Owenacurra family members host public meeting on proposed closure of the residential care centre

The meeting focused on the proposed closure of the centre in Midleton, which offers residential care for people with significant mental health challenges, and the accountability for HSE spending on various mental health facilities in Cork, including Garnish House and Glenwood House.
Owenacurra family members host public meeting on proposed closure of the residential care centre

Some of the large attendance pictured at the recent meeting about the closure of the Owenacurra Mental Health Centre in the Mideton Park Hotel. Picture: Howard Crowdy

FAMILY members of Owenacurra Centre residents held a public meeting on the decision to close the centre in Midleton on Monday, May 23.

The meeting focused on the proposed closure of the centre in Midleton, which offers residential care for people with significant mental health challenges, and the accountability for HSE spending on various mental health facilities in Cork, including Garnish House and Glenwood House.

Family member Maureen O’Sullivan said the organisers will now be extending their activities. 

“There were about 100 people present. We were very happy with it. We channelled the anger. The meeting was all about a strategy going forward. We are extending our activities. We are now increasing to include residents and relatives from Millfield House,” she said.

“There will be electoral consequences,” added Ms O’Sullivan who said the family members are going to increase the battle to save Owenacurra Centre.

 “We are going to have to get more strategic. We took the contact details of everyone at the meeting. We talked about how to get a bigger engagement. We are going to contact all the retirement groups. Young people who came to the meeting said they would do videos on TikTok to spread the message. We are going to draft a letter and bombard the TDs.

Friends of Owenacurra members Mary Hurley and Dr Maureen O'Sullivan lead the speakers at the recent public meeting discussing the closure of the Owenacurra Mental Health Centre in the Midleton Park Hotel. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Friends of Owenacurra members Mary Hurley and Dr Maureen O'Sullivan lead the speakers at the recent public meeting discussing the closure of the Owenacurra Mental Health Centre in the Midleton Park Hotel. Picture: Howard Crowdy

“We are now going to increase the battle. We are going to nationalise it. We are going to do a protest in Leinster House. We are not going away. They are going to crack sooner or later. We are doing it for the whole of East Cork. This has been going on for 11 months. If they get away with this, they will close everything. They will take away all the public services. We are not having it,” she added.

Ms O’Sullivan said she still believes the campaigners will emerge successful in their quest to save Owenacurra Centre. 

“It is not even a hope. It was supposed to be closed on October 31. We are not giving up. We are going to do it,” she added.

Last Monday’s meeting came after the Joint Committee on Health recently called on the Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler to reverse the decision to close the Owenacurra Centre and requested that Cork/Kerry HSE pursue essential building works on the premises.

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