After a year of constant campaigning, fighting, meetings and petitions Christmas came early for the campaigners last week after the HSE allocated €3.22m to start the bilateral cochlear implant programme in 2014.
Local mother Deanna Cairn’s, whose son Billy needs the implants, thanked everybody for their support. “We have been helped along the way by so many people and we would like to thank them all for their support throughout the campaign,” she said.
“Thanks to the Joint Committee established by Gerry Adams who really pushed on this, and to all the HSE staff who met with us and listened to us and our children’s needs. A final thanks goes to the Minister for Health James Reilly. We appreciate this more than words can say.”
Gerry Adams gave a cautious welcome to the news. “Caution is needed,” said Adams, “We want to ensure that the HSE Service Plan meets the needs of the 200 profoundly deaf children who require this procedure.”
Senator Mary Moran added: “ I would like to commend the work of Happy New Ear and parents. I have been very touched by their unrelenting work to highlight the need for Bi Cochlear implants and am delighted that it has come to a successful conclusion.”
Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick said that he worked closely with Minister Reilly on the issue and was “delighted” it was included in the plan.