Bandon Hyperbaric Oxygen Centre – B.H.O.C. for short is a project that was initiated by a local Bandon Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Mr. Liam Deasy (Pictured right), who was travelling to Britain to use oxygen chambers there. As a result of his visits to oxygen chambers Mr. Deasy noticed significant improvement in his symptoms which improved his quality of life. With help from a small group of volunteers back in 1997 a committee set about fund-raising, the aim being to provide a Hyperbaric Chamber in Mr. Deasy’s home town of Bandon.
The original committee membership was Liam Deasy, Paddy O Sullivan, Marie Downing, Denis Burke (RIP), Paddy Connolly (RIP), Eddie Nicholson, Neil Crean, Sean Crean (RIP) Jimmy Deasy, Eddie Lucey Jerry & Brian McSweeney, Robert Wilmot & Casey O’Donovan. One of the first tasks was to travel to Trim, Co. Meath on 14th March 1997 to view an Oxygen Chamber in use there.
As a result of a major fundraising campaign by local volunteers it was possible to purchase an oxygen chamber in Scotland in 1997. Fundraising has been the primary source of funding at the BHOC Project and by clicking on FUNDRAISERS you can see the great work that they do. The original oxygen chamber was purchased in Scotland in October 1997 and transported to Bandon where it was installed in temporary accommodation at Bandon Scout Hall at Watergate St., Bandon, Co. Cork. This solitary chamber remained in use at Watergate St until 2002 when its permanent home was secured from the Trustees of Bandon Town Hall.
Photograph on right (courtesy of Paddy Connolly) shows a crane lifting the new chamber into the Bandon Town Hall purpose built accommodation…
The newer of the two oxygen chambers was purchased in Scotland and is one of the most modern in the world. This chamber is 100 percent wheelchair-user friendly. The voluntary B.H.O.C has not received one cent of its costs – estimated at €250,000 – from the Government. Without the generosity of all concerned, Volunteers, Local Community, the Public in general and anyone that contributed, we would not have the “Centre” today that we are so proud of….. And it continues…..