Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has welcomed confirmation that an application for capital funding for the redevelopment of the Cleary Centre in Donegal Town is due to be formally appraised by the HSE’s Estates Department shortly.
It’s understood that the group, which has overall responsibility for providing property services to the HSE, will examine the proposal for the Donegal Town project at its next meeting this July.
The Cleary Centre Parents and Friends Committee have been campaigning for years to have the facility redeveloped as part of disability services in South Donegal.
Deputy Doherty, who has worked closely with the group, has welcomed today’s update. He said: “While day services were relocated in 2016 to the Victor Complex on the outskirts of the town on a temporary basis, it has always been the goal of all involved in this campaign to have the former Cleary Centre rebuilt and its services returned to the facility to ensure the continuation of disability services into the long term.
“At the start of the year there was much disappointment at the announcement that the project would not be included as part of the approved capital projects for 2018 as expectations were high that it would get the go ahead to proceed.
“However, since then it was confirmed earlier this year that a business case for the project was received by the HSE’s Estates Department along with other additional supporting documentation.
“After having sought a progress report from the Minister last month, the HSE has now replied to me to confirm that its Estates Department will meet now in July where it’s expected that the Cleary Centre proposal will be appraised and considered.
“While it’s obviously too early yet to comment on what the possible outcome of this process will be, the fact that we now know that the project is shortly set to come before the HSE is to be welcomed.
“I am again calling on the HSE to give this important project the green light without any further delay as it’s now crucial that these redevelopment works proceed and that the new Cleary Centre is delivered for service users here in Donegal.
“The Parents and Friends Committee, which has worked tirelessly to get this project to where it is today, has shown such strength and resilience throughout what has been a long and, at times, arduous and frustrating process.
“Its members have never given up and I want to again commend them for all their efforts to date as they have ensured that the Cleary Centre remains at the top of the agenda.
“While we await the outcome of next month’s meeting, I pledge to continue to support the Committee in its work and to make representations on their behalf, as well as on behalf of the centre’s hard working staff and all those who depend on these vital services and supports.”