WELL-KNOWN activist for the elderly, Paddy O'Brien has welcomed the announcement that there is a stay on the closure of Mount Cara, but said "every effort" must now be made to permanently keep the facility open.
The respite and residential centre for the elderly located on Redemption Road was set to wind down in a "planned format" at the end of August, but the closure has been "paused" until January 2021.
"Every politician in Cork city must work to ensure Mount Cara stays open.
"Anyone in Cork with any bit of influence with the HSE must use that influence.
"The place must not close," Mr O'Brien told.
"I was speaking to a woman whose mother is a resident in Mount Cara and she said her mother hasn’t been able to sleep for the past three weeks with the stress.
"We are evicting elderly people out of their homes and it’s not on at all," he continued.
On Wednesday, Cork GP and former Lord Mayor John Sheehan, who has recently taken over as chair of the board of management at Mount Cara, said he is currently liaising with the HSE, Hiqa, the National Treatment Purchase Fund in terms of Fair Deal, and others in a bid to find a solution.
The Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central welcomed the board's announcement to defer its decision to close Mount Cara.
"I would like to commend the work of the Board of Mount Cara and its Chairman Cllr John Sheehan in particular, for their resilience and efforts on behalf of the residents in ensuring a solution is found.
"The spirit shown by the Save Mount Cara group, the residents of Mount Cara itself and the Northside community must also be acknowledged.
"I will continue to work with the families of those affected and the staff to ensure that Mount Cara has a bright future."
Sinn Fein TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould said while the announcement is a "step in the right direction" the fight to end the closure is not yet over.
"I was elected on a promise to end the neglect of the Northside and it is because of great community efforts such as the Save Mount Cara campaign that I am proud to represent, and fight for, the people of Cork North Central," Deputy Gould said.