News & Media

Roadmap for reopening disability services should be the same as the opening of schools

29 July 2020

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Health and Disability Services
AlanK

The roadmap for reopening disability services should be the same as the roadmap for opening schools according to Labour Leader Alan Kelly who raised the issue with Taoiseach Michéal Martin at Leaders Questions.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Taoiseach, I want you to intervene directly, we are not going to leave these people behind, and it is completely and utterly unacceptable. We need to ensure that our most vulnerable are protected during this crisis at all costs.

“I’ve spoken with the families affected, they are protesting outside and I am asking you and Minister Rabbitte to go out and meet them, I think you need to hear their stories. They have been forgotten about. They have no day services, they are losing the will to live, routine is everything in their lives.

“My friend Philip Kelly asked me to ask you to allow him go back to work, to go back to his day service. I could talk about Leah who feels like it is Groundhog Day every day and Stephen whose parents believe he is developing habits they are very worried about and Padraig whose life, he says has been turned upside down.  

“These people and their families are being discriminated against and left behind. We have a roadmap for families and schools, will you commit to the same for these families? I want to know when they are going to reopen fully, like we are treating everyone else in education, please give us dates and a proper plan.

Deputy Kelly continued:

“I’ve read the letters from the service providers; many won’t open in August and more will not open fully to the level required. I am glad you have verified that the 20 million cut, that sneaky cut is gone, I am asking you to specifically investigate this and specifically ensure that service provision that is so desperately needed is rolled out in August, fully.  These are the same issues that existed with opening schools but there is no effort and no plan. We need a plan in place on August 4th saying when these services will come back fully.