Reports of closure of day centres ‘false’

Senator Maura Hopkins of Fine Gael has said that reports of the impending closure of several psychiatric day centres, hostels and residential units in County Roscommon are false. 

  Senator Hopkins (Fine Gael) says she has received assurances from Minister for Mental Health, Helen McEntee and Tony Canavan, Chief Officer of Community Services, HSE, that there are “no active plans to close the various day centres and hostels referenced in media reports.”

  Deputy Eugene Murphy (Fianna Fáil) this week outlined what he said is a timescale for the rumoured closures.

  He said: “I am led to believe that the following psychiatric day centres are going to be closed – Strokestown by the end of October or early November, and Ballaghaderreen in the same timescale. The timeframe for Boyle is not yet decided.

  “There is also speculation that the Rosalie Unit at Aras Naoimh Chaolain Castlerea is currently been wound down with arrangements at an advanced stage to move all residents to private nursing homes. There are also real fears over the possible closure of a hostel in Strokestown – Connolly House – and other hostels in Castlerea.”

  Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice (Independent) said he too has been made aware of concerns for the future of the facilities.

   “The changes I have been informed of would affect services users in Strokestown and Athleague with the closure of residential mental health homes. Ballaghaderreen and Strokestown, I am told, will also lose their day care centres, with service users to be taken by bus to alternative services. Units in the Castlerea area will also be affected. I also understand that Boyle’s day care services are also under threat.”

  However Senator Hopkins has dismissed the claims.

  She said: “There are no plans to close the Community Nursing Unit in Áras Naomh Chaolain or to relocate residents to private nursing homes. I have been advised that these suggestions of closure or relocation are without foundation and untrue.”

  Senator Hopkins added: “I have been advised that the HSE are currently consulting with residents, families and staff in relation to the transfer of a small number of residents from one location in Roscommon to more appropriate settings.” 

  Deputy Murphy has called on the Minister of State for Mental Health Helen McEntee and Health Minister Simon Harris to immediately intervene and offer a statement of clarification in relation to the matter.

  Deputy Fitzmaurice, who called for the long overdue report into Mental Health services in Roscommon to be published, has demanded that Ministers McEntee and Harris “make an urgent statement on these matters immediately.”