19 Aug 2022

Councillors hit out at ‘dire’ absence of respite beds in Inishowen

‘For Inishowen, we need something and we need it urgently’

Leitrim families are struggling with the lack of respite services in the county

Donegal County Council’s housing committee has been told there 'is not one respite bed' in Inishowen

The absence of respite beds for people with disabilities in Inishowen has been described as “dire”.

Donegal County Council’s housing committee has been told there “is not one respite bed” in Inishowen and calls have been made for joined-up action between the council and the HSE to solve the problem.

The issue was raised at Thursday’s meeting of the council’s housing and corporate strategic policy committee during a discussion on the review of housing adaptation grants for older people and people with a disability.

Cllr Rena Donaghey said families with young adults with intellectual disabilities “cannot even go to a wedding because there is nowhere they can put that person into a safe environment for one night even”.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said she has raised the issue with the HSE, adding that the council has a role to play in helping to find a solution. 

“We need to be talking to the HSE and collaborating with them and letting them know how dire our position is and the position we find ourselves in Inishowen,” she said.

“For Inishowen, we need something and we need it urgently.”

She said plans to develop an assisted living project by the private sector in Buncrana had stalled because “the HSE said there was no need for it”.

“We are crying out for it. I could fill five of them tomorrow.”

She said there is “a phenomenal need” for such services in the peninsula.

“There is nothing in Inishowen for these people.” She also raised concerns that day centres in Inishowen that used to be open five days a week have been reduced to just one day a week since Covid.

The meeting was told that where the council provides the infrastructure there is a need for the HSE to provide “wrap-around services”. 

Fianna Fáil councillor Martin McDermott echoed the call for the provision of respite services in Inishowen.

He said the council should be putting pressure on the HSE to help provide respite beds.



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