Additional resources needed for citizens with Spinal Cord Injuries – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Louth TD Gerry Adams has said that services in Louth must be improved to ensure greater autonomy and better quality of life for people who have sustained spinal cord injuries (SCI).

Gerry Adams said;

“I received information following a Dáil briefing by Spinal Injuries Ireland on 22nd June that 72 people in Louth have a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI).  Spinal Injuries Ireland estimates that for every person with an injury to their spinal cord, there are an additional 10 people in their community of family and friends impacted.  This means that almost 1,000 people in this constituency are affected.”

During the briefing in the Dáil a number of people living with SCI’s explained how their lives were affected by their disability.

Gerry Adams said;

“The common theme from these testimonies is the necessity for people with a spinal cord injury to have automatic access to a medical card. The potential loss of the medical card is an immensely significant barrier for people with disabilities and chronic illness entering employment and Spinal Injuries Ireland’s research has shown that while 84% of people with an SCI were employed at the time of their injury, 76% are unemployed following injury.

“It has also been suggested by advocates working in the field that some people with disabilities, fearful they might lose their medical card, have left employment.  Unless the medical card system is reformed, this will continue to act as one of the most significant poverty traps.”

Commenting on his actions on the matter, Teachta Adams said:

“I have submitted a parliamentary question to the Health Minister to find out what services are available in Louth for people with an SCI, in addition I have queried the access to community rehabilitation services in Louth and the fact that there is no Irish based rehabilitation service for people with an SCI who are on ventilation treatment

“I believe we should cherish people with disabilities and support them to participate fully in society.  This begins by ensuring access to medical care and appropriate supports to access employment.”



Conor Magennis 2Little 7 year old Conor Magennis from Dundalk was so moved by what he saw happening  to children his own age in Gaza that he asked to attend the solidarity protest in Dundalk.  He proudly stood beside his father Paddy and his grandparents and little sister.

Unfortunately, over the weekend he fell and injured his leg and has been confined to the house and to bed. His father Paddy said “when we told him he wouldn’t be able to jump around or play football he didn’t care. All he cared about was not being able to support the children in Gaza.” It didn’t take long for the innovative little boy to come up with a plan.

Granny Maria was sent to buy loom bands and little Conor is now spending his time making special ‘Gaza Loom Band Bracelets’. Conor said “I am going to sell them for whatever anybody wants to pay me. Then when I get all the money, I am going to buy books and pencils for the children in Gaza to bring to school.”

His father Paddy said “I’m so proud of him, he is just 7 years old and this is all his own idea.”

You can get one of Conor’s special ‘Gaza Loom Band Bracelets’ for a donation at Gerry Adams TD’s office in Crowe Street. But hurry, I have a feeling they are going to go fast.

Conor in bed - but still working

Conor in bed – but still working

Conor, sister Katie, Daddy and Granny

Conor, sister Katie, Daddy and Granny at Gaza Solidarity Protest in Dundalk