Press Release

Minister Moloney At Laying of Foundation Stone in 100 bed Unit in St Mary’s Care Centre, Mullingar

Mr. John Moloney, T.D, Minister for State with responsibility for Disability and Mental Health was in Mullingar today for the Laying of the Foundation Stone Ceremony in St Mary’s Care Centre. The development comprises 52 beds for older persons which will replace the beds in St. Mary’s, and 48 beds for the Psychiatry of Old Age, to replace those beds in St. Loman’s.

The overarching aim of Government policy is to help older people to remain at home and in their communities for as long as possible. Where this is not feasible, help is provided to ensure access to high quality, modern long term residential care. The Minister noted that an additional €10 million was provided in the last Budget to expand the Home Care Package Initiative nationally.

Commenting on the provision of the 48 Psychiatry of Old Age beds, Minister Moloney said “as life expectancy in Ireland grows, it is I believe increasingly important to consider the particular mental health needs of people in later life and to provide a comprehensive range of services appropriate to their needs.I very much welcome the fact that our older people with mental health difficulties are now being cared for by professionals who have received specialised training, and therefore have the expertise needed to meet the unique requirements of older people”.

The availability of dedicated teams and services attuned to the special needs of older people is only a recent development in Ireland; previously older people with mental health problems were dealt with by generic adult mental health services.