Local Sinn Féin Deputy, Sorca Clarke, has implored the Minister for Housing, Deputy Darragh O’Brien, to intervene in the case of an Athlone man who has been residing in a nursing home for 18 months following a stroke, because his private rented accommodation is no longer suitable to meet his medical care needs.
Addressing the Dáil chamber on behalf of Charles Murray, Deputy Clarke stated that he wished to return to his home where he will have the full love and support of his family.
Despite representations and interventions by occupational therapists, physiotherapists and a medical social worker, Deputy Clarke said the response from the local authority to date has been that there are no properties available, but that the family qualifies for homeless housing assistance payment, HAP.
“This family is not homeless. Tragic events have resulted in a long-term medical need that requires adapted housing. The reality now is that a family is separated by the loss of a parent from the family home,” she explained, adding that Mr Murray is missing out on proper recovery from his stroke.
“His recovery is stalling because the nursing home cannot provide the therapies he urgently needs. I ask the Minister to intervene in this case. Mr Murray wants to go home. His children want him home. In the words of his own wife, he belongs at home,” Deputy Clarke asserted.
Having heard Deputy Clarke’s stance, Deputy O’Brien requested that the local Sinn Féin Deputy submit details of the Athlone case to his Government department.
While he is precluded from intervening in individual cases, Deputy O’Brien promised to ask his officials “to engage with the local authorities to find out what is happening for this gentleman in question and to do their level best to ensure the accommodation he requires is provided and he can be reunited with his family”.