Job cuts announced at St Catherine's care facility in Co Wicklow

Wednesday 06 March 2013 22.26
The HSE said it provides funding to the facility
The HSE said it provides funding to the facility

St Catherine's Association in Co Wicklow has said contracts for all staff working there for one year or less are being terminated.

In a statement, the Association said the move is necessary for it to work through "current financial difficulties".

The changes will come into effect after a four-week notice period.

It gave no indication on the number of contracts involved.

St Catherine's Association provides care to clients who have intellectual and other disabilities.

Parents of children who attend the facility in Newcastle have been invited to a meeting next Monday, amid fears that services are being cut.

The facility is partly funded by the Health Service Executive.

It has been in Wicklow for over 30 years. 

A spokesperson for the HSE said that while it provides funding to the facility, the association has its own board of directors, who are in charge of its daily operation.

In a statement, the HSE stressed that the "reported reduction in staffing" at the facility is "not as a result of a reduction in health funding".

Officials from the Department of Education will meet management of the special needs school tomorrow morning.

Minister for State Brian Hayes told the Dáil that the HSE and the Department of Education are working closely to ensure the St Catherine's service will be sustainable in the future.

Mr Hayes said the "HSE recognises the value of the service" and the importance of maintaining the service.

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