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28/09/2021

People with disabilities 'falling between stools' says Dundalk TD

People with disabilities 'falling between stools' says Dundalk TD

Sinn Féin TD Ruairí Ó Murchú

Disability issues have been raised in the Dáil by Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú, who said the engine of services provision is ‘kept going with baling twine’.

He also highlighted the need for an overhaul of how disability housing is provided.

The Sinn Féin TD said there had been issues with people with disabilities "falling between stools", particularly for "adults who do not have the capacity to live life as the rest of us do and who may have been unlucky in not having had family supports, as a result, in some cases, of terrible tragedy".

He said: "It may happen that such people's care falls between disability, social care and mental health services.

"We need to look at that entire process and provision across the board. I have had a number of such cases land on my desk in the past while.

"Sometimes we are giving people whatever support we can but it is a case of keeping the engine going with baling twine.

It is not acceptable that we are failing these people."

Early interventions are being missed, he said, and instead, people are left waiting until acute care is required.

"We all know such services are not necessarily in place.

"That issue must be addressed", he said.

Housing provision for people with disabilities were also raised by Deputy Ó Murchú who said there were huge backlogs in councils, while the whole system needs to be examined.

He said: "I have spoken to the Minister of State Anne Rabbitte before about particular issues around housing provision for people with disabilities.

"There are parents of children with severe disabilities who cannot avail of appropriate housing provision.

"Again, this needs to be looked at across the board.

"There is also the issue of the major backlog in local authorities in dealing with applications for housing adaptation grants for people with disabilities. "That needs to be reviewed because there are people with real difficulties that are not being dealt with adequately.

"It will require a multi-departmental solution.

"We will probably have to look at the methodology and process around this provision across the board because it is entirely failing.

"It is not just the fault of local authorities and the fact they are underfunded.

"There also needs to be more interaction with the HSE and other agencies".

Deputy Ó Murchú said that he had requested a meeting with Minister Rabbitte to discuss specific Louth cases.

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