Alzheimers Association treated local voluntary committee very badly – claim

Disagreement over the purchase of a property to provide a new Alzheimers Day Care Centre for Kilkenny forced the local fund raising committee to tender their resignations to the National Alzheimers Society of Ireland.

Disagreement over the purchase of a property to provide a new Alzheimers Day Care Centre for Kilkenny forced the local fund raising committee to tender their resignations to the National Alzheimers Society of Ireland.

As revealled in last week’s Kilkenny People, Elaine Bradshaw, Kitty O’Halloran, Bridget Brennan and Sean Leahy have stepped down from their positions on the local committee.

The purchase of the new property was deemed essential by the local branch to cater for the growing number of Alzheimer sufferers accessing services locally.

But the national body froze bank accounts which had been used by the local branch when talks began about the purchase of a new property.

According to former committee member Sean Leahy, they were treated “very badly.”

Frozen

“We discussed the purchase of a new day care centre and had earmarked a property but when we went to access our funds in a local Kilkenny bank branch, we were informed our account was frozen” said Mr Leahy.

“That bank account contained a substantial, six figure sum and we contacted head office over it. We met with area management and the CEO on the matter but as talks were going on, the property we first looked at was purchased by the organisation at national level without our prior knowledge.

“We asked head office to reinstate our access to our bank accounts but they refused. We made no recommendation on the purchase of the property, as we had not fully checked it out for suitability.

“We made a pledge to the people of Kilkenny that all money raised locally was held locally and spent on local services,” added Mr Leahy.

“We felt we could not stand over that.” he said.

Elaine Bradshaw was a founding member of the Alzheimers local branch 15 years ago, and was joined then by Kitty O’Halloran and Bridget Brennan with Sean Leahy joining ten years ago.

Beginning

In the beginning, patients were cared for at St John’s Day Care Centre on the Dublin Road and and then the local branch rented premises on the Waterford Road.

A spokesperson for the Alzheimers Society of Ireland stated “Conversations between The Branch and National Office are ongoing.

“The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s home care and day care services, which provide a lifeline for people with dementia and their families in Kilkenny, continue to operate as normal.”