Posts Tagged ‘St Michaels House’

An Evening of Shakespeare with the Rhythm Room!

Monday, May 16th, 2011



Hello, My name is Nicola Kealy. I run the Rhythm Room, A space for Integrated Theatre and special needs. I am writing to let you know that Rhythm Room in conjunction with St. Michael’s House are putting on an Evening of Shakespeare at the Axis Theatre Ballymun on the 1st and 2nd of June. The evening will comprise of two plays: A Midsummer’s Night Dream and Romeo and Juliet, both plays have emerged from a two year workshop process with the Actors and both plays are integrated. The set and Art work has been created by the service users of three different St, Michael’s house centres, some of whom have severe intellectual learning disability. The project is a collaborative one bringing together staff, service user’s and actors and the evening promises to be very funny and heartbreakingly sad.  I would be delighted if you could mention us on your website. I am attaching a poster for the play with details of same.

Nicola Kealy

Executive Pay In State Funded Disability Organisations- A Disgrace!

Sunday, December 12th, 2010


HEALTH Minister Mary Harney has claimed that the salaries of executives in state-funded disability organisations are “disturbing” and break public pay guidelines.

The Irish Independent can reveal that chief executives of some leading voluntary organisations providing disability services are on salaries ranging from €90,000 to more than €176,000.

Revelations of the generous salary levels come in the wake of emotional scenes earlier this week on the streets of Dublin, Galway and Mayo as people with disabilities and their relatives protested at the threatened withdrawal of services.

The Brothers of Charity, which threatened to close some respite services in Galway and Limerick over cuts in state funding, has six regional chief executives, each of whom earn public-service rates of between €90,000 and €113,000.

It has a national chief executive, Winifred O’Hanrahan, who is believed to be on a salary of €113,000.

When asked why the organisation had six regional chiefs — based in Galway, Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Ennis — a spokesman for the Brothers of Charity said the structure had been worked out in 2007 in conjunction with the community care areas of the old health boards.

The spokesman said the posts were within staffing levels approved by the HSE.

The Brothers of Charity “back office” functions — human resources, accounts and payroll — account for 2.2pc of its overall budget.


The highest disclosed salary of €176,000 is paid to the chief executive of St Michael’s House in Dublin, Paul Ledwidge.

However, Angela Kerins of Rehab — who has refused to reveal her salary — is believed to top the league.

A spokesman for Rehab defended the decision not to reveal her salary, saying her remuneration was not funded by public monies and came from income from its commercial and non-commercial activities, which are spread across four EU states.

However, Rehab received €54.4m from the HSE this year, which amounts to around 27pc of the organisation’s income.

The spokesman said all remuneration in Rehab was “competitively” benchmarked.

One of the other big providers, St John of God’s, has employed Andy Heffernan to run its community services section since last year.

A spokesman said his salary was on a public-service scale, although he would not disclose the sum.

Enable Ireland chief Fionnuala O’Donovan received pay rises in both 2008 and 2009 as her salary increased from €158,000 to €169,000.

However, this was cut to €156,240 this year in line with the public sector pay reduction that was announced in last December’s Budget.

A spokeswoman said there were “no extras” attached to Ms O’Donovan’s remuneration. Enable Ireland has 55 staff in 40 locations.

Meanwhile, it is understood that the proposed closures of respite care in Brothers of Charity services will not now go ahead.

Talks are also believed to be under way with the aim of re-opening a service that was shut down in Limerick.

Despite this week’s protests, Ms Harney said there was no extra money available from her department this year.

The minister said the Brothers of Charity were already in receipt of a “big budget”.

Ms Harney also described some of the senior salaries in the voluntary bodies as “disturbing”.

She added: “Many of the organisations have to live within the public sector norms, with salaries that are funded by the State and pensions paid by the State.”

The minister said she was currently awaiting a value-for-money review of the 600 organisations in the disability sector.

She added: “Well in excess of 200 of them are providing services. That’s a huge amount of administration for a population of 4.5 million. A lot more can go on frontline services.”

– Eilish O’Regan

Irish Independent 9th July 2011

“Taking Control” – and so say all of us!

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

There is now a new appreciation from the Department of Health and Children, the HSE and voluntary service providers that the old way of doing things with its spiralling costs is no longer sustainable. An estimated 1.5 billion euro was spent on disability services in 2007, yet waiting lists for services continue to grow. The current system is expensive (80,000 euro is the HSE average cost for a residential place and 15,000 euro – 20,000 euro for a day place.) It is inflexible,the person or his/her family does not have much say in how the money is spent, or have a choice of service provider, and perhaps more importantly, the money is attached to the service not the person. For the first time in many years there is a real and growing interest in reforming how services for people with disabilities are delivered. A group of disability organisations called “Taking Control” which Inclusion Ireland is a part of, has been formed to campaign for individualised funding for people with disabilities.

Source: Inclusion Ireland Newsletter Dec 2009

St Michaels House and Special Needs School Transport

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Inclusion Ireland state in their September Newsletter – “… some of the children availing of special needs school transport are forced to travel long distances to schools as their local school will not accept them”.St Michaels House are a member of Inclusion Ireland – yet they are the very ones forcing special needs children to travel long distances to school! We call for St Michaels House to withdraw from Inclusion Ireland. St Michael’s House are part of the problem – not the solution. Shame on them!

Tommy Broughan Promises To Raise St Michaels House Special Needs School Skerries in Dail Eireann

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

We are delighted to report that Tommy Broughan TD has promised to raise this matter in Dail Eireann. It is tremendous the amount of cross party support we are receiving. So far we have a total of 28 Public Representatives between the Dail and the Seanad who have been in contact with us over these matters.

The campaign has just begun and it is wonderful to have this support behind us – but it looks like we will need all the help we can get as it would appear that St Michael’s house are not prepared to change their admission policy.

We are in this for the long haul and we are prepared for a long and arduous battle – but with the two houses of the Oireachtas rowing in behind us-we feel confident that we will achieve our objectives.

Thank you to all of you working diligently on our behalf- it is much appreciated!

HSE now behind our campaign re St Micheals House Special Needs School Skerries

Monday, August 31st, 2009

I spoke with Mt Pat Dunne Local Health Manager, Health Services Executive,Local Health Office,Dublin North, late last week and he has assured me he will do all within his power to help. Particularly he will be confirming when a second educational psychologist’s assessment can be obtained once a child has been determined to be at a certain level of retardation e.g Moderate or Severe. There is huge confusion within St Michaels House personnel over this matter – some staff say that a second assessment cannot be erntertained before a period of two years whilst other say 1 year and others saying 6 months. Mr Pat Dunne will seek to find the definitive answer to this.

Mr Pat Dunne was also very supportive about the new school building project and pledged his full support in this matter. Many thanks Pat for your endeavours and your encouragement- we really appreciate it!

Senator David Norris backs campaign for Special Needs School in Skerries

Sunday, August 30th, 2009


We are delighted to receive the backing and support of Senator David Norris for our campaign. Depite being on holiday Mr Norris kindly contacted us to say that he is behind our campaign and has offered to raise the matter as a matter on the adjournment of the Seanad when he returns. If you do not know what an adjournment is, it is when a member of the Seanad has five minutes at the end of the days proceedings to raise an issue with the relevant Minister and to recieve a reply from that Minister.


Many thanks David for your encouraging words and for your kind offer – we look forward to hearing this worthy cause being mentioned in the Seanad- meanwhile enjoy what is left of your holidays!

St Michaels House Special Needs School in Skerries North County Dublin

Thursday, August 27th, 2009


We received an email yesterday from Deputy Olivia Mitchell TD encouraging us to accept St Michael’s House policies as they stand. She also implies that we should not bother with this campaign, as by the time the new school will be built – it will be too late for our son. This was most disheartening – although Olivia meant well and has extensive personal experience of this situation herself.


This site will hopefully encourage others like us to fight the good fight – even when all around want you to accept things as they are. The very Irish trait of not complaining makes for a very endearing race- but equips us badly as advocates for injustices that deeply affect our lives.


As I reminded Olivia – it is always too soon to quit!