Dark days set to return if people with disabilities suffer more cuts

Hope4Disability, the Galway based disability representative group, is appealing to the Government not to impose any further health cuts to protect existing frontline services for people with disabilities.

Eamon Walsh, its chairperson, fears that lifeline supports being availed of by the group’s members will be slashed as the Government continues to wield its axe.

“Any further cuts would condemn people to a journey back to the dark days of disability and institutional care.”

The organisation, which will hold a public meeting at the Menlo Park Hotel on Monday at 8pm, is urging people involved in the lives of those with intellectual disability/autism to attend.

“Our aim is to set out the current state of services highlighting the impact of recent cuts and historic under-investment in the sector.”

Services are well short of what might be considered as adequate to meet such a base line, according to Mr Walsh.

He says there have already been cuts to services in 2010. “As regards the Brothers of Charity services two community homes, which have not been identified, are to be closed and there is going to be some level of reduction in respite services all over Galway.

“We know they are losing staff through the moratorium on staff recruitment. Something like 22 staff were lost in 2010, 11 are retiring in 2011 and 12 in 2012. These are very experienced staff who will not be replaced.”

Meanwhile the National Parents Siblings Alliance, another organisation which campaigns for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities, is calling on the Government not to look on services for people with intellectual disabilities/autism as “low lying fruit”.

Its chairperson Frank Conaty believes the country’s fiscal crisis presents an opportunity for politicians to value people with intellectual disabilities/autism.


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