CRC service users and staff give their reaction to pension payments
“If I think about it too much I just get really angry,” says father of woman whose physiotheray hours were reduced by half
Physiotheraist Ailish McGahey: “I think we are kind of getting used to it at this stage. We have to adopt a very professional approach.” Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times
Niamh Rogers (20), from Dublin, has a rare condition called Langerhans cell histiocytosis, which affects her mobility. Her physiotherapy and occupational therapy hours at the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) have been halved in the past 12 months because of a “lack of resources”, she was told. “It does affect me. I feel that intense physiotherapy suits me best and it’s not what I am being provided with at the moment,” she said yesterday on her way into the clinic with her father, Robert. She has been attending CRC in Clontarf since 2008.
“When Niamh was coming here first she used to come here every week and now it’s maybe twice a month, because they say that’s all that they can provide,” said her father. “In the last 12 months it’s been cut in half and they told us that it’s down to resources.”
Asked his reaction to recent revelations about the charity, he said: “If I think about it too much I just get really angry. It’s the two things really. It’s the fact that first of all that they award themselves so much. And the unbelievable thing about it is that it would be taken out of the fundraising for charity. That is absolutely unbelievable.”
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When she was asked, Niamh Rogers said: “I think it’s very selfish of them.”
The Irish Times was asked to leave the grounds of the CRC after talking to Mr Rogers and his daughter, by a member of the charity’s fundraising department.
At the entrance to the grounds, physiotherapist Ailish McGahey spoke to journalists as she was leaving work. She said staff were “still working away as best we can”.
Asked how morale was among staff, she said: “I think we are kind of getting used to it at this stage. We have to adopt a very professional approach. We give the best service we can. They [service users] are great. Everyone is getting the same treatment they ever had so there aren’t really changes from that point of view.
“The HSE now are going to appoint a new board and be open and transparent and at least then we will have representatives from the clients, the staff and I think in the long run it will be a better place,” said Ms McGahey.
A woman leaving with her son said the revelations were “disgraceful”. She said the services her son had received there over the past 10 years had been “excellent”.
She did not want to talk about her reaction to what had happened. “If I start to talk about it I will just get too upset,” she said.
Another mother, Anne O’Connor, from Beaumont in Dublin, was leaving in her car, with her son Cian (5). She said she had been coming to the clinic with him for five years and that it was “ brilliant, absolutely”.
Asked about Paul Kiely’s retirement package, she said: “I think it should be given back, every single penny.”