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Treatment of Cregg House staff & users a "national scandal"

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on children, Charlie McConalogue TD, made the statement following the news that the Daughters of Wisdom are pulling out of running the home for people with disabilities.

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THE GROUP WHICH has been running Cregg House, a home for people with disabilities in Sligo, has pulled out from the centre.

The Daughters of Wisdom ran the care home for people with disabilities in Ballincar, Co Sligo, but say they have had to pull out of their role. This afternoon, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Charlie McConalogue called on the Government to guarantee that services will not be cut at Cregg House.

Speaking about the issue during Leader’s Questions in the Dáil, Deputy McConalogue said the treatment of the Daughters of Wisdom and the users of Cregg House is “a national scandal”.

National scandal

The Donegal North East Deputy asked the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn if the Government has any intentions to stop this happening at other similar facilities across the North West.

He said:

The way the Daughters of Wisdom and the 214 users and their families are being treated is a national scandal.  This critically important service is at risk because the Government is not prepared to provide sufficient funding.

Deputy McConalogue added:

It is very suspicious that Wisdom Services have, following a process of negotiations with the HSE, confirmed that they cannot stand over the continuing underfunding of the Cregg House service relative to other comparable service operated by the HSE directly.  Why would there be a conscious decision to deplete funding being provided by the Daughters of Wisdom particularly when they have served the community for the last 60 years?

A march took place recently in Sligo, where 2,000 people called for services to be protected.

“Minister of State John Perry and Senator Susan O’Keefe gave assurances then that services would not be cut or withdrawn from Cregg House. Where are these assurances now?” asked Deputy McConalogue.

Deputy McConalogue asked Minister Ruairí Quinn to guarantee that services for 214 users of Cregg House and for people with intellectual disabilities across the North West will not be cut.

Speaking afterwards he said:

The Minister’s short and vague response will do little to ease the concerns of the users of Cregg House and the concerns of people who are treated at similar facilities across the North West region. They still have questions about why the Sisters of Mercy, who have provided an excellent and efficient service over the past number of decades, feel forced to remove their services from Cregg House.

Daughters of Wisdom

In April, the Daughters of Wisdom released a statement saying the trustees had informed families of service users of the “serious situation” which had arisen in regard to the funding of the services.

At the time they described the situation as “unacceptable”.

HSE

Today, the HSE said it is “disappointed that the Daughters of Wisdom have confirmed that they are no longer in a position to remain as a provider of services for people with a disability”.

The Daughters of Wisdom informed the HSE of their decision yesterday afternoon. The HSE have been working actively with the Daughters of Wisdom over recent months to try and find solutions to the difficulties presented to the Daughters of Wisdom.

The HSE said it “recognises that this period of transition and change is unsettling for people who use the services, their families and staff, but wants to reassure clients and their families that they will continue to receive the services that they require”.

The HSE will work with the Daughters of Wisdom to ensure a smooth transition of the service.  The HSE also wishes to acknowledge and recognise the work and commitment that the Daughters of Wisdom have shown to service users over many years in this area.

Read: Protest over funding cuts at Sligo residential care centre>

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