Fianna Fáil TD for Louth Declan Breathnach says alternative respite care must be provided for patients affected by bed closures at St. Mary’s Drumcar.

Deputy Breathnach made the comments after it emerged that six of the seven respite care beds at the facility are currently closed to all patients.

“There are many people waiting to access the respite care services provided at St. Mary’s Drumcar. These bed closures have made it impossible for them to do so. This has caused immense hardship for these patients and their families. I know of certain cases where families who have previously secured a place for their loved ones are now being turned away. This is despite them having already made their own holiday arrangements,” said Deputy Breathnach.

“Minister for Health Simon Harris needs to ensure that alternative places are provided for these patients while the bed closures persist at St. Mary’s Drumcar. It’s unacceptable that the regular users of this facility are now being turned away despite having previously secured bookings.

“There are 52 people with Intellectual Disabilities who are stuck on waiting lists for residential services. These families are desperately in need of support. I’ll be raising this issue in the Dáil and will do whatever it takes to secure the provision of additional services,” said Deputy Breathnach.