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Doherty welcomes new manager for Knocknamona care unit

Deputy Pearse Doherty

Deputy Pearse Doherty

SINN Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has today (Monday) welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs that a Centre Manager has now been identified to take charge of the Knocknamona Child and Adolescent Residential Care facility in Letterkenny.

The Centre, which was closed by the Child and Family Agency TUSLA owing to service quality issues identified following a HIQA inspection last May, is now expected to open once a timeline for capital works can be agreed.

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Deputy Doherty said:  “Immediately following the closure of the Knocknamona children’s residential centre last May, I raised the decision with the Minister and I also enquired about the interim measures which were being put in place to ensure the safety and welfare of the all residents of Knocknamona, including the alternative accommodation which would be provided to service users.

 “I was subsequently informed that the centre was closed unexpectedly by TUSLA due to concerns over service quality issues which were identified by HIQA arising from the protracted absence of a Centre Manager at the facility.

 “TUSLA informed me that it was hopeful to have services reinstated at Knocknamona once a suitably qualified centre manager had been appointed to the vacancy.

 “Following weeks of service suspension, I am happy to now have had it confirmed to me today by the Minister for Children that a new Centre Manager has been identified to take charge of the unit and that his/her appointment will be agreed once a timeline for minor capital works becomes available.

 “Of course, this news will come as a huge relief for the staff and former residents of Knocknamona who have been campaigning strongly to have the service reinstated.

 “While no formal date has yet been established for the re-opening of the centre, nor has it been confirmed that all residents will be re-homed at the facility once services resume, I will once again be raising these matters with the Minister once the Dáil returns in the coming days.

 “However, this is a positive development and today’s announcement will provide some welcome relief for all those who have sought to have services kept within the county for children requiring residential care and support.”

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