The State continues to fail citizens in Louth with disabilities – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has spoken to families of people with disabilities who access services at St John of God’s, St Mary’s Drumcar campus.

He contacted family members following the recent AGM of the Dundalk Parents and Friends of the Intellectually Disabled which took place on Monday 6th March.

Teachta Adams said;

“I was unable to attend the Dundalk Parents and Friends meeting due to the ongoing negotiations in the north, although my office was represented on the night.

“On Monday night a wide range of issues were discussed by the family members there and it is clear that people are very angry at how they and their loved ones are being treated by both the HSE and St John of God’s Services.

“There are ongoing issues with accessing respite care, particularly for people with challenging behaviours; those who’s loved ones are resident in St Mary’s Drumcar have legitimate concerns about the recent HIQA report which recommended that four accommodation units be closed; the policy of decongregation was discussed as were the future accommodation needs for adults with disabilities who are currently being cared for at home.

“An overarching frustration cited during this meeting and during my phone conversations today is the lack of clear and transparent communication between the families of people with disabilities and the local Louth HSE Disabilities Section and the management of St John of God’s Drumcar.

“These families have been forced to campaign for the rights and entitlements of their loved ones to be upheld.  This shouldn’t be the case.  These citizens with disabilities deserve a proper level of service to enable them to live in dignity and to be supported to develop to their highest potential.

“It is scandalous that in ‘Recovery Ireland’ the Government must still be hounded to deliver for our vulnerable citizens.

“I intend to raise these matters directly with Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath.”


Pearse McGeough Welcomes Works at Drumcar Bridge

Pearse at Drumcar bridgeSinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has welcomed funding from the Council to improve safety at Drumcar Bridge.

Cllr McGeough said “I have been highlighting the safety concerns around this bridge for quite some time now and am relieved and pleased that the matter is going to be addressed.”

” As well as the bridge needing improvement safety, with massive HGV’s crossing it I was equally concerned about the surrounds which have a protected structure close by. Hopefully the planned works will resolve the issue. I am waiting for clarification from the Council as to the details of the works planned but am pleased that my persistence on this matter is finally paying dividends.”

Pictured: Pearse McGeough at Drumcar Bridge

Financial irregularities at St. Mary’s Drumcar must be fully investigated – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has voiced concerns at today’s HIQA report regarding financial irregularities in the Greenmount property at the St. Mary’s Drumcar, St. John of God campus.

Gerry Adams said:

“HIQA has stated that an unannounced inspection was undertaken in July at this property following the receipt of information to the Authority detailing the inappropriate use of residents money for furniture, medical aids and medical appointments.

“Essentially a whistle blower has exposed shocking financial abuse of vulnerable people which occurred at this centre for at least four years from 2012-2016.

“This is another damning report for St. John of God Services, and the latest in a catalogue of distasteful practices which have been uncovered.  

“In 2016 St. John of God North East Services received HSE funding to the tune of almost €32 million.  

“Services for people with disabilities must be properly resourced and I am fully for that, however St. John of God North East Services, as a publicly funded entity, has a responsibility to its residents and their families and also to the wider public to ensure the highest financial standards are employed.  

“St. John of God has serious questions to answer regarding the decisions taken to charge residents for essential equipment. The fact that they cannot provide assurances that residents personal monies were not used inappropriately prior to 2012 is also major cause for concern.

“When HIQA received this information, the Authority initially requested that St. John of God conduct its own independent investigation. The decision by St. John of God to employ a retired staff member to undertake this work was totally inappropriate and HIQA has subsequently stated that they are not assured of the independence of the investigation.

“Furthermore, HIQA has outlined that although reimbursement is underway, it is not complete.  

“St John of God must immediately address this and pay the people in their care the money which was taken from them.”