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Tuesday 20 March 2018

'It actually costs me to drive Michelle to town, it's a disgrace'

Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

ANNE Doyle has spent the past 18 years caring for her 33-year-old daughter, Michelle, and receives a monthly mobility allowance payment of €104.25.

They live in Kilmuckridge, a remote part of Co Wexford where there is no public transport, which makes it impossible to get around without a car.

Anne says her daughter was a "normal" child until the age of 15 when she suffered a brain tumour.

Her condition deteriorated further when she contracted meningitis, leaving her with poor balance and slow speech and she uses a walker or wheelchair to get around.

Anne says the modest sum they receive each month goes entirely on petrol, and without it Michelle would be "house-bound" and unable to attend her medical appointments or spend a few hours working each week.


"I have to drive Michelle everywhere she goes. She works part-time on a Monday for two-and-a-half hours in Gorey so I have to drive her there. It's only light work like making appointments but it's a crucial outlet. If I don't she'll be at home all the time," she told the Irish Independent.

"On Thursday she's back in work for three-and-a-half hours and on Friday she does a course with a few friends.

"I also bring her to all her hospital appointments and if I didn't have the disability allowance I couldn't afford to have a car and she would just have to stay in the house.

"We don't have any public transport because we live in the country and all the services my daughter needs are in Gorey, Wexford and Enniscorthy.

"She's working but she's only working on a minimum wage because it's only rehabilitation work. It actually costs me more to bring her to town than what she's earning.

"I think anybody who is in my situation should get it -- particularly if you're over the age of 66. The Government should should show some compassion to the vulnerable people in the country -- it's a disgrace."

Irish Independent

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