28 May 2022

Health chiefs under renewed fire over St Joseph's acquired brain unit calls

Fresh pleas for St Joseph's neuro rehab unit

St Joseph's Care Centre in Longford

There are growing calls this week for a public protest to be held to force the hand of government bosses to follow through on renewed pleas for an acquired brain injury unit and a second palliative care bed to be added to St Joseph's Care Centre.

Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr Peggy Nolan delivered the ultimatum at a recent meeting of Longford County Council.

She described the HSE's response to fresh denials a dedicated acquired brain injury unit was ever earmarked for the Dublin Road facility as an “absolute shambles”.

The Fine Gael local councillor also took aim at Health Minister Simon Donnelly and bemoaned how the Wicklow TD had “the neck” to undertake a recent tour of Newtownforbes Vaccination Centre and converse with staff.

Cllr Nolan said she believed Longford had become the political scapegoat for a crisis which could have been easily avoided.

“My belief is it is political skullduggery because a Fine Gael minister (Simon Harris) announced it (acquired brain injury unit),” she said.

“If we have to take to the streets then that is what we will have to do.

“To say it is an appalling situation is an understatement.

“These two issues have a huge impact for the people we represent and the minister says conversations are ongoing, well that conversation ends now.”

Independent Cllr Gerry Warnock rowed in behind the Longford County Council Cathaoirleach's rallying cry, arguing that for too long the county had been on the wrong end of governmental cutbacks.

Fianna Fáil Cllr and HSE Dublin Mid Leinster Chairperson PJ Reilly said he was of a view health chiefs never intended considering the possibility of an acquired brain injury unit for St Joseph's.

“It's a pure disgrace the way we are being treated in Longford,” he said.

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