Wexford's problems laid bare on Vincent Browne

By Esther Hayden

Published 17/11/2015 | 00:00

Jane Johnstone, Paul Malone and David Maher at TV3's The People's Debate in Whites Hotel last week; INSET: Michael Fortune speaking during the debate.
Jane Johnstone, Paul Malone and David Maher at TV3's The People's Debate in Whites Hotel last week; INSET: Michael Fortune speaking during the debate.

Members of the audience were keen to raise local social issues when they appeared on The People's Debate with Vincent Browne.

Local woman Claire Malone who is facing eviction weeks before Christmas said she has been on the housing list for six years but has been told it will be a further ten years before she is allocated a house.

She said by that time her two young sons will be men asking 'what use is a house to me then?' She had moved into the home of her ex-partner to care for him while he was sick and after his death the council told her she had to move out. Clare herself suffers from lung disease and bipolar disorder but said she is not being given any support at all.

Colette Nolan from Wexford Fights for An Acute Mental Health Service said the 'Government has allowed the HSE to abandon Wexford. We have no 24 hour mental health service because we have been amalgamated with Waterford which leaves the people of Wexford in a desperate and distraught state trying to get help for their loved ones who are going through a mental health crisis.'

She spoke of several high profile cases in Wexford where a number of people had lost their lives as a result of suicide.

Bernadette from It's Good to Talk said Minister Brendan Howlin had been asked to meet with the organisation but hadn't adding that they desperately needed funding to keep the service going.

Jane Johnstone said two of her three children had autism and she and her late husband Rod had been in a constant battle to get services for them. She said people in situations like her had faced cut after cut over the last four years and it had taken its toll on them. Last year her 50-year-old husband collapsed on the floor and died which she said was as a direct result of the pressure they were under.

'The HSE are accountable to noone', she said. 'I've been bullied and there has been retribution if you stand up for yourself but I'm more afraid of what would happen if I didn't (stand up for myself).

Wexford People

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