Imelda Munster, Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath has met with the Minister for Disability Affairs Finian McGrath TD, asking him to intervene after letters were sent to 50 service users of Louth Disability Services advising them of the closure of the residential respite service at Sruthan House in Dundalk.
Deputy Munster also raised the matter with the Taoiseach in the Dáil.
The letter was sent by the HSE and advised service users that the service will close by the end of the year, because the HSE is “prioritising the provision of services to enhance cost efficiency and continuous quality improvement”.
Deputy Munster said:
“The letter advised service users that the service would be closing as a cost-cutting measure. It also said that patients with physical and sensory needs may go elsewhere, to places as far away as Sligo or Roscommon, or to a nursing home.
“This is an absolutely shocking way to treat people. The arrogance of the letter and the government’s attitude is outrageous. I raised this matter with the Taoiseach yesterday and he showed no interest, saying that I should take it up with whoever wrote the letter.
“This government thinks it can trample all over the rights of people with disabilities and get away with it.
“This service has been in place for 23 years and is a vitally important service locally for those who use it.
“Minister McGrath told me yesterday that he would look into the matter, and that he was not aware of it. I have asked him to intervene to stop the closure of this vital service and I will be following up with him to ensure that he takes action to ensure that Sruthan House remains open to those who avail of its services.”