The HSE is to begin opening a house it bought in Kilmorna, Listowel, which will provide respite on a phased basis in the coming months.
The respite house, which was purchased by the HSE for €300,000, has lain idle for some time despite the huge demand for respite for families of adults with intellectual disabilities.
Kerry Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil and Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae are welcoming the news, while Sinn Fein’s Martin Ferris has given the announcement a guarded welcome.
Just 14 respite beds exist in the entire county for adults with intellectual disabilities, and parents have been campaigning for the house to be opened.
There’s significant frustration at the fact that €300,000 had been spent for a facility that was lying idle when the respite need in Kerry was so acute.
The HSE has said that it will be working with the Kerry Parents and Friends Association to open the house on a part-time basis.
While this funding will not fully meet the existing respite need Kerry, the HSE says it’s a step towards meeting the most urgent of the existing needs.
A number of arrangements are now to be agreed and implemented, including staffing, and how the house will meet the most urgent respite needs.