Former psychiatrist outraged over closure of Rosalie unit

A retired consultant psychiatrist who helped develop the Rosalie unit in Castlerea has claimed the decision by the HSE to close the unit is shortsighted and will harm patients.

Almost 300 people attended a meeting last night in the town, just hours after a senior HSE official is claimed to have told families of residents that there is no future for the specialised unit and it is matter of when, not if, the centre will close.



Dr Charles Byrne is one of the best-known psychiatrists in the Shannonside region and was one of the originators of the current Rosalie unit, which faces a very uncertain future.

Dr Byrne was among over 20 speakers to take the floor at Hester’s Golden Eagle last night as opposition to moves by the HSE to close the facility gather pace.

The meeting occurred just hours after a family delegation met senior regional HSE official Tony Canavan, where it is claimed he explained that the facility is not in the future plans of the HSE and that residents, if families are agreeable, will be moved to alternative accommodation in Ballinasloe or Castlebar.

The meeting heard from three Roscommon-Galway TDs, as well as Senator Maura Hopkins, all of whom promised to fight any attempt to close the unit.

It was also agreed the family delegation would seek a meeting with Health Minister Simon Harris as their next step, while protests in Roscommon or in Dublin were also not ruled out.

Liam Walsh, whose mother is a current a resident at Rosalie, says the suggestion of closing the unit makes no sense.