Minister for Disabilities wants St Mary’s consultation to finish before visit

The Minister with Responsibility for Disabilities says he will allow a consultation process with families and residents of St Mary of the Angels to finish before he visits.

Finian McGrath was responding to a question from Kerry Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin.


Families of the 77 residents are concerned about a national policy of decongregation or moving residents into community settings.

Minister Finian McGrath told the Dail the Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives.

The Minister said there are currently 2.725 people living in congregated settings and their objective is to reduce this by a third by 2021 and ultimately to eliminate these facilities.

Minister McGrath said the HSE is committed to working with St John of God Services to transition 17 residents in Kerry to more appropriate settings in the community.

This, he added, will be done in a planned and phased way and the welfare and dignity of residents is absolutely paramount and their needs will be the first consideration.

The Chief Officer with the HSE is meeting St John of God management to ensure communication with families and the representative group is improved.

The Minister said he is satisfied that the appropriate level of engagement is now underway and it would be appropriate to allow this process to conclude before considering a visit to the Beaufort campus.