This morning the HSE briefed county councillors in Tralee on the plans for the residential centre in Beaufort.
Five separate notices of motion were tabled at today’s monthly meeting of Kerry County Council on the issue.
St John of God Kerry has moved to reassure families of the 77 residents in St Mary of the Angels, Beaufort that it is not closing.
A national HSE policy of decongregation aims to offer residents the option to move into the community; which Junior Minister Finian McGrath supports.
Jack Fitzpatrick, whose son Bernard, is a resident delivered a heartfelt presentation to councillors today.
He said one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to this policy and he has lost faith and trust in St John of God:
Councillors unanimously backed the families’ campaign calling for the facility to remain in its current form and for flexibility in the policy of decongregation or scrapping it entirely.
Councillors said that St Mary’s is not an institution but a home or community.
Cllr Norma Moriarty said the relatives were not only fighting for the current residents but also those who will be born tomorrow with serious disabilities who will need this facility.
CEO of Kerry County Council Moira Murrell is to write to both Ministers Simon Harris and Finian McGrath to invite them to the county.
A standing ovation was given to the parents and relatives gathered in the public gallery by councillors and the executive.
Meanwhile, a public meeting is being held in the Killorglin CYMS hall at 8pm on Wednesday.