The nanny state turns nasty now Famous 5 are four
IRELAND'S first quintuplets are being left without a "nanny" because government funding has been withdrawn.
The Cassidy quins - Amy, Rory, Conor, Dearbhail and Cian - have just celebrated their fourth birthday.
Until last November, the South Eastern Health Board (SEHB) and it successor, the Health Service Executive, paid the ?300-a-week it costs to provide the quintuplets with a nanny.
Their parents, Kevin and Veronica, say they were promised help until the children reached school-going age - and they won't be going to school until next year.
But in November they were told there was no longer funding available.
"We've had a girl helping us all along," said Veronica at their home in Bridgetown, south Wexford. Since November the couple have paid for the nanny themselves and have appealed the decision to cut their state funding. Now they are running out of money but they still don't know if the grant will be restored.
"We met the then Minister for Health, Micheal Martin, after the children were born in August 2001, and he said that the money would be available until they were of a school-going age," said Veronica.
"It's a worry about the future. Some nights I find it difficult to sleep worrying about their education and how we're going to pay for clothes, but thank God we don't have to worry about their health," she said.