There is a feeling of disappointment amongst supporters in the Castleisland area at the decision of Pieta House to uproot from its base here and relocate to Tralee.
One fundraiser said the level of disappointment felt at the move is wide-spread as the suicide and self-harm prevention facility attracted a lot of voluntary fund-raising activity during its set-up period and since in its Castleisland base.
While it isn’t spelled out, it was the increasing isolation of Castleisland that left it high and dry in this case. One Pieta House supporter said that it became increasingly clear that the Castleisland base was not working out because it was cut off from too many parts of the rest of rural Kerry in terms of public transport facilities. One avid supporter felt that because of the levels of fundraising in the area, the base would be secure here.
“I suppose they had no choice but to go. You’d think that with the area here being a suicide blackspot for years that they’d stay. It’s just that it feels like they turned their backs on the people here – and I know other people feel like that too – but that’s only my own opinion,” said the supporter.
People who needed the service from areas like South Kerry had no bother getting as far as Tralee. Getting out to Castleisland then became an obstacle which many of them simply couldn’t overcome. There were complaints that people who were in need of the service got as far as Tralee and were hanging about and distressed there for hours with little or no hope of completing their intended journey.
It was in the face of this kind of difficulty of access that Pieta House simply had to abandon its originally chosen Kerry location in Castleisland and move to the capital and easy access from all points of the county.
There is also the fact the the ‘Convent deal’ fell through here because of problems with the state of repair of the roof of the building – which was once considered ideal for the Pieta House purpose.
This week the Pieta House Facebook page also explained the move thus:
“Our free, life-saving service in Kerry has moved from Castleisland to Tralee. A number of factors contributed to the decision to relocate including the county town’s population, the excellent transport service, the high unemployment rate and the fact there are two third level institutions and three second level institutions.”
The new address is 28 Moyderwell, Tralee with the phone number remaining the same – 066 71 63 660. Pieta House can be contacted on: https://www.facebook.com/pietahouse