Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health, Disability & Special Needs Colm Keaveney has called on the Minister for Health James Reilly to put a stay on the ill-advised closure of the Admissions Unit in St. Brigid’s Ballinasloe pending a full review of the decision.

The Galway East Deputy explained, “Serious questions remain about why Ballinasloe Psychiatric Unit was selected for closure. Clinicians on the ground have raised grave concerns about the impact on mental health services in east Galway. The Minister for Health and the HSE must address the issues surrounding the fairness and impartiality of their decision before it’s too late.”I am calling on Minister Reilly to immediately order an independent review into this decision and to put a stop to further bed closures until that review has been completed. It is imperative that we have a full understanding of why this decision was made, why the alternatives were rejected and what impact it will have on mental health services in the region.

“There are genuine concerns that this decision was made for political reasons, and without proper consideration of the impact on mental health services in Co Galway. The Minister seems to be listening to entirely the wrong people, while ignoring the frontline staff, clinicians and social workers on the ground in Galway that have been trying to explain to him just how devastating this decision could be.

“It’s time for the Minister to start listening before it’s too late. The very least he could do is put a stop to the bed closures at St Brigid’s until full clarity and transparency is brought to this issue.”