East Cork Independent councillor Liam Quaide has announced that he is to join the Social Democrats.
Mr Quaide, who is a clinical psychologist, led a campaign in East Cork over the past two years against the closure of the Owenacurra Centre mental health service.
Following seven Oireachtas Committee hearings and Mr Quaide’s meeting with HSE CEO Bernard Gloster in June this year, the HSE committed to a multi-million euro investment in residential mental health services for the region. East Cork had been facing the loss of all 24-hour staffed placements in 2021.
As a result of the Owenacurra campaign, 16 such placements in Midleton for adults with the highest level of need will now be funded.
Commenting on his decision to join the Social Democrats, Cllr Quaide said:
“Throughout the Owenacurra Centre campaign, I was extremely grateful for the support this issue received from Social Democrats TDs Holly Cairns and Róisín Shortall. Their Oireachtas Committee work helped ensure this closure retained national political attention.
“The Social Democrats share my concerns about Ireland’s under-resourced mental health and disability services for children and adults, and the need for greater investment in these areas, as well as health service reform.
“I strongly identify with the party’s policies in key areas such as housing, health and disability rights, and the need to address the climate and biodiversity crises. These are all priorities for me as a public representative.
“I am looking forward to representing the Social Democrats on Cork County Council at such an exciting time for the party under Holly Cairns’ dynamic new leadership. Much of the Cork East constituency is rural, and it is ideal to have a Cork-based TD with a farming background leading a party of change.”
Welcoming Cllr Quaide to the party, Holly Cairns said:
“I am excited to have Liam on board as a Social Democrats councillor and I know he will continue to be an exceptional public representative for the East Cork community.
“As a highly respected HSE psychologist, Liam will be able to offer valuable insights into the deficiencies in public mental health services. His views on a range of issues – including the urgent need for climate change mitigation and measures to tackle the housing crisis – very much align with those of the Social Democrats.
“Liam will be a great fit for the party and I am really looking forward to working with him.”
November 23, 2023