Columban Sister, Sr. Catherine Lillis, founder of the Tabor House

Sr. Catherine Lillis was born on the 23rd of October in 1929 in Querrin, Kilkee, Co. Clare. Her parents, both teachers, had a profound influence on their children of respect and discipline and dedication to detail and prayer and four of the family became missionaries.

Sr. Catherine spent the early part of her career as a missionary in the Far East, before developing a keen interest in the impact and effects of addiction on society.

Sr. Catherine travelled to the US where she trained as an addiction Councillor in the early 70′s. Her training was based on the Minnesota model of addiction counselling. Upon her return to Ireland, she worked in the Rutland Center initially and has gained an INCA accreditation. She then worked in Dublin’s Inner City for many years with the Health Board. During this period Sr. Catherine also worked weekends at one to one and family counselling in Navan. Sr. Catherine also sits on the National Council of Alcoholism and brings her vast experience to that.

Such was the impact on her of the acute shortage of extended care facilities of the Minnesota model for men in Ireland and with her experience gained at a halfway house in the USA, she realised the desperate need that existed in the North East for additional treatment facilities for recovery follow up. Thus was born the vision in Sr. Catherine’s mind of Tabor House.

One cannot underestimate the determination and dedication of Sr. Catherine in bringing this vision to reality. At the very time that Sr. Catherine set about the fulfillment of her vision, the Policy in Ireland was shifting from residential care for those with addiction to community care. The many programmes being fostered at various locations around the country were methadone based for drug users, and one to one counselling and drop in centers.

Sr. Catherine believed that for many, this was not a satisfactory option and their chances of recovery were slim. With a zeal, that words will not express adequately, Sr. Catherine with a small group of supporters began to knock on the doors of authority, searching for the way to create Tabor House.

When she was not in meetings or helping the countless numbers that became her clients, she was encouraging, nay, driving her close friends in a flurry of fundraising initiatives, that would help form the financial footing for Tabor House.

In 2003 a breakthrough occurred with the North Easter Health Board and the Department of the Environment and Local Government which sealed the fast that if Tabor House was created, the departments would give Tabor, in part, the necessary support to continue with the work.

Refurbishment came next and the first clients arrived into Tabor House in 2004.

Tabor House 2015

Tabor House is a ten bed residential secondary addiction treatment centre, located in Navan, County Meath, Ireland. It runs a four month programme emphasizing group therapy, one to one counselling, personal responsibility, peer support, retraining and work skills, and participation in a twelve step programme.

The aim of Tabor House is to assist men in early recovery to develop and maintain an abstinence based lifestyle and improve quality of life.

The objective of Tabor House is to continue to deliver a high quality abstinence based addiction treatment for addicted men in early recovery.

Tabor House is a five bedroom en-suite detached house with three reception rooms, kitchen, living room and three offices on its own grounds.


Tabor House, Trim Road, Navan, Co. Meath Tel: +353 46 907 7909 | Fax: +353 46 907 7902 | Email: info@taborhouse.ie CHY 12901