The Sensory Garden Vision

Phase 1 Completed - The Reality

Designed By: Dominick Cullinane

About The Shine Sensory Garden:

The Shine Sensory Garden has been designed by renowned Garden Designer Domonick Cullinane and will become a place where the children can learn, overcome their sensory challenges, work on their gross and fine motor skills, have fun or just have some quiet time. Each element of the garden has a specific purpose and addresses one of the sensory challenges faced by the children. The purpose of the Sensory Garden is to create a safe and fun place to play while working on sensory integration, anxiety issues, challenging behaviours, physical activity to developing muscle tone, fine and gross motor skills, coordination, balance and a quiet place away from the demands of the classroom.

Supported By

“ This project was a challenge for me as I learned about autism and the elements required in this unique garden design. I wanted to maximise the space and design to give the children all of the elements required to assist in their development while also making it a bright and vibrant space for the children where they can explore and have fun.”

- Dominick Cullinane.

Bank Of New York/Mellon Volunteers

Working at the Shine Sensory Garden

The Shine Sensory Garden Project Is Also Supported by:

Purchase Options




The Shine Sensory Garden Project
It’s easy to support this project

When you donate to the Shine Sensory Garden Project a specific piece of the jigsaw puzzle will be allocated to you, your company or organisation. We have 250 jigsaw pieces and your name will feature on your jigsaw piece on the website and on the puzzle mural in the Sensory Garden itself. Your support will be there for all of the visitors to the garden to see for many years to come. You will also receive a scroll detailing your donation and identifying your puzzle piece that you can keep or display as you wish.
How you can donate to the Shine Sensory Garden Project:
Donate online Here

Peek Traffic Management Make A Difference

Pat Twomey of Peek Trafiic Management presents a cheque to Kieran Kennedy of Shine for the Sensory Garden Project


The Benefits of a Sensory Garden to a Child with Autism:
Sensory processing is the normal neurological process of organizing sensations for our use in everyday life. We use sensations to survive, to satisfy needs, to learn and to function. Sensory Dysfunction occurs when the brain inefficiently processes messages coming from a person’s own body and his or her environment. The person has difficulty responding in an adaptive way to everyday sensations that others hardly notice or simply take in their stride.
Children suffering from sensory dysfunction either crave sensory input, or become sensory defensive. A functioning sensory garden addressing all of the senses; touch, taste, auditory, visual , balance, and co-ordinating the movement of the eyes, head, and body through space and body movement can help to develop the sensory system in the child with a diagnosis of autism. For a child who is sensory defensive, a gradual introduction to the stimulation provided by the features in the sensory garden will therapeutically alleviate some of the symptoms of their sensory difficulties. Equally a child who craves sensory input, can seek out the appropriate sensory experience which they require to satisfy their system.

Why Bank of New York/Mellon Are Supporting The Shine Sensory Garden Project

“This is not about charity but empowerment” - Eoin Motherway Managing Director • BNY Mellon Asset Servicing

BNY/Mellon and our staff have been working with the Shine Centre for Autism over the last three years to assist them where possible in their work in developing innovative programmes for their clients. We have all see the potential of this organisation and most particularly that of the children, adolescents and young adults who strive each day to reach their full potential. We identified the Sensory Garden Project as a tangible way that our organisation and staff could make a real difference in the lives of the children at the Centre. BNY/Mellon have contributed funds to complete the ground works and develop phase one of the Sensory Garden and our staff continue to fundraise for the project. I would urge any individual, company or organisation regardless of their size to support this project as it’s an opportunity to make a real difference in the life of a child with autism. Why not grab it!


Donate By Post:

The Shine Centre for Autism,

Sensory Garden Project
Weston View,
Ballinrea Road, Carrigaline,
Co Cork Ph: 021 4377052 or



About The Shine Centre for Autism (Cork):

At the Shine Centre we passionately believe that every child regardless of their ability has to be given the opportunity to be the very best that they can be. Through intensive programmes and the commitment of both families and our staff we strive to give every child that opportunity. We work with children aged from 2½ years to 16 years of age and through early intervention and constant encouragement our children have proven that they can grow and develop both socially and academically.

The Shine Centre for Autism in Carrigaline was opened by the IPAA in 2007 to assist in the provision of services due to the large increase in the rates of diagnosis of autism amongst children in Cork City and County. The Shine Centre now works with over 70 children and adolescents with autism, their families, teachers and carers on a weekly basis. The Shine Centre operates programmes for children and adolescents with autism to develop their educational, life and social skills through a range of services and programmes.

The Shine Centre offers the following services to children with autism:

• Early Learning Unit for Pre-school Children
• Personal & Life Skills Programmes (PALS)
• Social Skills Programmes
• Mainstream Educational Support Service
• After Schools Clubs
• Parent & Teacher Training Courses
• Seminars
• Telephone Advice Service

The Shine Centre for Autism, Weston View, Ballinrea Road, Carrigaline, Co. Cork P: 021 4377052 E: W:



The Smarter Senses Project

The Smarter Senses Project is an initiative from the Shine Centre for Autism aimed at improving the outcomes for children with autism by introducing technology and sensory programmes to enhance their learning experiences. The project is supported by it@cork, the leading not-for-profit independent business organisation, representing the interests of the IT industry in Ireland. it@cork believes that the IT industry should be a primary leader in this area and the Smarter Senses Project is a wonderful example of industry leaders and technology making a difference where it is greatly needed. Under the leadership of Chairperson Denis Collins the technology element of the project is well underway with it@cork members such as Quinn-healthcare, Bank of New York/Mellon and IBM making major contributions to the project with the provision of ipads and kid-smart learning units to the Shine Centre. Another vital element of this programme is the Sensory Garden .The garden will help access the five sensory windows for the children and help them to learn, relax and develop, their physical skills and motor skills.

“The Smarter Senses Project demonstrates the perfect model of how companies and organisations can harness the many talents they have at their disposal to develop and deliver a ground breaking project for children with autism. This project when completed will be a huge leap forward with enhanced learning experiences creating more positive outcomes in the children’s educational and family lives”

Denis Collins Chairman it@cork