Tuesday 12 December 2017

Reilly rumpus

The question should not be how James Reilly came to add Balbriggan and Swords into the list of new primary care centres. It should be how is it that Balbriggan, in particular, was not on the list devised by the HSE and Roisin Shortall?

Apparently, the criteria under Ms Shortall gave greater weighting to deprivation and that is how Balbriggan was not on the list. Hmm. Balbriggan has seen its population increase from 6,000 to 20,000 since 1996 and unemployment increase from 1,400 in 2007 to 6,000 in 2012. Maybe the Government should be looking at criteria for deprivation and not deprivation itself. The commuter belt town is a microcosm of all that went wrong in planning.

A primary care centre might help Balbriggan, not only in its health care provisions, but by bringing people into the town and using the services of struggling businesses there. Bad planning and rampant development by builders have left it without infrastructure. People have to commute to Coolock to sign on for social welfare, and to Gardiner Street to access community welfare services .

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