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Industrial action looming over Deer Lodge in Killarney

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SIPTU has called on the Minister for Health to immediately investigate why two newly built, state-of-the-art buildings in the Kerry Mental Health Services area have been lying idle for the past two years.

These include the forty-bed purpose-built Deer Lodge in Killarney and a four-bed intensive care unit for mental health in Kerry University Hospital.

Deer Lodge will accommodate those presently resident in the O’Connor unit at the rear of St Finan’s Hospital as well as providing 10 beds for rehabilitation purposes. “The HSE has committed millions of euro to providing these buildings, which are necessary to deliver a progressive and modern mental health service in Kerry,” said Donie Doody, Killarney, branch organiser, SIPTU.

“However the HSE is undermining its own positive work by continuing to delay the opening of these buildings and allowing patients to remain in old dilapidated buildings which are no longer fit for purpose.”

In addition, hundreds of thousands of euro has been spent preparing residents in Cluain Fionnain, an intellectual disability unit in Killarney, for transfer into residences in the community, added Mr Doody. “This process has been ongoing for over two years with very little results to show. A number of outside agencies have been involved in the process and have cost the taxpayer needless sums of money with very little return,” said the SIPTU branch manager.

All staff presently employed by the HSE in Cluain Fionnain should be deployed back into the mental health services, according to SIPTU. “Nurses presently employed in Cluain Fhionnain are mental health nurses and are anxious to return to the mental health services,” said Mr Doody.

SIPTU has issued a deadline of May 31, 2017, by which time it wants its members re-deployed. “The HSE has already been afforded ample opportunity to complete this process,” said Mr Doody.

“It is our plan that the re-deployed nurses be used to staff the two new buildings currently lying idle. In the long-term this will save the HSE thousands of euro, provide an enhanced service to the people of Kerry and better facilities to service users accommodated in the new buildings. In the event that our deadline of May 31, 2017, is not honoured by the HSE, SIPTU has no option but to ballot its members for industrial action.

“The people of Kerry and the services users deserve better treatment than this. It is appalling that the facilities we have waited so long for, now built, lie idle and still outside the grasp of those who need them most.”
 


 
Above: Deer Lodge, Killarney.

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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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