SEVEN full-time jobs and 24 trainee positions at a factory for people with mental disabilities are at risk because of HSE funding cuts, it was claimed.
The Ross Products plant, in Killarney, is run by the HSE for people with specific needs and has operated for almost 40 years.
However, county councillor Marie Moloney claimed the HSE was “completely cutting funding” for the service, which she said was invaluable for people with a mental health disability.
As well as the loss of seven jobs, it would cause a devastating disruption to the trainees’ schedule, Ms Moloney said.
The factory, which manufactures cardboard boxes and general packaging, is located on a site adjoining St Finan’s Psychiatric Hospital, at Lewis Road, Killarney.
Ms Moloney, a member of the HSE Southern Area Forum, is to raise the issue at the next meeting of the forum.
“There are 24 trainees for whom this has been their working environment for many years,” the Killarney-based Labour Party councillor said.
“This is where they have found a new independence and have worked alongside the full-time staff, some of whom have over 30 years experience in dealing with, managing and helping people with a mental health disability.”
“This cutback is an attack on some of the most vulnerable people in our society by the present Government,” she said.
Ms Moloney called on Health Minister Mary Harney to review the decision.
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