Furious reaction to Athleague hostel closure




Connaughton: ‘All families not informed’


Local politicians have reacted furiously to what they are claiming is the callous closure of a health facility in Athleague.

  Cllr. Ivan Connaughton says he has never seen such a callous closure. And he’s insisting family members were not informed that their loved ones were being moved last Thursday.

  “This is simply unbelievable. The facility is beside the Garda Station in Athleague, it has been in use for well over 20 years.

  “The four residents of the facility were moved last Thursday and told they would be returning on Monday” he claimed.

  “They had their bags packed on Monday (to return) only to then be told that the Athleague facility is closed. Staff were told on Monday that they are being redeployed, to Strokestown, I understand”.

  Cllr. Connaughton said that while there had been some consultation about the future of the facility in the past, the HSE’s Tony Canavan had assured public representatives as recently as last October than no residents would be moved from hostels without proper consultation and that no-one would be forced out of their accommodation.

  Cllr. Connaughton added: “This was callous beyond belief. There are indications that the HSE will now say that the building is unsafe, but again, there has been no consultation to that effect. Indeed there is ample room for extending it. This is an appalling act by the HSE and I am calling on TDs and Senators to urgently address what has happened this week in Athleague”.

  When the Roscommon People put it to Cllr. Connaughton on Wednesday night that the HSE is insisting that family members had indeed been informed of the move, he reacted angrily.

  “I spoke to a family member ten minutes ago and they categorically insisted that they received no notification of any intent to move their loved one”.

  Cllr. Orla Leyden said that Tony Canavan, Chief Operating Officer, HSE West, needs to account for what she called “a cold, heartless decision”.

  Cllr. Leyen said that the residents had been moved under “a veil of secrecy and snow”.

  She said that the residents thought it was a temporary measure and that they would be moving back to Athleague on Monday.   “Instead they were taken from their home, from their community without notice, without consultation and without heart”.

  Cllr. Leyden said this should never have happened, especially with no consultation, and at a time when the county was under a Red Alert and only critical journeys were advised.

  Cllr. Leyden wants to know who made the decision to close the facility.

  Cllr. Paddy Kilduff said he is appalled at the development which he described as “a most callous act”. He has called for the facility to be re-opened without delay.