Cllr fears CRC disability service for Swords could be scrapped

by Rose Barrett
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Rose Barrett

Six years after the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) got planning permission to develop a disability service for North County Dublin in Swords, Cllr Paul Mulville (SD) claims there are fears the service could be scrapped as a result of ‘technical difficulties’ with the site.

This, he claims, has prompted fears that Fingal could lose out on the vital services, which proposed a a purpose-built day-building catering for adults and children with disabilities at North Street, Swords.

“However, despite initial planning permission granted in 2016, the plans have stalled,” said the Social Democrats councillor for Rush-Lusk Ward. 

“Just last week, the HSE admitted in a parliamentary question to my party colleague Deputy Roisin Shortall, that it believes the CRC ‘have had technical difficulties with their original plans for the site and that alternative solutions for the proposed use of the site are being explored’.

“My fear now is that notwithstanding a population increase of approximately 32,600 (11%) since 2016 – one of the highest in the country – Fingal could lose out on these vital services. 

“We desperately need clarity on this from the CRC – and a firm commitment from government to fund the development of this service.”

Cllr Paul Mulville SD

The HSE responded to Cllr Mulville’s concerns and stated: “The CRC has an ambitious multi-million capital development plan for Clontarf, Clondalkin and Swords, the cost of which is estimated to be in the region of €30m.

“This includes plans to develop its site at 38-40 North Street, Swords for the provision of services for people with disabilities.”

Albeit it did not respond directly to Cllr Mulville’s concerns re ‘technical difficulties’ regarding     , the HSE spokesperson stated: “Community Healthcare Organisation Dublin North City and County (CHO DNCC) had given a level of commitment to the CRC to part fund the proposed development at 38 – 40 North Street, Swords.”

The CRC is funded by the HSE through an agreement under section 39 of the Health Act 2004.

“It has been six years since Fingal County Council granted permission for the works at 38-40 North Street, Swords, and we know that in August 2016, CRC went so far as to tender for a building contractor to undertake the permitted site preparation works.

“These were completed by December 2016, but the whole project has stalled since then, and more worryingly, no further works are currently planned.”

He noted that while the CRC had an ambitious €30m plan for Clontarf, Clondalkin and Swords, “So far, no funding has been identified for North Street, Swords.”

He continued: “In 2019, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health identified deficits worth €40m in service provision for people with disabilities. Our Social Democrats Alternative Budget allocated €20m towards narrowing those gaps, with a goal of closing them completely in Budget 2023.   

“The Department of Health’s Disability Capacity Review was published in July 2021 after a very long delay, and this estimated that a further €550m to €1,000m investment in disability services is required by 2032.

“People with disabilities in North County Dublin and their families are being left behind by this government,” concluded Cllr Mulville.  

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