The HSE has acknowledged that upgrade works to the Monasterevin Daycare Centre have “taken considerably longer than originally envisaged thus adding to the frustration locally that this has caused” in the wake of the resignation of the committee last Thursday.
The HSE met with centre chairperson Pat Ryan and members of the Monasterevin Daycare committee on August 29 in relation to funding issues.
Afterwards the committee took the decision to cease operations with effect from September 7, at the temporary site of the Daycare Centre at Monasterevin GAA Club.
“It is with regret and sorrow that we have come to this decision,” said Pat Ryan.
”The ‘Drogheda St Daycare Centre was closed by the HSE in 2014 on Health and Safety grounds. The committee continued to provide a service in Monasterevin GAA Pavilion.
The HSE have done nothing with the premises — lots of meetings, plans and talk but no action. Monasterevin is a forgotten town with nothing for the older community. We cannot do it any more.”
According to the HSE it has made funding available for the design of the project, which will be completed by early next year. The HSE have estimated a cost of €540,000 for the new centre. This figure comes from the original 2015 feasibility study.
Pat said he spent 20 years volunteering for the centre.
“The HSE are talking about getting the plans for the new centre in 2018 but I got those plans from the HSE two years ago. Now they are talking about construction costs for a new centre of €540,000 — but they don’t have the money. I can’t believe a word the HSE says anymore. I am done with the HSE,” he said.
The committee members who are Mary Fitzpatrick, Dan Clancy, Rose Howard, Mary Harrison and Keith Sharpe have all resigned.
“Every one of us are fed up,” he added, “When we had our own place before it was closed down by the HSE in 2014, it was so homely. People came in off the street to have a cup of tea and it was a home from home for many. You can’t resurrect that and we should have pulled out then when the HSE closed us down in 2014.”
Up to 12 people avail of the day care service on Mondays and Thursdays and they were informed of the decision to close last week. The day service provided a social outlet for the older people, they had their dinner and enjoyed bingo and sing songs.
“None of them can afford to travel to Rathangan or Kildare town for services,” he added, “It is very frustrating.”
The HSE said staff visited the centre on September 7 with a view to ensuring alternative arrangements were in place for regular users of the service. It said it is open to engaging with the committee and the community to try and resolve the issues, and will continue to do so.
The HSE’s vision for the Drogheda Street premises is a modern community facility providing a range of health services with a particular focus for older people. TD Brian Stanley said the fact there is still no money for the Daycare Centre “is scandalous”. Dep Sean O’Fearghail said he was “deeply disappointed” this has been going on for so long.
“I fully understand the frustration of people like Pat Ryan who initiated the service and has kept it going for all these years and who feels very strongly that their efforts has not been reciprocated by the HSE since it was closed in 2014.”
Dep O’Fearghail said a meeting is to be held in Monasterevin this week to see if a committee can be reformed.