Crooksling future has been ‘safeguarded’

Crooksling future has been ‘safeguarded’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

THE former site of St Brigid’s Nursing Home in Crooksling, Brittas, has been “safeguarded for the foreseeable future” after it was zoned for elder care at a recent County Development Plan meeting.

As previously reported in The Echo, the site was expected to go on the open market last April, however Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, put a stay on the sale.

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: St Brigid’s Nursihg Home in Crooksling, Brittas

According to local Fianna Fáil councillor Deirdre O’Donovan, Minister Donnelly stopped the sale of the site on the open market to enable the Crooksling Action Group, which wants it to be maintained as a location for care of the elderly, to come up with an alternative plan for the site.

The HSE’s previous plans for the sale of the site were met with frustration in the local area, and the future of the site was a point of concern for many people in the locality.

At a recent County Development Plan meeting, a motion to keep the zoning of the site as a centre for the care of the elderly, as a Specific Local Objective in the upcoming County Development Plan, was carried.

Twenty councillors voted in favour of the motion, ten were against and three abstained.

Cllr Deirdre O’Donovan, who tabled the motion and is on the Mid-Leinster Regional Health Forum, said: “This is a fantastic victory for the local community and for our Crooksling Action Group.

“We are busy working with elder care professionals to come up with a plan for the site, and the Minister has committed to a feasibility study to enable next steps in that regard.

“We have always argued that this unique site, just 10 minutes from Tallaght Hospital, has the potential as a centre for excellence for elder care in the community.

“And the fact that the site was originally gifted to the community means there are issues with the HSE even trying to sell it.

“The passing of this Motion means we have safeguarded the site for the foreseeable future and that’s a massive win for the community.”

South Dublin County Council had recommended that the motion should not be adopted as they believed it would “unduly restrict the potential uses of the existing structures, noting also that there are a number of motions which are seeking to improve tourism and leisure facilities in Brittas”.

Crooksling was developed in the early 1900s after it was donated to the community to serve as a sanatorium for people with tuberculosis, and later became the site of a nursing home called St Brigid’s.

St Brigid’s closed in late March 2020, and the majority of the residents were transferred to the Tymon North Community Nursing Home in Tallaght, which opened ahead of schedule in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Campaigners have claimed that the site would be ideal for a centre for elderly care due to its rural, quiet surroundings and close proximity to medical facilities in Tallaght.

However, a review by the HSE earlier this year found that the site was “no longer useful for healthcare provision” as the site’s building systems and plant items “have approached their end of life or have failed or become obsolete”.

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