Councillors seek assurances regarding St Vincent’s reopening

Athlone councillors were seeking assurances at Monday’s meeting of the Municipal District that the proposed timeframe for works at St Vincent’s Care Centre is being adhered to.

Several councillors expressed their concern regarding the lack of information coming from the HSE, which they say has left many residents and their families in the dark. Assurances had previously been given that the home would reopen in March next year.

Sinn Féin councillor, Paul Hogan, said some families are finding it difficult visiting loved ones relocated to Longford and Birr. He called for a letter to be issued to HSE manager, Joe Ruane, requesting a clear timeframe regarding their completion.

Mayor of Athlone, John Dolan, suggested Mr Ruane be invited to December or January’s Municipal District Meeting to provide some clarity.

Fianna Fáil’s Aengus O’Rourke said he is disappointed that the council is having to act as “a quasi-watchdog of the HSE” and supported the call to issue a letter to the body.

Councillors’ concerns were partly allayed by Fianna Fáil’s Frankie Keena. As a member of the Regional Health Forum Dublin Mid Leinster, Cllr Keena said he has been in contact with Pat Bennett of the HSE who has assured him that works are on schedule to meet the March deadline.

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