Roscrea people must fight for the Dean Maxwell

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Roscrea  people must fight for the Dean Maxwell

Dean Maxwell Community Nursing Unit

Roscrea Community Development Council (R.C.D.C.) are committed to ensuring that the community of Roscrea does everything possible to retain the long term stay facilities known, affectionately in Roscrea and district, as “the Dean Maxwell” for the people of Roscrea and surrounding areas.

R.C.D.C. are adamant that Roscrea people of advanced years who need long term stay facilities should be able to find and avail of same in their own town and ‘place of belonging’ and not have to go to another end of North Tipperary and leave their “own place” to live out their final years.

R.C.D.C.’s Chairman John Lupton says that for that very reason he and many in Roscrea were horrified, annoyed and very disappointed at the reported comments of the Minister for Older People, Mary Butler, that the HSE were reviewing available beds for the elderly in North Tipperary.

“The clear implication of course being if there are sufficient beds in say Nenagh or Thurles then these will meet the needs of the elderly of Roscrea.

It is appalling to learn that a Minister for Older People speaks about the elderly in such a way or that she explicitly or implicitly accepts that when one gets older that their only entitlement is to a bed and it makes little or no difference where that bed is!

He went on to say that most Roscrea people of his own age and older will remember that it was 50 years ago this month that the then Parish Priest of Roscrea, Dean Maxwell, died suddenly and caused a great sense of shock and loss in the community.

In 1969 Archdeacon Maxwell was appointed Parish Priest of Roscrea being its first resident Parish Priest since Archdeacon Stuart died 50 years earlier. In the intervening 50 years Roscrea was the Bishop of Killaloe’s mensal parish and hence was administered by an administrator.

When in Roscrea and before his sudden death on October 12, 1970 Archdeacon Maxwell was appointed “Dean” of the diocese of Killaloe. Soon after Dean Maxwell’s death, that which now bears his name, was built and has given not merely “beds” to the elderly of Roscrea and district but a “home” to many senior citizens of Roscrea and district.

Thus when Roscrea people fight, as they must do, to retain “the Dean Maxwell Home”, they are not fighting for a building but for the very right of those in their senior years to have a “home”, a home in their own place rather than merely a bed at wherever in the County the HSE deems it to be most strategic and cost effective to place that bed”.

The R.C.D.C. Chairman pleads with his fellow Roscrea citizens not to accept the “apparent thinking of the HSE or the Minister for Older People but to speak out and fight for an inherent right.

In doing so, he says, we fight for ourselves. He says that we must be very mindful of the fact that while we ourselves may not today need the facilities of what is “the Dean Maxwell home” the day will soon come when we will and therefore if we do not fight and speak up today who will do so when we are consigned to “a bed” at the other end of North Tipperary, away from our own community, away from our own place and when we may be unable to speak for ourselves?”.

In fighting for the retention of “the Dean Maxwell” we fight for a basic right. We fight for a ‘home’ not a ‘bed’.

People anywhere and everywhere are entitled to that same right. If there was a multi bed community nursing home facility in Roscrea to cater for the people of Nenagh and Thurles it would be inherently wrong and thus it is inherently wrong for the HSE or Minister for Older People to say to Roscrea people that there is a bed in Nenagh or Thurles for them. If we stand idly by when the State diminishes the dignity of the elderly then we are complicit with what is effectively the diminishment of Society as a whole.

To avoid this “the Dean Maxwell” must stay in Roscrea whether that means a new built unit or refurbishment and/or extension of the existing unit is a matter for the State and Roscrea people deserve nothing less.