Fianna Fáil TD and Minister for Disability, Anne Rabbitte, has instructed the HSE to undertake a feasibility study for the Toghermore campus in Tuam, which would help deliver an inclusive campus with disability services at the core.

The Toghermore site, which is owned by the HSE, had housed mental health services for the area before they were rehoused in the Grove campus in 2023.

Minister Rabbitte has been engaging with the HSE to develop a future for the site, which would include the delivery of disability services as well as wider community services, including GAA pitches, walkway trails, an equestrian area, playgrounds, sensory and therapy gardens, a café, as well as poly tunnels and raised bed horticulture areas.

The HSE has agreed to commence the initiation of a feasibility study for the Toghermore campus looking at these options.

Minister Rabbitte seeks feasibility study of HSE Toghermore campus in Tuam 1
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Minister Rabbitte commented:

I have been engaging extensively with the HSE to ensure there is a plan developed for the Toghermore site, which works for both disability services but also for use by the wider community. Toghermore could be an example of best practice in how we create an inclusive campus that supports the people of Tuam and surrounding area.

The site is an absolute asset to the community and has so much to offer, including to those accessing Disability Services.

In my view, there are a number of options that the HSE can pursue to ensure the Toghermore site is integrated into the community.

I would hope to see the site include the development and opening of an equestrian centre to support people with disabilities, which, having seen the positive impact of such services elsewhere, would enhance the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities.

I have held a number of meetings with experts in this specialism, including the likes of Liskennett Equine Assisted Activity Centre and the Horseboy Foundation, who are world renowned in this space.

There is an opportunity to utilise the site for the entire community and take a more holistic approach to inclusion.

There is ample space, and indeed demand, for the site to include two pitches and a running track, which is crucial for the town.

The inclusion of these amenities would not only be fantastic for disability services in the area, but for the community and sports clubs.

Myself and local Councillor Joe Sheridan have been working to get this over the line for some time now, and it’s great to see movement.

It would be the greatest manifestation of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in action in the west of Ireland and something the HSE could point to as best practice in how it realises the UNCRPD.

concluded MInister Rabbitte.

 

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