on behalf of Ability West from the Menlo Walk will be used towards their ongoing capital programme which includes new builds, extensions and refurbishments of existing buildings, the purchase of essential aids, appliances, specialised equipment for service users and minibuses 

“The walk is a huge part of our year but also its all about community. The Menlo community, our friends and friends of friends who come each year and support us and Ability West. We are so delighted to have raised close to €65,000. There is tea, coffee and loads of cakes and bakes afterwards, so even if walking isn’t you thing, you can reward yourself with a slice of cake for your effort if nothing else,” said Brega Kelly, Andrew’s Mum, and co-organiser of the Menlo Walk.

Ability West is a voluntary, not for profit organisation, set up by parents and friends, that provides services and supports to over 540 children and adults with an intellectual disability and autism in 13 locations with 58 centres located across Galway City and County. Ability West is also supported by branches in local communities throughout Galway City and County and they are greatly appreciated for the work they do. The Galway City branch is one of several branches of Ability West. 

Services provided by Ability West include day, residential, respite, rehabilitative training, supports towards employment, active ageing, community support and multidisciplinary supports such as social work, psychology, behaviour support, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. Ability West is also a patron of four special schools located in Ballinasloe, Carraroe, Galway City and Tuam.   It is only through the continued support and generosity of the public that they can continue to deliver a high quality service well into the future.

A walking fee of €10 per person or €25 per family is payable on the day. For more information phone Ray on 087-7694153 or Brega on 087-6179886. Donations can also be made online through