Trust defends use of Ti Chulainn Centre following UUP “chill factor” claim

February 1, 2016

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has defended its use of community venues as a means of making its services more accessible to local people, after Unionist politicians raised concerns of the organisation’s use of the Ti Chulainn Centre in Mullaghbawn.

Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kennedy and Councillor David Taylor revealed they have requested “an urgent appraisal” from the Trust’s chief executive, Paula Clarke, regarding the placement of a district nurse based in Ti Chulainn, which, they say, has prompted concern among patients within “the minority Unionist community” in south Armagh who have been referred for treatment at the facility.

In a statement, the pair claim a republican monument sited in the grounds of the community centre has created a “chill factor” within the Unionist community.

In a joint statement, Mr Kennedy and Councillor Taylor said: “Genuine concerns have been raised by members of the minority Unionist community in south Armagh regarding the referral of patients to the Ti Chulainn Centre in Mullaghbawn.  A District Nurse appears to have been placed within this facility by the Health Trust and this has obviously led to deep unease within the minority Unionist community of south Armagh who perceive the centre with great suspicion.”

The statement added that a “chill factor” existed within the Unionist community with regards to the Republican monument situated within the grounds of Ti Chulainn.

“The facility has also been beset with other controversies including an event held a number of years ago where evidence was produced of young children dressed in paramilitary uniform glorifying the activities of Republican terrorism,” the statement continued.

“We have requested an urgent appraisal from the Health Trust Chief Executive as to the nature of the arrangement with the Ti Chulainn Centre and it is our sincere hope a review will be undertaken of the decision to use the facility on the basis of the very genuine concerns outlined.”

In reply to The Examiner’s request for a response to the UUP criticisms, a Southern Trust spokesperson said: “The Trust provides care and treatment in around 70 different facilities including a wide range of community venues right across the entire Southern area to make our services more accessible to local people.”