Closure of Dundalk respite centre would see clients travelling across country for care

A campaign is gathering momentum across Louth over the closure of a respite centre that has been operating in Dundalk for 23 years.

Closure of Dundalk respite centre would see clients travelling across country for care

A campaign is gathering momentum across Louth over the closure of a respite centre that has been operating in Dundalk for 23 years.

Clients of Sruthan House have received a letter from the HSE suggesting they travel across the country for respite or go to a nursing home.

"Unless I can get a helicopter to Sligo it's not possible because I live in chronic pain and you have to pay for these places which is hundreds," said service user, Ollie Stevenson.

It's crazy, it's stupid and it's just a joke.

Ms Stevenson said she is disgusted by the closure announcement and the suggested alternatives over 100 kilometres away.

County Louth deputy Declan Breathnach has called directly on Health Minister Simon Harris to reverse the decision.

Deputy Breathnach said that he spoke about the issue with Mr Harris.

"He literally went on to support what is happening, much to my disgust and the disgust of public representatives in the Louth/Meath area," said Mr Breathnach.

According to Sinn Féin Deputy Imelda Munster the letter received by clients of Sruthan House said that patients with physical and sensory needs could go elsewhere, suggesting places such as Sligo and Roscommon, or to a nursing home.

"The sheer arrogance of that letter," said Deputy Munster.

Ollie Stevenson has started her own campaign on Facebook in defend of her fellow service users.

"I have to stand up for people who have acquired brain injuries that can't talk, for people who are intellectually disabled that can't fight and believe and trust in these people," said Ms Stevenson.

"They haven't got a voice, I have to be their voice."

The decision is due to come into effect in time for Christmas.

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