September 16, 2020
Oireachtas Committee on Autism must be established urgently – Pauline Tully TD and Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability, Pauline Tully TD, has challenged the Government on the ongoing failure to establish an Oireachtas committee on autism.

Teachta Tully urged the Government to ensure the committee is established as a priority, in order to ensure autistic people’s rights and entitlements are protected.

Speaking in the Dáil last night, Teachta Tully told Minister Anne Rabbitte: “In April 2019, my colleague Deputy Kathleen Funchion moved a motion in this house calling for an autism strategy and an autism committee to be established.

“This motion received widespread all-party support at the time and there was a commitment given for an autism strategy for Ireland.

“We know that the issues affecting autistic children and adults are longstanding and they have been battling for many years for their basic rights and entitlements.

“Children face lengthy waiting times for assessment. They struggle to locate appropriate school places. Autistic adults face huge gaps in the provision of crucial services, particularly for finding work, securing social welfare or living independently.

“I think it’s totally unacceptable. It has got to change. The autism committee could ensure that this would change.”

Speaking today, Teachta Funchion said: “Autistic people have waited long enough. They deserve to see appropriate state support to meet their needs and ensure their rights are protected.

“I have spoken to many autistic people and their families about their frustrations on this issue. They need to have confidence that the Government is taking this issue seriously and giving them the support they are entitled to.

“I and my Sinn Féin colleagues will continue to raise this issue and hold the Government to account over their responsibilities. We need to see an Oireachtas Committee on Autism established as a matter of priority.”

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