Lynch and Varadkar welcome decision on new National Forensic Mental Health Facilities to replace the Central Mental Hospital

Minister of State for Social Care and Primary Care, Kathleen Lynch TD and Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar welcomed the decision today by An Bord Pleanála to grant permission for a new forensic hospital at Portrane, Co. Dublin.  This will replace the existing Central Mental Hospital.

Minister Lynch said: “I very much welcome the decision made by An Bord Pleanala to grant permission to progress the significant new facilities at Portrane in Dublin. This major health project comprises;

-    a 120 bed National Forensic Hospital which will replace the Central Mental Hospital; – a new 10-bed Mental Health Intellectual Disability Forensic Unit; and,
-    - a New 10-bed Child and Adolescent Mental Health Forensic Unit.
“The new facility should become operational in 2018. Patients, their families and staff will benefit from transferring from an antiquated building to state-of the-art facilities in a new modern forensic setting,” said the Minister. “I wish to acknowledge the highly professional approach of the HSE, Fingal County Council and all others concerned in reaching today’s decision”.

As part of this project the design work will be progressed for three 30 bed Intensive Care Rehabilitation Units (ICRU) in Cork, Galway and Portrane. A fourth ICRU is planned for an existing facility in Mullingar.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said the progress marked today is hugely significant in terms of developments in mental health over the lifetime of this Government.  “Looking after our mental health is as important as minding our physical health. Those who need help with their mental health are right to expect treatment in modern conditions. This new state-of-the-art facility will go a long way to meet that demand. It’s an important milestone on our path to providing modern mental healthcare. Later this summer the formal planning application will be lodged for another significant capital project under this Government, the New Children’s Hospital.”

Minister Lynch added: “For the past four years we have been playing catch-up in Ireland in terms of the funding and facilities provided for mental health services. Today’s decision symbolises the modern and progressive approach of this Government to mental health.  The commitment in terms of prioritising resources and services to this area of health will undoubtedly pay dividends over the coming years.”