Cutbacks at St Mary’s Drumcar

The anger over the decision to cut catering services at St Mary’s Drumcar is more than understandable.

The anger over the decision to cut catering services at St Mary’s Drumcar is more than understandable.

There was a huge attendance at the meeting of the parents and friends of St Mary’s Drumcar at the Fairways Hotel on Friday last to discuss the crisis.

The central cause of the anger is the manner in which people were told about the cuts and the total lack of consultation.

Sinn Fein councillor Pearse McGeough has rightly described it as insensitive.

Senator Mary Moran, Labour Party spokesperson on Education, Disability and Mental Health in the Seanad, met with the Director of Services at St Mary’s Drumcar after last week’s announcement and has arranged a meeting with Minister for Children Francis Fitzgerald.

The cause of the problem is the announcement that from 12 August St Mary’s will no longer provide meals for people attending the day services on the campus or in any of their outreach centres.

The parents received a letter from Drumcar notifying them of the closure of the catering facilities at St Mary’s, the day that the day services broke for the summer holidays.

Some parents were also very annoyed that they had not been consulted prior to the decision and that they were only informed when it was a done deal.

The closure of the catering services will mean that meals will now only be provided for those in residential care, while those in the many day services and outreach centres will have to now bring a packed lunch. Once again the weakest are hit.