“IF this is Carlow’s welcome for the hospice … well, what do you do?” said a devastated Ann Byrne, as she expressed her “complete disgust” at the criminal damage caused to County Carlow Hospice last week.
Last Thursday, the Carlow Hospice committee discovered that a stone had been thrown through a patio door at the new facility, completely smashing the glass.
The new palliative care unit at Carlow District Hospital will begin accepting admissions from mid-November. While this act of vandalism is not expected to delay the opening, it has angered members of the hospice committee, who have worked tirelessly over the past ten years to make the hospice a reality for Carlow families.
“I’m just completely shocked, it’s unbelievable. I just can’t believe that someone would do that,” said Ann Byrne, chairperson of the hospice committee.
“I’m disgusted … if this is Carlow’s welcome for the hospice, well, what can you do,” she said angrily. “We found the rock outside and the glass on the patio door is completely shattered,” said Ann. “Money is very tight; we don’t have the money to spend on repairing this kind of damage.”
The window was discovered smashed last Thursday morning and the matter reported to Carlow gardaí. It is unclear when exactly the incident happened, but anyone who noticed anything suspicious in the area of the hospice early last week is asked to contact the gardaí.
Deputy Pat Deering confirmed to The Nationalist that the HSE anticipates that the palliative care unit in Carlow District Hospital will start accepting admissions on an incremental basis by the middle of next month and will be fully operational by mid-December. “These beds will complement the existing 14 respite and convalescent beds in the county hospital. These are important as a step-down facility for St Luke’s Hospital, especially in the coming winter months,” said deputy Deering.
HIQA’s inspection of the new unit began on 28 September and it will take three to four weeks before these inspections and checks are completed.