I met with Minister Finian McGrath last Tuesday evening 12th November 2019. During the meeting, Minister Finian McGrath stated to me that he met with the IWA in July 2017. He stated the IWA had been approved €65,000 by the Board of the IWA to commence immediate fire safety issues at the Cuisle Centre. However, the organisation required the balance of funding of €423,862 by the end of September 2017. The HSE advised the IWA at the meeting that their funding application would be escalated to the HSE Head of Operations for Disability Services. Minister McGrath also stated that the IWA confirmed at the meeting that the work would be planned and completed on a phased basis, so that the centre would not close. Minister McGrath advised me that he had been informed that the HSE Head of Operations for Disability Services approved this necessary funding at that time.
The information provided by Minister McGrath raises a number of questions – Was this considerable funding if approved drawn down? Did these works take place? Did the fire safety works include electrical upgrades? We need accountability from the HSE and IWA in relation to these matters. I will be raising these issues with the IWA at the Oireachtas Health Committee on Thursday 21st November.
The IWA appear to be focussed on implementing a new model of care within private hotel settings. I am not at all convinced that this model of care is appropriate for all individuals. As an occupational therapist, I am very aware of the complex needs of many individuals who need a supportive environment which the Cuisle Holiday Centre with its dedicated staff have been providing for many years.
strongly emphasised to Minister McGrath again on Tuesday last the need
for all options to be explored in order to keep this centre open.