Disability group warns cuts will ‘wreak havoc’

Hope4Disability, the Galway based disability representative group, fears that lifeline supports being availed of by its members will be slashed as part of the health cutbacks.

Spokesperson Eamon Walsh says there are “ominous signs of serious problems ahead” for families of persons with intellectual disabilities or autism.

“These families have already had to endure serious cuts to their services over the last two years with little resources to adequately address the increased needs of new families and the ageing population of persons with disabilities and their carers,” he says.

“It is not good enough to terrify vulnerable people like this. These families, who had to take to the streets last July to gain a stay of execution on the then proposed additional cuts in 2010 are living in fear that the basic supports they and their family members receive are once again in the firing line. Before even contemplating the impact of any proposals from the forthcoming Budget they are now faced with horrendous service reductions that were simply deferred earlier this year.”

He is calling on politicians to display “political leadership” and “civic vision” to protect the voiceless.

“It would be all too easy for the HSE and other Government departments to take the easy option and look to make savings with broad blunt cuts across all areas. People with intellectual disabilities or autism and their families have been playing catch up as a result of massive historic under investment and are nowhere near adequately supported compared to the rest of society.

“Any further cuts will bring us back to the dark days of disability and a return to institutional care - as a nation we may be in serious difficulty but we can still do what is right and just.”

Hope4Disability will hold a public briefing on Monday November 22 at the Menlo Park Hotel at 8pm. All are welcome.


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