Carrickmacross Group Home will be ‘litmus test’ for Government rhetoric on Disability Services – Matt Carthy
Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, has said that the government must ensure that services at the Group Home for people with physical disabilities, at the Convent Lands, in Carrickmacross, must commence immediately in the new year.
Deputy Carthty said this week that the families of those who will be residing at the group home have been treated scandalously by the HSE and successive governments. The home was first committed to in 2006 but has been subject to ongoing delays ever since. It was finally constructed in 2016 but has remained idle ever since because the funding necessary to operate it has not been released.
The matter was raised again in the Dáil last week by Deputy Carthy who asked the Minister for Health if it will be ensured the group home for persons with physical and sensory disabilities at Drummond Otra, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan will be operational in January 2021.
Responding on behalf of the government, the Junior Minister with responsibility for disabilities, Anne Rabitte said:
“The Government is committed to ensuring the most effective interventions are provided for people with a disability to ensure the best outcomes.
“The HSE currently provides funding to support over 8,100 residential places for people with a disability and actively engages with families to ensure that those with the greatest need are prioritised for a residential place.
“In the Budget for 2021, an additional €100m has been made available for new disability developments, which will see the budget for specialist disability services exceeding over €2.2 billion next year. The increased allocation includes additional funding which will enable the HSE to provide and plan for more residential places and to further progress decongregation next year.
“The National Service Plan for 2021, which is a detailed operational planning process, will outline the key commitments in relation to the delivery of services in the coming year.As the Plan has not been finalised, I cannot provide details of any commitments in relation to developments in particular locations at this stage in the process.
“In relation to the specific development referred to by the Deputy, I am advised that the HSE is continuing to liaise with the families involved and is working with relevant agencies, including Respond, the housing agency, to explore all avenues to make this facility operational as soon as possible in the context of available resources”.
Speaking afterwards Deputy Carthy said it would be disgraceful if the group home is not operational at the beginning of 2021.
“It is simply not tenable that we could now see this state-of-the-art building lie idle for a fifth consecutive year. Previously Junior Minister, Anne Rabbitte, had indicated that she would endeavour to ensure that it would be operational early next year but the response I received last week is less than clear.
“The delivery of this facility will be a litmus test for the government. We have heard substantial rhetoric about the prioritisation of disability services. Let’s see that rhetoric put into action.
“It is an indictment on successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments that the families of those people with disabilities who will reside in this home have had to fight every step of the way. Their ordeal must end now – the Group Home must open in January 2021!”