Emergency action launched to save Beaufort facility

St Mary of the Angels in Beaufort

AN emergency motion has been brought before Kerry County Council, calling on the government to exempt St Mary of the Angels in Beaufort from the contentious Time to Move On policy, has received unanimous backing.

Cllr Michael Cahill said St John of God has served notice on the HSE and HIQA to withdraw as service provider in all areas, including St Mary of the Angels, from September 30.

He said if that happens, with St Mary of the Angels still subject to the closure policy, it is highly likely that a short-term lease between St John of God and the HSE will be put in place and the residential facility for persons with physical and intellectual disabilities will be put on the market for sale.

He said that it has happened in Sligo where Cregg House, a facility similar to St Mary of the Angels, is now on the market.

Cllr Michael Cahill: Emergency motion brought before council

“The numbers are dropping all the time as the policy does not allow new entries which will also lead to the place closing by default. Residents are passing away each year,” Cllr Cahill stated.

He said there is also a chronic need in the community for the services provided at St Mary of the Angels.

St Mary of the Angels in Beaufort

On specific issues at the Beaufort care home, Cllr Cahill said policy is for congregated settings in which 10 or more people share a single living unit should close but there is no living arrangement in St Mary of the Angels where there are 10 or more people living in a single unit.

He said the policy also encourages a move away from campus‐based accommodation but there are several facilities around the country where campus-based living is in place.

“People in St Mary of the Angels with severe disabilities are being seriously discriminated against in being prevented from continuing to live in a place of their choosing that is clearly best suited to their needs,” Cllr Cahill insisted and his emergency motion received the full backing of all members.