Wednesday, 22 September 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla — Topical Issue Debate
Mental Health Services
I thank the Minister of State for her response. While I am in Dáil Éireann, I stress the point that the loss of the residential service being provided at the Owenacurra centre will have a major impact in east Cork. It will leave the entirety of the southern side of the Cork East constituency without a residential facility. That is worrying to me as a Deputy for the constituency. I ask again if a budget can be found, either now or in the future, to retain some type of residential facility in the Midleton area.
I accept the point the Minister of State made about the serious issues relating to the current facilities of the Owenacurra centre. I do not think those issues are avoidable. I would like to see an effort being made by the Department of Health, the HSE and the Mental Health Commission. The commission was aware of the deterioration of the building's condition. That is made quite clear in the commission's reports from 2017 to 2020. It is crucial that we fight for a new facility in the Midleton region. On the night of the public meeting, many people from the Midleton community made the point that they are worried the site could be used for an alternative purpose and its current capacity as a HSE facility would be lost. People want to be reassured that whatever happens with the grounds of the Owenacurra centre, it will remain a healthcare setting in some form for the future. It is a strategically located facility in the Midleton area. I will allow the Minister of State an opportunity to respond.