Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow - Kilkenny Bobby Aylward has secured a commitment from Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disability Issues Finian McGrath that he will visit St Patrick's Centre in Kilkenny.
The facility provides care services for children and adults with disabilities.
Deputy Aylward commented, "I am encouraged that Minister McGrath has committed to visit St. Patrick's after the Dáil recess. I have often received calls from concerned parents and family members on behalf of the residents at the centre. I am delighted that they will have the opportunity to convey their concerns and queries to the Minister first hand. Hopefully this will lead to clarity and certainty for the parents and families who are concerned about the future of the centre.
“St Patrick's is an important resource to many people in Carlow and Kilkenny and the cloud of uncertainty that has hung over the future of the facility and its services has caused much distress for the families involved. Following wide spread reports that St. Patrick's will close its services to children in 2018 and the HIQA report released in June, it is important that Minister McGrath gets a sense of the feeling on the ground and ensures that families and residents are not left in the lurch in the future.
“The recently publicised case regarding a mother from Kilkenny shows that above all else communication from management must be vastly improved to provide a level of certainty and reassurance to parents and families. It is very distressing for a parent to witness vast improvements in social and educational aspects of their child's life, to suddenly be told that a transfer would take place without any further detail being provided. Consistency is paramount in such cases as familiarity and positive relationships with the hardworking staff and their peers are the platform for such improvement.
“Minister McGrath's office has confirmed to me that inquiries into this case are ongoing and I am hopeful that a further update will be provided to my office in the near future,” concluded Deputy Aylward.