Government reps should apologise – rather than seek plaudits – for delivery of Carrickmacross Group Home 16 years later – Matt Carthy TD
Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has welcomed that the Group Home for people with physical disabilities, at the Convent Lands, in Carrickmacross, is due to become operational shortly.
But, he said, it remains a scandal that the new residents and their families have had to fight every step of the way for over a decade and a half to bring this facility to fruition. Rather than seek plaudits, as government representatives have done in recent days, they should be apologising for the unacceptable delays and assuring that it will never happen again to other families.
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 from that time. The building was finally constructed in 2016 but has remained idle ever since because the funding necessary to operate it was not released.
Deputy Carthy has been raising this issue on behalf of families since 2007 when he was a member of Monaghan County Council. Throughout his time as a local councillor and even while in the European Parliament he engaged with the local authority, the HSE and government representatives. Since his election to the Dáil in February 2020 he has consistently raised the issue with the Minister for Health and the Minister of State with responsibility for Disabilities.
The suggestion that there has been shift since the Fianna Fáil/ Fine Gael/ Green Party government came into place doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, he said. “In December 2020 government promised that the centre would be operational in early 2021. Then it was announced that it would be in the second half of the year – then than it would absolutely be open by Quarter 4 of 2021. Now, Fianna Fáil representatives want a slap on the back because it will finally be delivered in March 2022” Carthy said.
He said that the delays in this project have been disgraceful.
Deputy Carthy continued:
“It is simply not acceptable that this state-of-the-art building has lay idle for almost six consecutive years.
“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. That their ordeal is coming to an end is most welcome – but government representatives should not be seeking plaudits for themselves, in fact they should be apologising.
“Above all, lessons must be learned. This long-running debacle is all too symptomatic of how citizens with disabilities are often treated. The fact that Fianna Fáil representatives issued public statements commending themselves for delivering this project 16 years after it was first mooted, without referencing those families who actually campaigned for it, is very telling.
“The credit for the delivery of this group home lies squarely with those families who never rested in their pursuit of a group home so that their loved-ones could live as independently as possible. They deserve the plaudits – not politicians who were conspicuously silent during most of the 16 years of campaigning.”