Many of the residents of St Mary of the Angels cannot speak for themselves. We, their parents and relatives, give voice to their will and preference. Hear what they have to say.
From Residents, Parents and Relatives
Interview with Thomas: "My Home at Saint Mary of the Angels"
Thomas has been asked if he wants to get a new house and he has said no. - Column: My brother Thomas is not suitable for "community living''
On behalf of Bernard Fitzpatrick
Triona Casey, sister: Bernard is an extremely happy, loving person, with the purity of an angel ...
On behalf of Padraig O'Mahony
Amy O'Mahony, niece: St Mary of the Angels (and the staff) is a wonderful community and home for many people, including my uncle Padraig. This community should be recognised and encouraged to continue to develop for others in the future so that young people who should be enjoying raising their families don’t have worry now about what will happen when they are gone. --- My uncle has been a resident since very close to the opening of St Mary of the Angels, and some of the strongest memories that I have are of the care and pride that the nuns showed in every aspect of the service that they were building. I remember announcing to my parents after one visit that I was going to live with Padraig in SMOA and they could come to visit me if they want. To this day the staff have continued to operate with that same devotion to the care of the residents so it’s heartbreaking to think that SJOG and HSE can even contemplate unravelling such great work and dismantling everything that we all cherish so strongly for our family members. --- SJOG would do well to remember the vision and mission which they claim as this seems to have been forgotten in recent years…
Selina Egan: These amazing bunch of individuals who call Beaufort Home helped me get my Social Care Degree... it amazes me that when I was doing the degree there was a lot of theory and a lot of government talk on improving the lives of such individuals with the buzz words or phrases such as "Person Centred Care", "Choice" and facilitating the needs of vulnerable individuals to achieve their full potential... Yet in reality its all just Lip Service....Practise and Theory are miles apart!!! Why does Irish Policy and Procedure always go to extremes especially when it come to learning from past mistakes in the history of care in this country!? Common Sense always goes out the window!
Professionally I have and do work in such services, I also have an older sister with special needs both intellectual and physical... so I have a good understanding of what is acceptable and invaluable care... sadly far too often the ones making the decisions don't work on the front line (so to speak) they don't understand what is in the best interest of these amazing people... the decision makers come up with an idea and think it suits all... and yes community inclusion is important... but not at the cost of stopping another reaching their full potential or when they are expressing in their own way contentment and happiness! PLEASE let common sense prevail here!!!!
John Healy in a letter to The Kerryman, 21st December 2016:
SIR, On Sunday, December 11, I and my fellow members of the Killorglin Mens Choir had the privilege of singing at a Mass for the residents, parents and staff at St Mary of the Angels, Beaufort.
The love and happiness in the hall and the obvious devotion to the young adults by all was truly humbling.
On arrival home, I cried with rage to think that faceless bureaucrats would devise and implement a 'decongregation' policy whereby several disabled children are put out of their homes into the larger community. This policy was ill-conceived and illogical.
This policy is wrong and has caused huge stress and anxiety to the parents and families of the children. The Irish Constitution states that the Republic guarantees equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens; I believe the actions of the above bureaucrats is contrary to our Constitution.
I regret that I do not have the funds to prove my case in a court of law to stop this nonsense presently being imposed by the 'health authorities' whose mission should be to provide the best care for these young adults in the only home they know.
Pippa Kearon in an email to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Disability Matters, 8th July 2021:
Subject: St Mary of the Angels and congregated living
Dear Deputy Moynihan,
I am writing to add my own experiences to those presented to the Committee by Lynn Fitzpatrick in relation to government policy concerning congregated living for individuals who are differently abled and living with a wide range of disabilities and challenges.
I apologise in advance for the length of this email but I found my life and professional experience difficult to articulate without explanation and example. I understand that you are busy people but I feel that this is a complex issue with many angles that need to be addressed and examined.
(Click here for full email.)