Relatives 'troubled' HSE looking at two houses as alternative homes for Owenacurra residents

Meeting of the ‘Friends of Owenacurra’ will take place at the Midleton Park Hotel on Monday night
Relatives 'troubled' HSE looking at two houses as alternative homes for Owenacurra residents

The Owenacurra Centre in Midleton has been slated for closure since June of last year.

Relatives of the residents of the Owenacurra mental health facility have said they are “troubled” by the news that the HSE is “examining” two houses as alternate accommodation for the centre.

Mary Hurley, a family member of a long-term resident of the Midleton facility, which has been slated for closure since June of last year, said a lack of communication from the HSE about its plans for Owenacurra has “left us almost second guessing what they’re trying to do, and it’s not helping”.

She said news the HSE was examining two houses in the Midleton area, first revealed at the Oireachtas health committee earlier this week, “sounds all very vague to me”.

“What’s difficult for us is hearing about possible ideas of accommodation second-hand when we’ve heard nothing about them ourselves,” she said. 

It’s all so vague, especially when we have a perfectly good accommodation. It doesn’t make sense to be chasing other properties that won’t come to pass.”

She said previous discussions about the Owenacurra residents possibly moving to Glenwood House in Carrigaline, 30km away, had been “really upsetting” both because the move had not happened and because Glenwood locals had objected to the placing of a mental health facility within their neighbourhood given a lack of communication from the HSE on the matter.

Ms Hurley was speaking ahead of a meeting of the ‘Friends of Owenacurra’ grouping at the Midleton Park Hotel on Monday night, which is expected to discuss the impact of the proposed closure on residents and families, but also the HSE’s financial approach to other mental health facilities elsewhere in the county.

To that end, TDs, councillors and family members of residents of Owenacurra’s sister facilities across the county have all been invited to the meeting, with a view to them revealing and contrasting their own experiences with that of the Midleton centre.

Ms Hurley said she was particularly keen that those who had used Owenacurra for respite care, and who have been unable to access that care since the beginning of the pandemic, should have their voices heard at the meeting.


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