Inishowen TD Charlie McConalogue has welcomed the opening of a new state-of-the-art Mental Health Unit at Letterkenny General Hospital this week. The 34 bed purpose built facility is now the main provider for mental health in-patient services in Co Donegal.


Deputy McConalogue said: “I am heartened to see such a fine facility opening at Letterkenny General Hospital. I visited the new unit and was given a detailed rundown on how it workers by management member Hugh McDaid. There is no doubt that this is an example of best practice in mental health service provision and puts mental health in the mainstream of health provision in Donegal.


“This unit, along with the new A&E facility to open in Letterkenny early next year, represents real progress in the development of health services in Donegal, even in difficult economic times. The challenge now is to ensure that staff and budgetary resources are protected in a way that prevents the dilution of quality, patient-focussed services at the hospital.


“Councillors Ciarán Brogan Liam Blaney, who are members of the Regional Health Forum West, will continue to push the case for maintaining hospital services along with other politicians from the County. At National level, I am determined to ensure that protecting our local health services is a number one priority in upcoming budgetary decisions.


“The senior management at Letterkenny’s new Department of Psychiatry deserve great credit for having the foresight and vision to ensure that we got nothing short of state-of-the-art facilities.  This project was initiated a number of years ago and a lot of people have invested tremendous time and effort in making it a reality.  The current Director of Nursing Kevin Mills, along with past directors Hugh McClafferty and Joe Gallagher,  deserve great credit along with the current consultant Dr Haley and past consultants Dr Sharkey and Dr Lawlor. 


“In the last number of years we have seen huge changes in the area of mental health care and we cannot underestimate how far we have come in this area.  Former Minister John Maloney played a pivotal role in the delivery of this project and he always highlighted the huge role played by the Friends of Letterkenny General Hospital who raised €748,000 towards this unit.  I am confident it will greatly improve the environment for patients and staff.”