Selling Crooksling is ‘bonkers’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

THE HSE is planning to put the site of St Brigid’s Nursing Home Crooksling, in Brittas, on the market in the third quarter of 2020, by which time the residents of Crooksling will have been moved to the newly developed Tymon North Community Nursing Home in Tallaght.

The new 100-bed community nursing facility in Tallaght, which is nearing completion, is expected to use just over half of their beds to house older people from Crooksling.

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St Brigid’s nursing home in Crooksling

Crooksling provides specialist care, primarily for women suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s, however half of the beds in the HSE-run nursing home have been closed from 2011 onwards.

Fianna Fáil councillor for Firhouse-Bohernabreena, Deirdre O’Donovan, who is a member of the Dublin Mid-Leinster Regional Health Forum and whose grandmother was a resident in Crooksling, told The Echo: “We have a public health system that’s at breaking point, and it’s only going to get worse.

“We need to be proactive, and we need to take a more realistic approach to elder care.

“The older population is growing, and the reality is that we need ten Tymon North [nursing homes] in our area.

“You can’t compare the incredible surroundings of Crooksling, where you can see deer, foxes and badgers, to a carpark in Tymon North.

“The nursing home has a wide catchment area, including South Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare, so there’s a wider interest in it.

“We will do everything in our power to stop it from being sold, our ultimate goal is for Crooksling to become a centre of excellence for elder care.”

Talking about her grandmother, Cllr O’Donovan said: “No private nursing home would take her because of the level of care that she needed.

“We have an aging population – where are they supposed to go if they can’t afford a private nursing home or, as in the case of my granny, a private nursing home won’t take them?”

Gerry O’Neill, an Independent councillor on Wicklow County Council and a member of the Dublin Mid-Leinster Regional Health Forum, told The Echo: “The Regional Health Forum had a meeting [in early July] where everyone agreed that it would be completely crazy, off-the-wall stuff for the HSE to even consider selling this site.

“Twenty-two per cent of people aged 85 and up require continuous care in a nursing home – there’s a tsunami on the way down the track [if the site is sold].

“[Selling the site] is bonkers, it just doesn’t make any sense at all. Next year the HSE could end up spending €10m or €15m for another site for a nursing home in the vicinity.

“This is insane carry-on.”

When contacted by The Echo, a spokesperson for the HSE said: “HSE Estates has confirmed that the soon-to-be-vacant HSE site at Crooksling, Brittas, Co Dublin will be brought to the market for disposal in circa Q3 2020.”

Crooksling has been designated in South Dublin County Council’s County Development Plan 2016-2022 under Housing Policy for Older People, where the council stated they would “support the development of St Brigid’s Nursing home at Crooksling as a centre that provides for the care of elderly people in nursing home accommodation.”

St Brigid’s Home was originally designed in 1935, and then underwent modification in 1959 in order to provide short-term emergency housing for elderly clients.

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