Sir, – “I think it is very unfair. I am 92 years of age, I know very well what I am talking about. I have my senses the same as I had 50, 40 years ago. I’m not leaving there without a fight” – words of Bridget O’Neill describing proposed closure of Abbeyleix community nursing unit (Home News, November 11th). Sad and brave words on the morning we prepared to celebrate the inauguration of our new President.

The report by Eoghan MacConnell and accompanying photograph made for sad reading, which has now become an almost everyday event in relation to the HSE. How easy it would be to run our health service if our hospitals had just beds and no people to occupy them, particularly ill and vulnerable people of all ages.

Later that day President Higgins quoted James Connolly “Ireland without its people means nothing”, a quote those in positions of power and responsibility should reflect on.

It’s time the “experts”, including those in positions of power and responsibility, spent time visiting these units and other centres meeting the most vulnerable of our citizens, young and old to hear first hand how they feel rather, than visiting countries abroad. A week spent in each unit, meeting staff and residents, would add greatly to their expertise in planning services. This at a time when the elderly people who built this State find themselves seen as a problem rather than an asset at a time when wisdom and common sense are in short supply.

Working in the area of health care for 40 years, I am daily mindful of the quote from Andrew Lang: “An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts – for support rather than for illumination.” – Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY, Director Co-Founder, Trust, Bride Road, Dublin 8.