Monday 9 December 2019

Fianna Fail leader calls on Taoiseach to intervene in €1.2m funding cut to disability charities

Fianna Fail chief Micheal Martin
Fianna Fail chief Micheal Martin
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

FIANNA Fail leader Micheal Martin has called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to intervene in the €1.2m funding cut recently inflicted on disability charities.

The Government recently cut funding from 26 organisations which provide services for people with rare and severe disabilities.

Mr Martin said there was “no heart” in the cuts to the Scheme for Support National Organisations in the Community and Voluntary Sector (SSNO).

He said the Government’s disability strategy was in “shreds” following the “appalling” cut which means vital agencies will be forced to reduce services.

The reduced funding means The Irish Deaf Society will close its advocacy service, the Migraine Association may lose a third of its staff and the Huntingdon's Disease Association has been forced to end frontline services.

Chronic Pain Ireland could close down in less than a year as a result of the cut.

“Can I ask you Taoiseach to intervene and ensure the €1.2m is restored at a minimum,” Mr Martin said.

“They have suffered too much already, there’s no justification for this,” he added.

Mr Kenny said there was an appeal process in place for organisations that saw their funding cut and urged those affected to make an application.

Mr Martin said he did not know “what planet” the Taoiseach inhabited and pointed out the Huntingdon's Disease Association was looking for just €22,000.

Speaking in the Dail, Mr Martin said: “Would you forget your appeals process and sort it out because if you had a national disability strategy this would not have happened in the first place.”

“There’s is no heart in this. It is appalling what you have done here. There is no defence of it and no justification of it,” he said.

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