Roscommon-based Independent Minister Denis Naughten is facing increasing pressure to withdraw support from the Government, over the closure of mental health facilities in his own constituency.

A day care centre in Ballaghadereen is due to close shortly, while it's expected the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, which cares for patients with Alzheimers and dementia, will also close.

Both facilities were discussed at a heated meeting on Friday between the HSE and local Oireachtas representatives, and Tony Canavan, Chief Operations Officer with the HSE has since stated that the Rosalie Unit will close in the long-term.

He said a review is underway to assess the future care of the 12 residents at the facility, and the policy of no new admissions to the centre will not be reversed.

Midwest News has been unable to make contact with Minister Denis Naughten this morning, but it's understood he walked out of the meeting on Friday in disgust.

The Minister - who lost the FG whip in 2011 following the closure of the A& E unit at Roscommon Hospital - is expected to raise the matter with the Taoiseach when he returns from New York.

Minister Naughten has also written to the Minister for Older People Jim Daly on foot of Friday's meeting, and will be seeking a meeting with him and the Health Minister Simon Harris this week.

However, a spokesperson told the Irish Independent she could not comment on whether Minister Naughten is considering withdrawing his support from the minority Government if the matter is not resolved.

Denis Naughten's constituency colleague, Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice, has called on Minister Naughten to stand by previous committments he made in relation to the Rosalie Unit, and said it's time to put people before politics.

 

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