Northern Ireland

Protest over Strabane day centre closure

Hundreds of people have signed a petition protesting against proposals to close a day centre for people with physical disabilities in Strabane.

The centre has been open for 20 years but the Western Health Trust is currently reviewing the service.

If the plans go ahead it will shut its doors by the end of September. Clients have been told they will then have to travel to Londonderry instead.

In a statement the trust said it was reviewing all day care services to ensure value for money.

Collette Molloy who was paralysed after developing a tumour on her spinal cord has been using the centre for 19 years and describes it as a life-line.

"We like this centre because we can drop-in," she said.

"We're like a wee family. I go to Mass, then I come here for two hours, it's just brilliant.

"I think a terrible lot of things are going out of Strabane, so we're demanding to keep this centre in Strabane."

In their statement, the Western Health Trust said a consultation process with each individual client at the day care started a year ago, and clients supported changes which lead to social integration in the local community.

The trust also confirmed that a day support element of the service is due to change on 30 September, but nothing has yet been finalised.