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Adams questions cancellation of Respite Services at St Mary’s, Drumcar

7 July, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has written to the Health Minister following contact from a constituent regarding the cancellation of respite services in St Mary’s, Drumcar.

The Louth TD was contacted by the constituent following the no notice cancellation of weekend respite at the end of June.

Gerry Adams said: 

“I am informed that since 24th June the St Mary’s, Drumcar facility has not been offering respite services to families of people with disabilities.

“This particular part of St Mary’s, Drumcar can cater for 6 service users at a time.  If it has not been offering respite for the past two weeks this means that many families and citizens with disabilities have not received their respite care.

“I have contacted the Health Minister this morning. I have asked for a full explanation. Families that rely on this service need to know what is happening and when they can expect the service to resume.

“I am told that last year too there were instances when respite was cut without any explanation.

“This is unacceptable.

“Teachta Adams went on to raise the recent revelations regarding St John of God Services, which manages St Mary’s, Drumcar.  

“Recent revelations about the additional payments to senior managers from St. John of God have raised serious public concerns. The public has a right to know why respite services are being cut in one area while huge payments are being made to senior managers. It is ironic that this cut in respite comes to light on the same day that the media is reporting that an undisclosed payment of €600,000 was made to the Chief Executive of St John of God in 2013.  

“It also comes following the wholesale reduction in catering services at St Mary’s, Drumcar in 2013 which resulted in service users and staff having to bring their own packed lunches; and staff pay cuts of over €1 million. And its decision last month to stop providing a life-skills and vocational training programme for young people with intellectual disabilities in St Augustine's Special School in south Dublin because of ‘a significant reduction in funding’. 

“I have asked the Minister for Health to instruct the HSE to carry out a full audit of the St. John of God charity.”

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