THE Fingal Independent reported last week that a primary care centre has been on the agenda of the HSE for Balbriggan since at least 2004 when a €4 million project was announced to the members of the Regional Health Forum.
By 2007, the project was worth €6 million and there was a motion agreed on the floor of Fingal County Council to work with the HSE in realising the facility. The motion was proposed by Cllr. May McKeon (NP) and seconded by Cllr. Darragh Butler (FF) and called on the council 'as a matter of urgency unite the agencies responsible for providing an adequate primary health care facility in Balbriggan, given that €6 million has been allocated and a suitable site has been identified at Castlelands to facilitate this much needed service'. In response to that motion, the council revealed it had already had several meetings with the HSE about the project. Former Green Party councillor, Joe Corr told the Fingal Independent this week that in fact, a site had been earmarked for a primary care centre in Balbriggan as far back as 2002 at Castlelands, although the current project is destined for a location closer to the town centre on Dublin Street. Mr Corr told the Fingal Independent: 'I'm not familiar with the facts surrounding the Swords location but in terms of the Balbriggan facility, as far as I recall there was €6 million allocated by the HSE to facilitate the establishment of a Primary Healthcare facility in 2007. 'It even had a specific location since 2002, that being within the Castlelands LAP lands. It is one of the reasons I was happy to vote in favour of the LAP when it came before the council. 'Balbriggan has been waiting so long for this vital service, it's about time it's being delivered. I have to say I'm with James Reilly on this one.'