Wednesday, 6 November 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I am conscious of time so I will be brief. I support the Labour Party Senators' call for either the Minister for Health or the Minister of State with special responsibility for disability issues to come to the Chamber to discuss dementia services at St. Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, which is run by the St. John of God order. Since 2012, there has been a history there of overruns. The order itself has been helping to meet the financial cost of running this amazing service. I do not know if any Members have been out there, but I have and I know the service.This is very successful service, the place was purpose-built by the order itself and it has a very good record, particularly for those families involved who go there. It is a very co-operative effort, where families are welcome at any time to St. Joseph's, Crinken Lane, Shankill. It is a pity that this service is now under threat. Families and staff have received letters in this regard. To put it in context, between 2012 and last year, St. Joseph's had a loss of €7.2 million, which was covered by the St. John of God services group. This has to be acknowledged because religious orders sometimes get much knocking here, but this order is putting its own resources into continuously propping up this successful operation. Clearly, there is a shortfall of money that has to be found. It is a sad day for the staff and for the families but more importantly, it is an exceptionally sad day for the clients or patients who live there and get this support. There is a daily service and a residential service that needs our support. It is important that some Minister comes in here today and gives the House some reassurance on these matters.