‘Local politicians must show leadership now’





HSE confirms closure of Rosalie Unit


The HSE confirmed yesterday (Wednesday) that it would be closing the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea and that the facility, which currently caters for twelve residents, will cease to function as a community psychiatric unit in a matter of months following the conclusion of the clinical assessments review, which was carried out by Dr. James Anderson

  The families of Rosalie residents were informed of the decision by a letter signed by HSE Chief Officer Tony Canavan yesterday morning.

  Liam Walsh, whose mother Breda is a resident at the unit and who has campaigned to keep the facility open, said he was “shocked and appalled” by the decision.

  “I’m absolutely appalled and shocked but not surprised to be honest. This is what the HSE have been angling at for years.

  “They (HSE) have no concrete plans in place as an alternative method of care (in terms of) what they’re proposing. In all the meetings, in all the conversations they’ve never, ever put forward a concrete plan.

  “This is not just about the existing twelve residents, this is about the closure of a 34-bed unit in Castlerea and the knock-on effect it will have on the community. We are now going to have another big building in Castlerea closed on top of all the other mental health facilities that have closed (in Co. Roscommon).

  “You’d have to wonder what the people of Roscommon have done to this Fine Gael Government to allow all of this to happen.

  “What we need now is strong leadership from our four senior politicians – I include Senator Maura Hopkins because she is the Fine Gael candidate for the next election and this is a wonderful opportunity for her to stand with the people. We don’t need words we need actions.

  “If Eugene Murphy, whose party is supporting the Government, can’t get this turned around then he needs to put his head on the block and support the people that voted him in. As does Denis Naughten and as does Michael Fitzmaurice.

  “Remember that Denis Naughten waved a letter down here only a year ago from Leo Varadkar as the then Minister for Health securing the future of the Rosalie Unit,” he said before describing his trust in the whole process as “very low”.