Our History


COPE Galway has been providing Social Services in Galway since the 1970’s.

The organisation was originally called Galway Social Service Council, and was set up by the Galway Diocese. The name was changed in 1996 to Galway Social Services Limited when it became a limited company and eventually to COPE in 2000, by which name it is currently known.

One of the earliest services to be offered in Galway City was the Meals on Wheels service, which was provided in conjunction with a Day Centre for the elderly which operated from our in Francis St. This centre incorporated also provided a laundry facility, chiropody and a citizens information service.

The 1980’s

In 1982 Sonas Day Centre, Mervue, was set up at Walter Macken Place. Galway City Council kindly donated 2 flats which operate as a drop-in centre with support services for the residents of the flats complex many of whom are elderly.

The Waterside Domestic Violence Refuge opened in 1981 to offer a safe refuge to women who were experiencing domestic abuse, and their children  In 1995 a dedicated child care unit was introduced into the Refuge and in 1999, an outreach service was established.

In 1986 the Hostel, Westside House was built by the Western Health board to provide temporary accommodation to single homeless women.  The service evolved into a hostel for homeless women with children, which also incorporated a service for unaccompanied children at risk in 1996.

The 1990’s

The Fairgreen Shelter for Homeless Men was established in 1983 in a temporary pre-fabricated building, it was originally jointly run with Galway Simon.  Although only designed to last for 5 years, the building was in constant use until 1997, when the current purpose built shelter was established.

The 2000’s

In 2002, COPE, was awarded the role of managing the new emergency accommodation hostel for single homeless women, Osterley Lodge.

As the organization has expanded substantially, considerable emphasis has been placed on strengthening its structures such as formalized Policies and Procedures.

A review of the composition of the Board of Management, an increase in Core Funding, and systems to establish more meaningful staff  and client participation input have been put in place.  At present we are working on a Strategic Plan for the next five years. which will enable the organization to progress in a professional and measured way.