Respite Care Services should be restored immediately – BREEN

June 25th, 2010 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has slammed the news that up to 63 people with special needs cared for by the Brothers of Charity at Bawnmore have lost their respite service from today (Monday), because the €150.000 required to keep the service open has been cut. Deputy Breen wants to see this essential service restored immediately.

“63 people are cared by the Brothers of Charity in Limerick; many of whom are from County Clare. Losing this respite service from today will have a huge impact on their lives and it is a huge body blow for their families. It is an absolute disgrace that people with disabilities, their parents and families are once again being asked to pay the price for the Government’s mismanagement of our public finances.”

“The Brothers of Charity in Bawnmore; which provides a range of services to individuals have been forced into a major restructuring as a result of budgetary cutbacks which has seen the amount of cash allocated to the service reduced from €27,181,686 in 2009 to €24,840,063 in 2010. At the end of 2009 a total of 316 day places, 253 residential places and 63 respite places were provided by the Brothers of Charity in Limerick.”

“Surely savings of €150,000 could have been found without targeting the most vulnerable people in our Society. Parents are very frightened as a result of this closure and fear that further cutbacks are on the way. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 19 ‘Living independently and being included in the community’; states the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community with choices equal to others. The provision of respite care is an essential service in allowing people with disabilities to live in the community and it provides a much needed break for their parents and families, their carers.”

“This service must be restored immediately and I will be raising the matter with the Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney when the Dail resumes tomorrow afternoon.”