Councillor Kenneth Flood has welcomed the cross Party support he received for his Cannabis Motion at this month’s Louth County Council meeting.
The text of the motion was:
“Louth County Council calls on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, to introduce legislation that will legalise the use of medicinal Cannabis in the treatment of patients with specified medical conditions which have failed to respond to all other previous treatments”
Speaking after the meeting Cllr Flood said “I welcome the support from all parties from all parts of the county. I was especially encouraged by the contributions made during the debate showing how well informed the contributors were on this issue. Now the motion has been passed the letter will go to Minister Harris outlining our support for this legislation and hopefully the Minister will stop dragging his feet on this issue.”
“We all know why this legislation is needed quickly thanks to the campaigning of Vera Twomey for her daughter Ava Twomney, who has a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome. This has brought many others forward to campaign for the medicines that can change their lives.”
The Medicinal Cannabis Bill was passed in the Dail in December 2016 and in March 2017 the HPRA that regulates medicines in Ireland recommended access to medicinal cannabis under a monitored, five-year programme, confined to a number of specific illnesses.
Cllr Flood commented “A dozen EU States have access programmes up and running already. It shouldn’t take the Minister this long to enact the legislation when there are several successful access programme templates that he can replicate. While the minister procrastinates, his hesitance to progress this legislation is driving people like Ava Twomey out of the country to access the cannabis based medicines that can change her quality of life.”
Cllr Flood called on the Minister to make those medicines available here as soon as possible.
Sinn Féin Councillor Imelda Munster has welcomed the unanimous support her motion received at Louth County Council calling on the government and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton to ‘ensure that funding is provided to continue and expand the Walk Peer Programme in Louth and to request that funding be attached to the upcoming Comprehensive Employment Strategy so that the programme is sustainable long term’.
Commenting after the council meeting, Cllr Munster said “this programme is vital for young persons with disabilities between the ages of 16 to 24 and has engaged 119 young people who want to participate as equal citizens and contribute positively to Irish society. The programme is due to close on July 31st as to date no long term funding has been secured. Walk peer has, in its short term in operation, had 60% progression to mainstream training, education and employment and offers support and encouragement for young adults with disabilities to reach their full potential and no one else is delivering this type of individualised, employment programme in Louth. This pilot programme has been hugely successful and there is an onus on the government to facilitate successful projects such as Walk Peer and allocate sustainable funding to enable them to continue to achieve long term outcomes for young people with disabilities in Louth.”