The Cuisle Holiday Center at Donamon Castle may have suffered a blow with the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) deciding to progress with its plans to close the facility, but the fight is not over, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

Commenting on the decision, Fitzmaurice said: “It is disappointing that the board of the IWA has rejected calls made during the recent meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee to delay the closure of the Cuisle Holiday Center in Donamon for at least six months.

“If an extension was granted, every avenue could have been exhausted to secure funding to complete the works to bring the building up to the required standard.

“Mixed messages have continued to come from the board of the IWA since tomorrow’s planned closure of this excellent facility was announced in recent weeks.

“At first it was billed as a move towards a new vision for the future, where the respite service would move to hotels – such as the one currently in operation in Kilkenny.

“Then it claimed it was the cost of the required works which was forcing it to close the center.

“An opportunity was provided to the IWA to liaise with public representatives and to come up with a viable solution to keep Cuisle open by securing the required funding. Regrettably, they have not taken this opportunity.

“However, I believe there is a will there to keep the center open among the community as well as among the many people who have availed of it services over the years.

“While today’s letter from the IWA is extremely disappointing, it will not quell the determination of those intent on keeping it open,” Fitzmaurice concluded.

Michael Fitzmaurice – 0861914565

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