An East Cork councillor has resigned from the Green Party in protest at the government's determination to close the Owenacurra residential mental health facility in Midleton.
Cllr Liam Quaide resigned his membership of the government coalition party with immediate effect.
The mental health centre on the grounds of Midleton Community Hospital was due to close at the end of 2021 - after the HSE said the building was no longer fit for purpose.
Some residents of Owenacurra have lived at the centre for up to 20 years, with family members saying moving to other facilities will have a negative impact of the mental health of residents - and that a refurbishing the centre is more sensible.
Speaking to RedFM News, Cllr Liam Quaide says that he wanted Green Party Ministers to fight harder for people on the margins such as those needing Owenacurra's services:
"I would have liked to have seen, in this instance and with housing as well, a more robust defence of our values. So if you're a backbench TD, you have a certain amount of power, mainly to bring things into the public domain as Neasa Hourigan has. But if you're a minister, you have much more influence. I would have liked the Green Party Cabinet members to have used their power. I think there's so much at stake for the people impacted by this closure. I would have liked to have seen more efforts and more robustness on this".