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Forty-bed mental health services facility remains unopened in Killarney

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FUNDING is not currently available to open and staff a major new mental health unit in Killarney, it has emerged. In September, Killarney Advertiser highlighted how members of the Kerry branch of the Psychiatric Nurses' Association were concerned that the brand-new complex was lying idle.

Following a meeting between the Psychiatric Nurses’ Association (PNA) and the area manager for the Health Service Executive South, Sinead Glennon, on Thursday, the Health Service Executive (HSE) informed the PNA that no funding was currently available to open and staff Deer Lodge, a new 40-bed mental health unit at St Margaret’s Road.

The PNA said it was told the funding for Kerry Mental Health Services of €1.65m announced in the 2017 HSE Service Plan would be spent exclusively on renovations works at the acute admission unit, Kerry University Hospital, Tralee. Deer Lodge will replace the current longstay O’Connor Unit on the grounds of St Finan’s Hospital, Killarney.

“Ms Glennon said that HSE South was actively attempting to source funding for the opening of Deer Lodge from the Department of Health and it was hoped funding would be made available in the coming months,” said Cormac Williams, Killarney, of the Kerry branch of the PNA.

“The staffing proposals as were outlined by the HSE for Deer Lodge were rejected as unacceptable by the PNA as the ratio of healthcare assistance to nurses proposed (1 HCAs for every two nurses) was far too high and would not be in keeping with a higher skill, therapeutic, recovery and rehabilitative-based model of care.”

The PNA has also expressed a wish to see new service concepts such as crisis intervention beds made available in the new Deer Lodge complex. “Currently no crisis intervention beds are available within Kerry mental service area,” said Mr Williams.
 


 
Above: Kerry PNA representatives Cormac Williams, Mary Delaney, Pat Murphy, Ruth Adams and Finbarr Murphy outside Deer Lodge in September when they highlighted the fact that the building was lying idle.

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Ballycasheen junction to get upgraded this year.

A long awaited solution to traffic problems where Ballycasheen Road meets the N22 Cork Road looks like finally being resolved this year. Late last year Transport Infrastructure Ireland allocated €1.2m to be spent on the section of road between the Park Road roundabout and Ballycasheen junction. “Technical Approval for the improvements, along this section which […]

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A long awaited solution to traffic problems where Ballycasheen Road meets the N22 Cork Road looks like finally being resolved this year.

Late last year Transport Infrastructure Ireland allocated €1.2m to be spent on the section of road between the Park Road roundabout and Ballycasheen junction.

“Technical Approval for the improvements, along this section which include Active Travel provision and Junction Improvements at Ballycasheen, is being sought from TII before commencing,” a council spokesperson confirmed. “The elected members will be briefed on the proposals ahead of the commencement of the statutory process in early 2022.”

The council official was responding to a request by Cllr John O’Donoghue who sought an update on progress being on a promised “more user friendly junction.”

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€2.3m funding for Kerry schools under Summer Works Programme

Minister for Education and Kerry TD Norma Foley has today (Monday) announced funding of €2.3 million for the approval of 24 projects across Kerry under the Department’s 2022 Summer Works Scheme. This funding is part of the overall package of €65m for a total of 497 projects around the country. “I am delighted to confirm […]

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Minister for Education and Kerry TD Norma Foley has today (Monday) announced funding of €2.3 million for the approval of 24 projects across Kerry under the Department’s 2022 Summer Works Scheme.

This funding is part of the overall package of €65m for a total of 497 projects around the country.

“I am delighted to confirm this significant tranche of funding which will provide further investment for schools in Kerry under the Summer Works Scheme,” Minister Foley said.

“School communities have shown great resilience, flexibility and leadership in adapting to the many challenges that arose over the course of the pandemic. This funding is a further endorsement of the excellence in education provided by schools across the county. I am announcing the Summer Works Scheme projects now so that schools have a good lead-in period to plan and deliver the projects in summer 2022,” she said.

“Today’s announcement follows on from the enhanced minor works funding which was delivered to schools a number of weeks ago.”

The projects for Kerry included in today’s announcement include Mechanical Works at Two Mile Community NS and Spa National School, Science Labs including Gas Works at Community College Killorglin and Castleisland Community College, as well as Roof Works at Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra. 

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