Residents of Ballivor have sent a clear message to Meath County Council, the HSE and Government that they will not tolerate the Church of Scientology and Narconon locating a drugs rehabilitation centre in their village.
Over 140 people turned out for the protest which was spearheaded by Cllr Noel French and Claire O’Meara of the Ballivor Says No campaign.
The scene of the protest was the former national school which was sold by the parish some years back.
In June 2016, the former primary school in Ballivor came on the market with CBRE, with a half-built nursing home development on the site.
The school building was refurbished and extended to accommodate a modern 15-bedroom nursing home, while on an adjoining 2.26-acre site, some foundations have been laid for a 41-bedroom extension. CBRE was asking €1 million for the ‘Raspberry Wood Nursing Home’ site. The agents are understood to have sold it to another agent, acting for a client.
In August of 2016 it’s understood the Narconon Trust applied to Meath County Council seeking a declaration that the site would be exempt from a change in planning. This was confirmed by the Council.
Cllr Noel French said he was heartened by the turnout for the protest. “The people of Ballivor don’t want this here. We have petitions out in shops, we need our TDs, our councillors, our senators, our ministers and our Toiseach to support this campaign.”
Deputy Shane Cassells said the village of Ballivor needed support and investment and not a facility from “such a shady organisation”.
“I’ve raised this issue on the floor of the Dail with the Taoiseach asking him if this is the type of facility he wants to see operating and the Taoiseach came back and said he certainly didn’t want to see any medical facility operate where there were no suitably qualified people and I’ll be holding the Taoiseach to his word on that so that we don’t have a Narconon drugs rehabilitation centre operating in Ballivor”.
Claire O’Meara of Ballivor Says No group said that the village was completely unsuitable for locating such a facility and she said the campaign to see the project stopped would continue.