Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Charlie McConalogue has called on the Government to guarantee that services will not be cut at Cregg House centre for people with intellectual disabilities in Sligo.
Raising the matter on Leader’s Questions in the Dáil today, Deputy McConalogue said the treatment of the Daughters of Wisdom & the users of Cregg House is ‘a national scandal’.
The Donegal North East Deputy questioned the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn if the Government has any intentions to stop this happening at other similar facilities across the North West.
“The way the Daughters of Wisdom and the 214 users and their families are being treated is a national scandal. This critically important service is at risk because the as the Government is not prepared to provide sufficient funding,” said Deputy McConalogue.
“It is very suspicious that Wisdom Services have, following a process of negotiations with the HSE, confirmed that they cannot stand over the continuing underfunding of the Cregg House service relative to other comparable service operated by the HSE directly. Why would there be a conscious decision to deplete funding being provided by the Daughters of Wisdom particularly when they have served the community for the last 60 years?
“There was a march last month in Sligo where 2,000 people called for services to be protected. Minister of State John Perry and Senator Susan O’Keefe gave assurances then that services would not be cut or withdrawn from Cregg House. Where are these assurances now?
“We all know that efficiencies are necessary and that more must be achieved with less resources. But the obvious underfunding of essential front line services the North West by this Government is simply indefensible, and should be immediately reversed.”
Deputy McConalogue asked Minister Ruairí Quinn to guarantee that services for 214 users of Cregg House and for people with intellectual disabilities across the North West will not be cut.
Speaking afterwards he said, “The Minister short and vague response will do little to ease the concerns of the users of Cregg House and the concerns of people who are treated at similar facilities across the North West region. They still have questions about why the Sisters of Mercy, who have provided an excellent and efficient service over the past number of decades, feel forced to remove their services from Cregg House.”