Many of the residents of Owenacurra mental health centre in Midleton have lived there for decades.

Councillor has concerns over

Owenacurra replacement

A Cork County Councillor has expressed concern following the HSE’s recent promise to build replacement services for the residents of the Owenacurra Centre in Midleton.

In a new statement, the HSE said it plans to provide a new ten bed rehabilitative residential mental health unit in Midleton town with 24-hour staffing and a focus on supporting people to return to their homes and communities.

The HSE also said it would provide at least 1 community residence in Midleton town for 3 or 4 residents, also with 24-hour staffing.

However, Green Party Cllr Liam Quaide said that, although the HSE sounded promising at first, the 24-hour staffed service it refers to is “neither bought nor built”.

Speaking to the Cork Independent, the East Cork councillor said the statement offered no information as to how a 24-hour staffed service would continue to operate for East Cork while they wait for the 10-bed facility to be built.

“While a new build sounds very appealing, the practical reality of that for residents is years more of uncertainty, displacement and potential regression in their mental health and quality-of-life,” said Cllr Quaide.

He continued: “You cannot simply rip a service out of an area and seamlessly reassemble it in a few years’ time. Several years of waiting for a planning process to come to fruition while residents are displaced to another part of Cork would subject families to a prolonged ordeal of uncertainty. There would also be no further capacity for other people from East Cork who require respite or long-stay placement.”

The decision to close the Owenacurra mental health centre was made in June last year by management of the Cork/Kerry Health Community who deemed the 1970s building unsuitable for purpose.

Many of the residents at Owenacurra have been living at the facility for decades and it is feared that a move to a new facility would have a detrimental impact on their wellbeing.

9 of the centre’s residents were recently offered residence at a new facility being developed in Glenwood House in Carrigaline, a former B&B.