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Cuisle closure: A timeline of events

  • Written by Dan Dooner
  • Published in News
Featured Happier times: Pictured at the 20th anniversary celebrations of Cuisle Holiday Centre in Donamon, Co. Roscommon in June 2017 were, back row (l-r) Senator Terry Leyden, Eugene Cummins, CEO, Roscommon County Council, Rosemary Keogh, IWA CEO, Tony Cunningham, Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice, Jean Coleman, Manager, Cuisle Holiday Centre and Cllr. Laurence Fallon. Front row (l-r) Cllr. Tony Ward, the then Chairman of Roscommon County Council and Ursula Nugent, guest speaker (Co. Tyrone). Happier times: Pictured at the 20th anniversary celebrations of Cuisle Holiday Centre in Donamon, Co. Roscommon in June 2017 were, back row (l-r) Senator Terry Leyden, Eugene Cummins, CEO, Roscommon County Council, Rosemary Keogh, IWA CEO, Tony Cunningham, Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice, Jean Coleman, Manager, Cuisle Holiday Centre and Cllr. Laurence Fallon. Front row (l-r) Cllr. Tony Ward, the then Chairman of Roscommon County Council and Ursula Nugent, guest speaker (Co. Tyrone).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1995: The Irish Wheelchair Association begins to explore the possibility of opening an accessible holiday centre at Donamon Castle, Co. Roscommon.

 

June, 1997: Cuisle Holiday Centre is opened in Donamon, Co. Roscommon by then President of Ireland Mary Robinson.

 

June 1st, 2001: The Irish Wheelchair Association agree a 25-year lease with the Divine Word Missionaries. All rent (£125,000) is paid in advance.

 

June, 2007: Cuisle celebrates ten years in operation with a gala ball which raises around €80,000 for the centre.

 

November, 2016: Cuisle receives a €63,982 grant from the National Lottery towards ceiling tracking hoists. It is among a number of grants and donations received by the centre from 2007 to 2019.

 

Early 2017: A periodic inspection of electrical installations reveals a complete electrical upgrading of the centre is needed. The IWA says the estimated cost is €1.15 million.

 

June, 2017: Cuisle celebrates its 20th anniversary with a party attended by guests including local public representatives and members of the IWA board.

 

June and July 2017: Members of the IWA board approach Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice at Cuisle’s 20th anniversary celebrations in June, and later, Deputy Denis Naughten in July and inform them that funding is needed for upgrades at the centre. The TDs say they informed Junior Minister Finian McGrath of the issue.

 

2017 to 2019: IWA says it wrote to Minister Regina Doherty and Health Minister Simon Harris in relation to funding as well as meeting with Deputies Michael Fitzmaurice, Denis Naugthen, and Brendan Durkin, Junior Minister Finian McGrath and various HSE officials in a bid to secure funding.

 

April 2nd, 2019: IWA meet with HSE officials to highlight the difficulties at Cuisle and the need for Capital funding/support for transitioning of service to alternative location in the absence of funding. The HSE invites the IWA to submit a proposal for an alternative model of service.

 

April 24th, 2019: IWA receives an email from HSE stating that it sought to ‘prioritise decongregation allocations in light of all other competing demands and competing budget’. The IWA claims it was also informed that no capital funding would be available.

 

May/June, 2019: IWA seeks update on funding and informs HSE that in the absence of funding a decision would have to be made on Cuisle.

 

August 21st, 2019: IWA meet with HSE to propose moving to hotel-based model of service in the absence of funding.

 

October 30th, 2019: Some staff members receive a text message summoning them to a meeting regarding the future of Cuisle.

 

October 31st, 2019: Remaining staff members receive text message regarding Cuisle meeting.

 

November 3rd, 2019: The Irish Wheelchair Association confirms that it will close Cuisle at the end of the month.

 

November 11th, 2019: Tony Cunningham (National Director of Services) appears at a special sitting of Roscommon County Council where it is revealed that local TDs except Fianna Fáil’s Eugene Murphy had been approached over funding concerns as far back as June 2017.

 

November 11/12th, 2019: Deputies Naughten and Fitzmaurice say there was no suggestion that Cuisle faced closure when they were approached in 2017. Deputy Eugene Murphy expresses shock that he had not been approached.

 

November 21st, 2019: IWA CEO Rosemary Keogh and IWA National Director of Services Tony Cunningham appear in front of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health.

  In what are, at times, heated exchanges with local public representatives, Rosemary Keogh says that Cuisle would not have closed if funding for fire and electrical upgrades had been made available.

 

November 22nd, 2019: Staff members discover a delivery of packing materials at Cuisle Holiday Centre in Donamon.

 

November 23rd, 2019: Between 2,000 and 3,000 people take part in a ‘Save Cuisle’ march and rally in Roscommon town.

 

November 27th, 2019: Minister of State for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath, tells the Seanad that the Irish Wheelchair Association had not asked for funding when they met earlier this month.

 

November 27th, 2019: Cuisle employees receive their final pay cheques from the Irish Wheelchair Association.

 

November 29th, 2019: The date of Cuisle’s proposed closure by the Irish Wheelchair Association.

 

 

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