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Officials Say More Than 300 People With Intellectual Disabilities Languish In Ireland's Psych Hospitals
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 30, 2004

DUBLIN, IRELAND--There are about 330 people with intellectual disabilities housed in Ireland's psychiatric hospitals.

Officials say that 307 of them have no mental illness, and should be living elsewhere.

According to a brief article in the Irish Examiner, 218 of the residents with intellectual disabilities are housed at one facility.

Deirdre Carroll, general secretary for the National Association for the Mentally Handicapped of Ireland said her organization is urging the Department of Health to create separate housing for these people.

"The people I am talking about are living in awful circumstances and they shouldn't be," she said. "These people are not mentally ill and should be in appropriate housing, based in the community or in smaller units rather than in big psychiatric hospitals."

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said the 307 have had an alternative residential facility "identified" for them. The others, she said, require day services, residential support services, or increased support within a psychiatric hospital.

The spokesperson added that a relocation program has been underway for many years. Five institution residents have been moved out recently under the program and 28 more are expected to move to "more appropriate facilities" by the end of this year.

Officials are reviewing Ireland's National Disability Strategy and Disability Bill, which was published last week, to determine how they might affect people with intellectual disabilities in psychiatric hospitals.

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