Minister to visit St Patrick's Centre on Tuesday

Minister to visit St Patrick's Centre on Tuesday
Sam Matthews @SamAMatthewsKP

Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disability Issues Finian McGrath will visit St Patrick's Centre in Kilkenny this Tuesday.

The facility provides care services for children and adults with disabilities, but there have been some concerns about it locally following a court-ordered HSE takeover last year, and a number of criticisms made in a HIQA report this year.

Confirmation of the ministerial visit follows a commitment secured by local TD Bobby Aylward last July, who said the minister needed to geta a sense of the feeling on the ground, and hear people's views.

“I am delighted that the parents and families of the residents of St Patrick's will have the opportunity to convey their concerns and queries to the minister first hand,” he said.

“I would be hopeful that this visit will provide a level of clarity and certainty for families who are so concerned about the future of respite services for communities in Kilkenny, Carlow and the south-east.

“I commend the minister for following through on his commitment as 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.”