Saturday 16 December 2017

Minister 'wasn't told' of €1.2m cuts to support groups

Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch
Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch

Philip Ryan and Eilish O'Regan

THE row over €1.2m cuts to patient support groups has deepened after the junior minister with responsibility for disability confirmed she was not told in advance of the withdrawal of funding.

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch, who is attached to the Department of Health, was responding after around 26 groups warned their future may be at stake following the loss of vital Department of the Environment funding.

A spokeswoman for Ms Lynch confirmed to the Irish Independent that she received no advance notice of the cuts.

"In the intervening period Minister Lynch has discussed this matter with her colleague Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment and Local Government," said the spokeswoman.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was accused of delaying the announcement of the cuts to disability groups until after the May elections over fears of a public backlash.

More than two dozen organisations, which provide services for people with severe disabilities, learned their funding was cut.

They include the Neurological Alliance of Ireland, The Irish Deaf Society, the Migraine Association and the Huntingdon's Disease Association.

Irish Independent

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