Campaign to Save Sruthán House
A public meeting of over thirty citizens with disabilities and their families took place at Muirhevnamor Community Centre last Tuesday evening to agree the establishment of a campaign group to keep Sruthan House in Dundalk open.
The meeting was called by Louth Sinn Féin TD’s Gerry Adams and Imelda Munster and chaired by Councillor Ruairi Ó Murchú.
Subsequently on Thursday Gerry Adams TD and Councillor Ruairi Ó Murchú met with Jude O’Neill the HSE Social Care Manager who had deferred the closure following the angry response from service users, their families, the public and politicians.
Many of those who use the Sruthan House facility spoke at the public meeting of their shock at the threat to close it and at the treatment of users and staff.
One person described Sruthan House as a “home from home”. Another talked of the “real difference” it makes in their lives. “It’s a community where we have all made friends” said another. All were agreed that Sruthan House makes a positive contribution to the lives of those it helps.
The families agreed at the end of the meeting to organise a campaign to keep this facility open.
Teachta Gerry Adams said:
“I want to commend those who came to the public meeting. They are courageous families who deserve our full support. I told Jude O’Neill of the anger at the meeting and that the decision to close Sruthan House was shameful. There was no consultation and it is clear from Minister McGrath’s statement that the decision was ultimately taken for cost saving reasons. This is unacceptable.”
Imelda Munster TD said;
“I have met with Minister McGrath on this issue and I left him in no doubt that the closure of this service would not be tolerated.
“At the public meeting with the families I invited them to come to Leinster House in September to lobby TDs and Seanadóirí. We have also written to the Minister seeking a meeting with the families to discuss this disgraceful situation.”
Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú added;
“At our meeting with HSE Social Care Manager Jude O’Neill, I told him of the distress that the closure decision had caused. Suggestions of alternative respite in Roscommon or Sligo are not realistic. This service must remain open in Dundalk. It is a service which really meets people’s needs and which all of those at the public meeting had the highest praise for.”