Louth County Council supports Sruthán House respite retention

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.”

Sruthán House service users must engage with consultation – Ó Murchú

Toirleach Ó Murchú, Ollie Stevenson & Cllr Ó Murchú

Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú attended the Sruthán House garden party on Saturday. He encouraged service users to engage in the ongoing HSE consultation regarding the future of the service. 

Councillor Ó Murchú said;

“The campaign is ongoing to keep Sruthán House respite facility in Dundalk open and available to service users. 

“I have been in regular contact with service users since Sinn Féin held a public meeting in July regarding the HSE decision to close the service. 

“In late July Gerry Adams TD and I met with CHO8 Disability Manager Jude Ó Neill. We urged him to reconsider the decision to close Sruthán House and to engage with the people using the respite service there. 

“Service users have received a letter which states that this consultation will conclude on September 30th. 

“At this weekend’s garden party I encouraged the people I met to make their voices heard by contributing to the consultation. 

“There was a huge attendance at the garden party by service users, their families and supporters of Sruthán House. 

“Everyone I spoke with conveyed their fears and concerns that this vital service could still be withdrawn. 

“This further demonstrates the positive impact which Sruthán House and its staff has on people with disabilities. This service must continue. 

“At the next meeting of Louth County Council on 16th September I will be tabling a motion calling on the Council to write to the Minister for Health and the HSE on this issue. I hope that all of the councillors in Louth support this motion.”