Local politicians have been urged to stand together as the HSE prepares to move the first resident out of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon.
News broke recently that the facility would “cease to function as a community psychiatric unit” after an assessment by Dr. James Anderson concluded that the “current residents do not require continuing in-patient psychiatric care”.
Commenting on the matter, Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said: “It has been brought to my attention that the HSE intends to move one of the current residents of the Rosalie Unit today.
“The residents of the unit have received a tremendous level of care down through the years. They consider the Rosalie Unit to be their home and moving them would cause them a great level of distress”.
Continuing, Deputy Fitzmaurice said he wished to “throw down the gauntlet” to all TDs, Senators and county councillors in the constituency to oppose the decision to close the unit and to prevent any of the current residents from being moved.
“Given that the Local and European elections are coming up, candidates who are running need to nail the colours to the mast. Will they stand by the residents of the Rosalie Unit and their families or will they turn a blind eye in order to tow the party line?
“There are politicians out there who are involved in this Government or whose political party is propping up this Government; these people have serious decisions to make.
“The residents of the Rosalie Unit and their family members need the support of all politicians, regardless of their party affiliations,” he said.
Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr. Ivan Connaughton, has also condemned the decision to close the Rosalie Unit.
“I attended meetings in Castlerea in the past where commitments were given by politicians in Government to keep the unit open.
“But it’s very clear that they have now gone back on their promises, which is nothing new in Co. Roscommon. Action needs to be taken now to overturn the decision to close the unit,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cllr. Nigel Dineen has described the recent developments surrounding the Rosalie Unit as a “total disgrace”.
“The residents in the Rosalie Unit deserve to continue to receive a high level of care in a facility which they have resided in for a number of years.
“Both the residents and their family members are happy with the level of care provided at the unit in Castlerea and have no wish to be moved. This upheaval is being forced upon them,” he said.
Daly: ‘Rosalie won’t close – but psychiatric service will cease’
In a response to Deputy Eugene Murphy during Topical Issues at the Dáil last Thursday, Minister of State at the Department of Health Catherine Byrne read a response on behalf of Minister for State Jim Daly.
“The Rosalie Unit will not close as is being reported. However, it is highly likely that the psychiatric service that is currently provided at the centre will cease in due course and a new service will be provided to best cater for the health and care needs of the local community based on a demographic evidence”.