C: Carol Nolan

Nolan: what is possible impact of Ukrainian crisis on disability respite services?

Independent TD Carol Nolan has called on Taoiseach Micheál Martin to clarify if Government has conducted any assessment around the potential impact on adult and child disability respite services here following a commitment to provide services and disability specific accommodation to citizens fleeing war-torn Ukraine.

The Laois Offaly TD raised the issue with the Taoiseach during Leaders Questions in the Dáil earlier yesterday .

“As difficult as it is, we must have the difficult but important debate around how Government intends to match its rhetoric on this issue with the plain reality that our existing respite services for disabled adult and children are already under severe and chronic pressure,” Deputy Nolan said.


Deputy Nolan went on to say that she commended Minister of State Anne Rabbitte for her commitment to improving the challenges around the respite issue and that she also welcomed the statement from Minister Roderick O’Gorman last week that “Ireland will not leave people with disabilities behind as we respond to the crisis.”

The Independent TD further noted however that, that while leaving no disabled person behind “is exactly the type of ambition we need, there are very many families out there who will have heard or read that statement and questioned, not the will or whether it was the right thing to do, but the capacity of the state to deliver on that promise.”

“They will have looked at their own children and young adults who are falling between the cracks in terms of child and adult disability services and they will have wondered if the Governments commitments will lead to an even greater level of strain and further delays in accessing limited services.”

“Those are perfectly understandable fears and concerns, and they need to be addressed candidly and honestly.”

“How can we talk of leaving no disabled person behind when it is clear that we already have a system that is manifestly unable to provide even the most minimal levels of respite care for significant numbers of adults and children languishing on respite and disability lists?” Deputy Nolan said.

Deputy Nolan concluded by asking the Taoiseach if he agreed with her “that our rhetoric should be shaped by our capacity to deliver on the promises that we are making to disabled persons, irrespective of where they are coming from.”

The Taoiseach in his reply said that Ireland must rise to the challenges presented by the Ukrainian conflict.

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