Minister O’Malley responds to criticism of Central Mental Hospital move
Tim O’Malley T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for mental health, today (1 February 2005) responded to the publicly-expressed concerns of voluntary, professional and relatives groups regarding the proposed re-location of the Central Mental Hospital to the Thornton Hall site in north County Dublin, adjacent to the planned prison complex.
“Having read the concerns expressed since the announcement was made, I would like to emphasise the fact that the new Central Mental Hospital will be a health facility, providing a therapeutic forensic psychiatric service to the highest international standards in a state-of–the-art building” the Minister said. “I can confirm that the Hospital will remain under the aegis of the Department of Health and Children and will be owned and managed by the Health Service Executive. Furthermore, I have today asked my officials to examine the option of providing a separate governance structure for the Hospital, by way of its own board, reflecting its importance as a national, tertiary psychiatric service.”
Minister O’Malley added that it was his Department’s intention to develop the Central Mental Hospital independently of the prison complex, by means of a separate capital development project, managed and directed by the Health Service Executive.
Finally, the Minister of State re-affirmed his intention that the proceeds from the sale of the existing site in Dundrum would go towards the provision of the new hospital in the first instance, with the balance of funds to be invested in community mental health facilities, including the provision of housing for people with mental illness.