Councillor Catherine Connolly has again reiterated her desire to save St Francis Nursing Home and stated that the cost of its refurbishment is less than one-third of a year’s rent on the building the HSE are renting on Seamus Quirke Road.
Nineteen of the home’s 38 available beds are currently occupied, and the HSE has stated that when this number goes below 15, the remaining residents will be transferred to private for profit nursing homes. HSE West say they do not have the resources to expend the required sum, estimated at between €200,000 and €250,000, to make the necessary changes to the St Francis’ Home building.
However Councillor Connolly said the HSE West can spend €876,935 annually (in a 25-year lease ) to lease part of one building beside the Aldi Shop on Seamus Quirke Road in order to provide some of its community services. She also referenced the land in Merlin Park as well as empty building space on the Regional Hospital site itself.
A petition to save St Francis’ Nursing Home has now attracted more than 6,000 signatures, outlining the public feeling towards the home’s survival. Last Saturday alone saw some 1,200 signatures added on Shop Street, while many people also took petitions to fill out in their own neighbourhoods. The campaign continues this Saturday on Shop Street between 11am and 3pm and also outside Sunday Masses at the Cathedral.