Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams and Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú have met with HSE management and families of those with intellectual disabilities to discuss the respite needs of families in County Louth.
The meeting of Louth Respite Forum, which took place on Friday 27th April in Ardee, is the latest in a series of engagements regarding the lack of adequate respite provision.
Following the meeting Gerry Adams said,
“Respite is essential for families caring for loved ones with intellectual disabilities. These families love their children, that is absolutely without doubt. They care for them diligently their whole lives, but everybody needs a break.
“In order for these parents to provide this intensive level of care into the future, the Government needs to support them through the provision of respite. I have met with the Minister for Disability Finian McGrath on many occasions and raised the shocking gaps in provision of respite in Louth.
“I welcomed the Minister’s announcement in December 2017 that additional funding would be made available to the HSE in Louth and I am pleased to see the outworking of this with the recent opening of Bower House in Balbriggan which will provide respite for young adults.
“Although welcome we still have many citizens who are not able to access appropriate respite in Louth. Older people with intellectual disabilities who live with their elderly parents are in desperate need of a proper respite service. Dundalk Parents and Friends of the Intellectually Disabled have long made the case for their loved ones who are being treated shamefully at the moment.
“I also welcome the news that the HSE will address this with a new premises in Dundalk which will be operative in the Autumn and I look forward to the delivery of this service.
“I also pressed the HSE on the issue of emergency respite, the lack of which led to the complete cessation of summer respite in 2016. I received confirmation that the HSE are looking at realistic options in the event of an emergency which would not affect the respite of other citizens.
Councillor Ó Murchú added,
“Louth Respite Forum is a very useful platform for engagement between citizens, politicians and service providers. There is no doubt that there are gaps in provision in Louth, however this forum enables families to hold politicians to account and to put their queries directly to the HSE.”