Batt O'Keefe and Sli Eile
We posed the following questions to Batt O'Keeffe, the new Minister for Education and Science:
What assistance and/or information did you give the protestors at Pike Farm, Charleville in their blockade of a residential home being opened for people recently discharged from mental hospitals;
Why did you afford such assistance;
Why did you not make contact with the people running the residential home, Sli Eile, to determine what they were about, before you provided assistance to those attempting (successfully) to sabotage the venture;
Given that this home, which you participated in having closed, was intended for some of the most vulnerable people in our society, what explanation can you offer for your part in its sabotage;
Were you aware that the first resident of that home, who was barracked and intimidated by the people you encouraged and supported, committed suicide a few months later?
By the time of going to press, we had received no response to these queries and we will pursue answers to the questions for the July issue of Village. In making reference to the first resident at the Sli Eile home committing suicide, we are not alleging she did so directly because of the blockade which Batt O'Keeffe supported, but we are stating she was not helped by what happened and was deeply disturbed by it.