Donegal Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has said there are serious questions for Tùsla, after he received confirmation from the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone that the future of Cleary House Supervised Residential Unit at Knocknamona, Letterkenny is still under review.

The centre for vulnerable children was closed in May last year following a failure to comply with HIQA standards.

Senator Mac Lochlainn said: "I have recently expressed my real concerns about the low numbers of duty or intake workers at the front line of the Túsla service here in Donegal and my colleagues Deputy Pearse Doherty and Cllr Gerry McMonagle have raised their concerns about the high numbers of young people on waiting lists for mental health services.

"With this confirmation from Minister Zappone that the future of this Letterkenny care centre for vulnerable children is still under review, I have to reach the conclusion that our vulnerable young people in Donegal are being failed by the agencies responsible for their care."

He added: "A year ago, Sinn Féin raised the closure of  the Knocknamona Residential Unit and our concerns that children from Donegal would be transferred to alternative units a long distance from their homes. One year on, all Minister Zappone and Túsla can say is that the centre is still under review.

"How long does a review take? At the time, Túsla blamed the closure on the loss of their centre manager. How long does it take to hire a new manager and put in place measures to comply with the HIQA standards?"

Concluding Senator Mac Lochlainn stated: "This is just not acceptable and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone and the Minister for Health, Simon Harris need to get a grip of the multiple resource issues impacting on services for children and young people in Donegal."

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