Quinns stopped in their tracks by brave angels
Published 09/11/2010 | 05:00
IRISH soccer legend Niall Quinn has urged the Government to spare wheelchair users from Budget cuts.
The Sunderland football club chairman said he had been "stopped in his tracks" by the bravery and attitudes of children he has met who are confined to a wheelchair.
On a visit to Dublin with his wife Gillian to launch the Irish Wheelchair Association's annual Angel Day fundraising campaign, Mr Quinn said cutting such children's funding would deprive them of a basic human need.
"When you meet some of the children in wheelchairs and you see how happy and spirited they are, it makes you think that we must do more for them," he said.
The Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) has seen its funding cut by €3m over the past two years.
CEO Kathleen McLoughlin warned any further reductions would hit those in wheelchairs directly.
"We've managed through hard graft and the support of the public to keep our services going but I have to be frank and say that we are reaching the limit on that and, unless our funding can be protected, we are not going to have any alternative but to cut services," Ms McLoughlin warned.
The Irish Wheelchair Association is hoping to raise €500,000 this month through its Angel Day campaign, which will see volunteers selling pencils and pins to the public at various locations around the country.