Barring an unexpected twist today (Thursday), the Cuisle Holiday Centre in Donamon will be officially closed by the Irish Wheelchair Association on Friday.
Appeals for a ‘stay of execution’ for six or twelve months have so far fallen on ‘deaf ears’. Instead of time being ‘bought’ with a view to resolving the crisis, there are now only hours remaining in the 22-year existence of this facility.
The closure will result in the loss of about 45 jobs, and will be a major blow to the local economy. Furthermore, and most pertinently, there is dismay and sadness amongst services users from all over the country.
About 2,000 people attended a rally in Roscommon Town on Saturday, held in protest at the shock closure announcement.
The rally heard calls for the IWA board to step down and for the closure to be deferred.
The campaign against the closure appeared to be given significant impetus on Thursday when the Joint Oireachtas Health Committee decided to write to the IWA board requesting a deferral of the closure. IWA CEO Rosemary Keogh said that she would bring any such request to the attention of the board.
Last-gasp efforts to avert the closure have revolved around calls for a ‘stay of execution’ so that the possibility of putting together a financial rescue package and/or exploring alternative options could be discussed with the IWA and other stakeholders.
However, as we go to press on Wednesday night, the silence from the IWA is deafening. The IWA has declined to answer questions put to it by the Roscommon People on Wednesday morning. The die appears to be cast.