Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has described as ‘a shameful indictment’ that the parent of a child with disabilities has been forced onto RTÉ’s Liveline to outline how the lack of capacity of Respite Services for Children with Disabilities in Monaghan has impacted on her family.
Deputy Carthy has repeatedly raised the absence of Respite Care services in County Monaghan with government Ministers and HSE officials.
Deputy Carthy told the Dáil:
“I have raised the issue of respite services for children in counties Cavan and Monaghan on several occasions. It is the most frustrating issue I have to deal with.
“My frustration is nothing compared to that of the families affected by the systemic failure to provide their children with the respite services they need.
“The real-life impact of the failure of successive governments was laid bare on RTÉ’s Liveline on Wednesday when a parent of one child was forced to publicly outline the impact on her family of the lack of adequate respite and educational supports. It is a shameful indictment that this mother was forced to do so.
“I have raised this particular family’s case directly with government Ministers and HSE officials. I was assured that this child would receive respite services. It hasn’t yet happened and that is a disgrace.
“Monaghan has currently no overnight respite services for children with disabilities. That needs to change. Monaghan has no special school for children who need one. That also needs to change.
“Families in Monaghan are forced to seek respite services in Cavan. The latest figures I have indicate that just 33 receive respite care in Cavan, all of whom are seeking additional hours that they need. A further 57 children are on a waiting list for respite services. Others haven’t even applied because they consider it pointless, even though its needed.
“The case for a Respite centre in Co. Monaghan is indisputable. That case was made very eloquently by a parent who should not have been forced onto the airwaves.
“Government now need to act. They need to provide emergency short-term proposals to address the Respite Care needs of children across County Monaghan. But, urgently, they need to set out their proposals to deliver a Respite centre in County Monaghan without delay.
“I will continue to work with families affected by this issue and I will be engaging with my party’s Health Spokesperson, David Cullinane TD, and our spokesperson on Disabilities, Pauline Tully TD, to ensure that Sinn Féin do everything we can to force government to act”.