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Trust confirm commitment to local Day Care Centres

30 January, 2008

Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy has confirmed that the Southern Health and Social Care Trust has said that it is fully committed to ensuring that proposals to develop two new day Care Centres (SEC), one in Newry and one in Crossmaglen.

The MP made his comments after he headed a delegation of Sinn Féin elected representatives who included Newry and Armagh MLA Mickey Brady, Newry City Councillor Marian Mathers and Slieve Gullion Councillor Terry Hearty met high senior Care Trust Officials which included Chief Executive Colm Donaghy.

Conor Murphy said:

"We pressed the Trust Chief Executive on the question of commitment to these Centres. As far back as June 2005 the Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety approved business cases for two new 40 place Day Care Centres, one in Newry and one in Crossmaglen. It was accepted that the existing services then would be replaced. The Trust told us that these two projects are in the top seven of their priorities.

His colleague Newry and Armagh MLA Mickey Brady commenting on the discussion said

"Whilst we believe that both the Newry and Crossmaglen site will be secured and Planning Permission will hopefully be obtained, the bottom line is that presently there is no indication that funding for either Centre is forthcoming at present. What is now needed is a united and sustained lobby from all, to ensure that we move forward on this important issue."

Slieve Gullion area Councillor Terry Hearty said that whilst it was good to hear from the Trust officials that there was a strong commitment to developing the Centres, the issue was now the provision of Capital Funding to bring the vision of these Centres to a reality.

Cllr Hearty said:

"That in itself will be a struggle and we must all irrespective of politics, background or creed, push this on. Meanwhile I have asked the Trust to outline what measures they intend to take in the interim, to help improve facilities and resources. The approach to this has to be person centred not money centred." ENDS

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