The Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath, has said he fully supports the policy of moving people with disabilities from centres into the community.
The minister was speaking in response to the opposition from family members of people with intellectual disabilities who are due to be moved from St Mary of the Angels, Beaufort into houses across Kerry.
Minister McGrath said he wants to assure any concerned family members that the process of moving a person with disabilities out of a congregated setting is not something that happens overnight and will be done in full consultation with all residents and their families.
The minister’s statement refers to the HSE transition plan which families of those at St Mary of the Angels claim was not shared with them, saying it identifies what resources are required to support people out of a congregated setting – funding, equipment, community resources, circles of support, and staff skill sets.
Meanwhile Saint John of God Community Services have said it is committed to the plan to transition 78 residents, many who require high levels of support, to community living over a period of time.
The organisation also responded to speculation on the future use of the St Mary of the Angels site stating that there are no plans for the future use of the site at Beaufort and that it remains committed to providing services to people with intellectual disability in Kerry.