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Anger growing in Belgooly over closure of local nursing home

By JJ Hurley

A large crowd of protestors gathered in Belgooly on Sunday to protest against the closing of the local nursing home.

The march to the gates of the Aperee facility followed a meeting in Coleman's Bar during the week.

Organised by Deputy Michael Collins, the Independent Cllr said, 'I have been speaking to Aperee about a meeting, they want to put it off for a couple of weeks, but I am insistent we meet sooner than that, and as soon as that takes place. I will come back to you.'

The large gathering at the South County village included current and former staff members and relatives of those residing in the home or who had previously had a loved one resident at the home.

Addressing their concerns, Cllr Ben Dalton O' Sullivan said, ' I have been contacted by very concerned residents and families; I think the first and most horrible thing was you were informed by text message. I thought it was terrible.'

'There is also 41 staff, and we want to ensure they get their full entitlements.'

Echoing the gathering's concerns, Fianna Fail, candidate, for the Bandon /Kinsale area, Margaret Murphy O' Mahony, said, 'We must stay together as a group. We must be very conscious of the people potentially losing their homes, the staff, and the knock on to the local economy.'

Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan said, 'The number one resolution was to keep and save the nursing home in Belgooly.

Having spoken to Minister Mary Butler early in the morning, the Deputy said, 'She has not been informed officially that the home is to close.'

He added that if the nursing home were sold under the new legislation, there would be an eighteen-month period whereby that building could not be used for any other purpose than a nursing home.

'The message that the Minister has asked me to convey to the people of Belgooly and to the families is that every option will be explored,' Deputy O' Sullivan remarked.

Protestors at Belgooly nursing home last weekend following the announcement it would close for six months. Picture Denis Boyle

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