Louth County Council has supported a motion presented by Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú in support of the retention and development of respite services for people with disabilities.
Councillor Ó Murchú stated,
“Parents of disabled children and older parents of disabled adults do this State an enormous service through the dedication and devotion with which they provide 24/7 care for their loved ones.
“The covenant which the State made with them was that they would have access to regular, appropriate respite at a location in their own community. The arbitrary HSE decision in July to close the Dundalk based Sruthán House respite centre displays a clear lack of respect for the people using this service and their families.
“I have met many service users of Sruthán House. Sinn Féin hosted a public meeting on the issue in July and I attended their summer garden party a few weeks ago. All of the people I met have spoken in the highest terms about the service and the staff at Sruthán House.
“It is a community within the community, a model of good practice.
“Sruthán House has service users from Louth, Monaghan and Meath. These people simply cannot be expected to attend alternative respite in Roscommon or Sligo. It is a nonsense.
“In recent years there has been additional respite capacity delivered in County Louth. However supports for people with disabilities and their carers have been decimated by this government.
“The mobility grant and rehabilitative training allowance have been slashed.
“Waiting times for Occupational Therapy and psychology assessment is up to two years.
“The people working to deliver these services are doing their best but the truth is that these services are grossly under resourced.
“The campaign to keep Sruthán House open has my full support and I am delighted that Louth County Council will now convey the support of the entire council to the Minister for Health and the HSE to ensure that this service is not lost.”