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Paul Healy

Paul Healy






First the anger, then the despair, now…already…a growing sense of resignation. Last Friday, the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) stunned staff at the Cuisle Accessible Holiday Resort in Donamon by announcing the facility will close on November 29th.

 A fightback is underway, but a sense of foreboding remains. One thing most observers agree on is…there are questions the IWA ought to answer.

   Here’s TEN from the Roscommon People…for starters


1: Did the IWA ask the Divine Word Missionaries for an extension on the lease beyond 2026?


2: Regarding the ‘significant investment’ which the IWA says would be needed for the building, can IWA clarify what is the precise level of expenditure required?



3: Will the IWA publish documentation/business proposal in respect of the estimated costings for upgrading works?


4: Why has the IWA not engaged (over recent months) with local politicians in respect of existing funding availability (Roscommon LEADER, County Council, Divine Word Missionaries)?


5: Is the board prepared to postpone or abandon the closure in any circumstances?


6: Why did the IWA give staff such short notice of the plan to close?


7: Why did the IWA choose to make this announcement on a Friday afternoon?


8: Why did the IWA initially attribute the decision to close to a financial deficit – and then switch the emphasis to a new model
of care?


9: Why has the CEO been slow to respond to concerns raised by staff, service users and public representatives?


10: Will the board publish details of how funds raised for Cuisle by the public in Roscommon in recent years have been used?






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Cuisle: Anger mounts after shock closure announcement




Anger is mounting this week over the decision to close the Cuisle Holiday Centre in Donamon – with the loss of 48 jobs and to the dismay of service users from all over Ireland.

  A furious backlash is gathering momentum and there are growing demands for the closure decision to be reversed. 

  The Cuisle Accessible Holiday Resort, located at Donamon, Co. Roscommon, is the Irish Wheelchair Association’s national holiday location, and has been in operation for the past 22 years.

  Last Friday, staff at the centre were stunned to be told that the facility will close on November 29th next. The news came as a complete shock to staff, and has devastated employees, the local community, and service users throughout the country.

  In a media statement, the IWA gave mixed signals as to the reason for the shock closure, citing changes in best practise approaches – as well as funding requirements.

  The IWA said: “In recent years, there have been positive changes in accessibility standards in Ireland that now present a greater range of choice and options for people with disabilities seeking a holiday or respite.

  “Consequently, there has been a shift in best practice approaches, moving away from congregated, health service settings to integrated holiday services that provide people with greater options, alongside the supports they need to maintain independence.

  “In line with this, Irish Wheelchair Association has decided to transition its holiday service in the West of Ireland to provide accessible hotel holidays into the future, and to move away from its holiday facility at Cuisle, Co Roscommon”.

  The IWA leases the building at Donamon from the Divine Word Missionaries. In its statement, the IWA said that the lease on the building is due to expire in 2026, adding that “significant investment would be needed to make the building compatible with the future of the service”.

  It has since emerged that the investment requirement relates to electrical works and related renovations, with IWA claiming that in the region of €1.5m/€2m is required. The IWA says it has been engaged in efforts to secure such funding, but without success.


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Two arrested over €170,000 drug seizure





Two people were due to appear in court in Loughrea yesterday afternoon in relation to the seizure of cocaine and cannabis with an estimated street value of €170,000 as well as a large sum of cash at properties in Roscommon town on Tuesday.

  Following investigations, Roscommon Gardaí searched a number of houses in Roscommon town on Tuesday afternoon, and a 20-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman were arrested.

  The man and woman were arrested at two separate houses and brought to Roscommon Garda Station. They were later charged with drugs offences, including sale and supply.

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New layout for Roscommon Town Centre on the way!






A new layout for Roscommon Town Centre will see a return to two-way traffic on the eastern side of The Square (currently one-way), provision of a paved pedestrian civic space, and new parking arrangements and pedestrian crossings.

  When the ‘Roscommon Town Public Realm Enhancement Project’ was first drawn up, it attracted some opposition. Following consultation between interested parties and Roscommon County Council, a number of changes/amendments were made. A second version of the plan was then formulated, taking account of many of the submissions of business people in the area.

  The deadline for submissions on the revised plan was yesterday (Wednesday). It will now go to ‘Part 8’ status at Council level. It remains to be seen what, if any, changes will be made following the latest submissions.

  By and large, there appears to be widespread welcome for the plan, including from business people, Roscommon Town Team and local politicians.

  Its official title is the ‘Roscommon Town Public Realm Enhancement Project’ and its aim is to ensure that “Market Square and Main Street become highly connected people friendly places”. The plan has been developed, says the Council, with a view to increasing the volume and quality of interactions with the town spaces and creating a town-based pedestrian culture.

  The project will include the provision of a new traffic management scheme and layout on Main Street and The Square, to include:

  * Provision of two-way vehicular traffic on the R366 to the eastern side at Market Square.

  * Provision of a paved pedestrian civic space to the north and south of Market Square.

  * Provision of a shared space along L7043 on the western side of Market Square.

  * Provision of two-way traffic to the North of Market Square on the L7042.

  * Provision of new parking arrangements, enhanced pedestrian civic space and pedestrian crossings throughout the scheme.

  * All other associated site and ancillary works at Market Square, Main Street, Castle Street, Ballypheasan townland and Ardnanagh townland.

  The project is intended to “reimagine” existing spaces, make the town centre more people friendly, create a pedestrianised culture and increase footfall in the area. The plan has received considerable support, including from business people who engaged with the Council, making submissions and attending meetings with the local authority. However, concerns have also been voiced over the loss of 59 car parking spaces and the possibility of trade being “driven out” of the town centre.







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