DONEGAL TD Pearse Doherty is expected to use the return of the Dáil today to put pressure on the Government to speed up a move to new premises for Donegal Town’s Cleary Centre.
Deputy Doherty, who is to raise the issue of the Cleary Centre in the Dáil, will be requesting that the Minister provides details of HSE efforts to date to secure a new premises for the facility’s service users which has provided training for adults with intellectual disabilities for more than twenty years.
Deputy Doherty said: “I intend to use the return of the Dáil today to seek answers from the Minister regarding the progress made to find a suitable premises for the relocation of the Cleary Day Centre in Donegal Town.
“Since last November, the Parents and Friends’ Association of the Cleary centre were informed that the building which accommodates the service was not fit for purpose and that an alternative location was being sought for service users by the HSE.
“Since then, service users, staff and members of the Parents and Friends’ Association have passionately taken their campaign to save the Cleary Centre to the gates of Leinster House; each working tirelessly to ensure that the centre remains in the town.
“I understand from correspondence which I have received from the HSE that the executive has agreed that an existing premises in Donegal Town would be the most favourable option for an interim move from the Cleary Centre. I have also been informed that negotiations with the owners of the building are to begin to ensure that the premises can be leased at a cost which falls within current HSE guidelines, following which planning permission can then be sought for change-of-use.
“When I raise this matter with the Minister, I will be asking that he provide details of all the refurbishments and alterations to the premises which have been requested by the HSE in order to make it suitable for service users, and I will also be asking him to give an expected time frame as to when service users will ultimately be relocated to the new facility.
“For over twenty years the Cleary Centre has provided exceptional care and training to people with intellectual disabilities throughout the region, and for this reason it is vital that this work be allowed to continue so that service users can be moved to a building which adequately meets their needs.”