By Luke Ming Flanagan
You’d do anything for your mother. Unless of course she is dead. You can’t then. Next week mine will be dead 6 years. I will never see her again. Ever.
Liam Walsh’s mother is not dead. He is lucky. He knows it. He would do anything for his mother. He told me so. But he needs help. His mother is about to have everything she knows trashed. She is about to become a victim of the restructuring of our economy. Something which you hear about but unless you are at the bottom then you never feel.
Liam’s’ mothers name is Breda. She currently lives at her home in Aras Naomh Chaolin in Castlerea. It has been her home since August 2009. She lives with Dementia/Alzheimer’s. Her home, not ‘unit’ or some bullshit acronym, is where she gets the best of care and attention. It is where she is familiar with life. Like the rest us. Home is where she needs to be and needs to stay.
I used to meet Breda on the way from the shops. She was a neighbour of my mother in law. When the big race meetings were on I used to meet her in the bookies. She used to run the place. I used to meet her in the golf club. She played golf. She lived life. She still does. If she’s allowed. If they close her home then at best her quality of life will be greatly diminished. At worst she dies younger. Either way the state will lessen its burden. Structural reform at work.
If something isn’t really happening then you can’t stop it happening. Liam Walsh can’t stop the HSE from negatively impacting on his mother life because what will negatively impact on his mother’s life is not going to happen. You see Aras Naomh Chaolin is not going to be closed. All the relatives of those residents who are terrified have actually misunderstood. The staff who communicate with families of residents have got it wrong. As for me. Sure all I’m doing is looking for votes. You see for structural reform to work you must give in to a form of logic restructuring.
I first noticed something different about Breda about 6 years ago. She would come up to my children and tell us about her days in school with my Aunt. In fact she told me the same story on numerous occasions. So many times that I started to wonder was there something up. My instinct upon meeting someone with a cognitive disorder is to shiver at the thought. I’m independent to the nth degree. You’ve probably noticed. The one bit of hope I have is that society will do its best for me. You know that craic about how we take care of our most in need being a measure of how advanced society is. I believe in that. So does Liam.
Breda is one of 25 people affected by what the HSE is telling us is not going to happen. Many don’t have a son like Liam to help. They have to rely on someone like me. Sadly those that have the power to stop this are not listening. This of course is the only way that they can live with themselves. You see structurally reforming the economy also requires a structural reform of your morality.
This week the HSE were shown up for what they are. Liam McMullin, a consultant at my local hospital detailed how he had been misled about the quality of future ambulance services in the region. He described how people were being ‘thrown to the wolves’. Promises about how patients will be better off turn out to be damned lies. To me it conclusively proves that the HSE will say whatever it takes to drive through ‘structural reform’.
Last week I met a lady in the European parliament in relation to the unsolved death of her son. She told me she didn’t believe in god anymore but hoped that there would be a hell. Hell would be too good for the people who are in the process of turning Breda’s’ life upside down. Don’t let them do it. Ring, email, and personally call your local government politician. Ask them about their mother.
You’d do anything for your mother. Unless of course if she’s dead. You can’t then.
Breda is alive. Help me to help Liam to help her. It’s called society. Do we have one left?