01 Jul 2022

Leitrim TD welcomes progress made on Leitrim disability services after meeting with Minister

What will happen if the inn closes for Christmas?

Deputy Martin Kenny

Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny has today welcomed the progress and commitments given by Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disability, Anne Rabbitte in relation to improvements on disability services in the Leitrim and Sligo areas, after holding a meeting in Leitrim today with HSE representatives, parents, political representatives, and the Minister. 

This meeting, held in the Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon, was convened by Deputy Kenny to discuss the future of respite services for young adults with disabilities in the South Leitrim area. 

Minister Rabbitte attended the meeting, as did other TDs from the constituency, along with a number of Leitrim County Councillors.  Parents of many young adults in south Leitrim, who mainly attend the day-care services in St Ciaran's in Carrick, were also in attendance, as were representatives from the HSE Disability Services in CHO Area 1 which covers Leitrim and Sligo. 

Speaking after the meeting, Deputy Kenny said “The meeting with the minister came as a result of the ongoing crisis in disability care for young adults in the area.  Many of the parents I have spoken to have not had any respite services for a number of years, and those who have had respite have only received a very limited service. 

“The meeting was positive and solution focused, and Minister Rabbitte accepted that action was required to resolve these issues. One of the main outcomes of this meeting is that the HSE will now seek planning permission to build a two facilities on a site near St Patricks Hospital in Carrick on Shannon – one facility for respite, and a second facility for long-term residential care," he said.

“It was agreed that planning permission would be sought as soon as possible, and this will hopefully be lodged with the council before Christmas. 

“Minister Rabbit is enthusiastic to progress this purpose built facility and assured the meeting of her commitment to provide the funding for the building, and funding for staffing once the building has been completed. 

“The meeting also discussed the immediate problem of the absence of adequate respite for young adults with disabilities, and a number of suggestions to relieve these issues were discussed.  HSE Disability service representatives committed to ensuring that there is full utilisation of a respite house in Tullaghan, Co Leitrim going forward. 

“This  facility is currently used only on weekdays – this will now become a seven-day service.   

HSE representatives have also committed to developing a respite house in Cloonamahon, in Sligo.  This facility is currently set for de-congregation, having been previously used for residential care. 

Minister Rabbitte committed to progressing these service with HIQA and other relevant bodies, and acknowledged the difficulties that the limited services have caused for service users and their families.   

“Overall, the meeting was very progressive and I expected that the plans set out at the meeting will go a long way to resolving many of the issues that have caused difficulties for these families for so long.

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