Peggy (85) joins care home protest

Peggy Heaney, an 85 year-old resident of Thackeray Place care home in Limavady, protests outside the home today over plans to close it. Pic - Sheena Jackson
Peggy Heaney, an 85 year-old resident of Thackeray Place care home in Limavady, protests outside the home today over plans to close it. Pic - Sheena Jackson
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An 85-year-old Limavady woman joined protesters on the street today to fight plans to close the Western Trust care home where she has lived for several years.

Peggy Heaney says she is worried sick about what will happen if the proposal to close Thackeray Place happens.

“Where would I go? Sure all my life savings are almost gone,” she told the Journal. “It would just be terrible and I’d like to ask Mr Edwin Poots how would he feel if it was happening to him, because someday he will be old just like us.”

Workers took to the street outside Thackeray Place from 10.30am, holding aloft placards sending a clear message to health officials.

“Thackeray says ‘no’ to closure” and “Save Our Home” won toots of support from passing motorists, while politicians across the board joined the protest.

MP Gregory Campbell pledged to do all he could to save Thackeray and said closure wasn’t a done deal.

“It has everything going for it in terms of retention, and we will make the case for it,” the DUP man told the ‘Journal’. “It certainly is not a done deal.”

Sinn Fein MLA Cathal O’hOisin said the move towards closure was intolerable and would be resisted.

“Closure would have a devastating effect,” he added. “We will fight this.”

The proposal to close Thackeray is to be discussed by the Western Trust at a board meeting tomorrow. If it is accepted, a 13-week consultation will open. The Trust say that in the meantime no decision has been made.

However, some families, including Josie McCann, feel a decision has already been made.

“It’s an eviction notice they’ve served on my mother, who is in her 100th year,” said Mrs. McCann. “This is my mother’s home and I would challenge whoever attempts to carry this out to come and tell my mother because I am not going to do it, nor am I going to take her out of there. I am not doing it. I am not moving my mother. It’s very worrying. I never slept at all last night. And, as for the elderly people, well they saw the anger at the meeting on Tuesday night and they’ve never seen anything like that and now the staff are left dealing with the outfall. It’s a disgrace. It’s been handled badly and it’s going to get worse.”

The Journal understands Limavady Borough Council is to hold a special meeting on the matter on Tuesday.