Seanad debates

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Psychiatry Services

10:30 am

Photo of Eugene MurphyEugene Murphy (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire Stáit, mo chomhghleacaí agus mo chara. I thank the Cathaoirleach for considering this matter and allowing us to debate it. I thank the Minister of State, Deputy Butler, for coming to the House to deal with this Commencement matter. The Minister of State's commitment to mental health and to older people is well recognised throughout the country. To be honest, communities continuously tell me about the great work being done by her. I want to acknowledge that here this morning.

It would be fair to say that it was during my time as a Deputy, that the Minister of State would have heard more about the old Rosalie Unit, as we discussed it over and over again. The centre was a home for several people who suffered from dementia. There was controversy when it was closed. That is water under the bridge at this stage, but a new centre was promised, which was announced in June 2020 by the then Minister of State with responsibility for mental health, Jim Daly. I believe the head of the HSE was there and, if I am not mistaken, then Taoiseach, Deputy Varadkar, was also online as was the Minister for Health.

This new centre was to be a day care centre for CAMHS and for psychiatry in later life, which is vital and important. There have been some developments there, and I welcome the commitment of the Minister of State, Deputy Butler, to the centre. I am informed that CAMHS' work is up and running on certain days in the week, which is very welcome. I am aware it is the Minister of State's desire to see everything that was promised is done. I am aware the Minister of State is committed, and that when she has something she wants to achieve that she will achieve it.

I am looking for an update as to where we stand with the new e-health centre in Castlerea, County Roscommon. There seem to be issues around psychiatry of later life services. Is it a staffing issue? I am aware that the Minister of State has provided the money. I do not know if there are issues around getting staff. It is important and crucial that once and for all we ensure this centre gets up and running as quickly as possible.

The Minister of State will also have heard me speak previously about the unspent money from 2012 to 2015, which was €18 million for mental health services for our county. That money was not returned. The money should have been put into mental health services at the time. It is still a big bone of contention with people and it is highly regrettable that this has happened. When the system needed that support it did not get it. This is an issue for the people who deal with mental health and with the public in our own county.

I will not delay any longer and I look forward to the Minister of State's reply. I hope that we can get some clarification this morning. I am sure the Minister of State will appreciate the absolute importance of the centre. It is great that it was promised. It is great that part of it is up and running, but we need to get the whole matter sorted now. I look forward to the Minister of State's reply.


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