Instead of a new health centre being built on Inishbofin island, a situation "bordering on farcical" has been allowed develop where the project has been allowed to stall and islanders are expected to be satisfied with the current, "unfit for purpose", health centre.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil Galway West TD and Spokesperson on Island Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív, who was speaking about the stalled works for the planned new health centre for the Connemara island. Plans for the new centre were almost completed in the late 2000s, but no physical work on the provision of the facility has been undertaken.
Dep Ó Cuív said the situation was "completely ridiculous"and that it was "disgraceful" for people living on Inishbofin to be "expected to be content with a health centre that is unfit for purpose". The island has a population of more than 160 people and is a popular County Galway tourist destination, especially during the summer. "A functioning health centre should be a basic requirement, not a perceived luxury," the TD added.
The Cornamona TD said he was aware of consultants were being appointed to carry out an environmental and planning assessment for the proposed alternative site for the health centre. More recently, he understands that, while the HSE engaged with an environmental engineer, it has not progressed with an assessment.
Dep Ó Cuív, who is calling on the Health Minister Simon Harris, and the HSE, to deal with this issue "as a matter of urgency", also said the HSE claims discussions are ongoing with the local authority and the island division of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs regarding potential sites.