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Government failing children with disabilities and their carers; Taoiseach must act – Gerry Adams TD

16 January, 2018 - by Gerry Adams TD

Today at Leaders Questions, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD raised the investigation and report by the Ombudsman for Children into ‘Molly’s case’.

Teachta Adams called on An Taoiseach to ensure the necessary resources are provided for the implementation of a respite action plan for children with a disability in the care of the state, and children with disability in the community at large as recommended by the Ombudsman.

Mr Adams said:

“The report of the investigation of the Ombudsman for Children is a damning report. It found that the state’s actions had a negative effect on Molly and that she did not have the opportunity to reach her full potential.

"It found that the actions of the state were contrary to fair and sound administration and/or based on undesirable administrative practice. There are 472 children, including Molly, with disabilities in the care of the state.

“Among its recommendations, the Ombudsman called for a respite action plan for children with a disability in the care of the state, and children with disability in the community at large. These recommendations have been accepted by the HSE and Tusla.

“However, the HSE points out that its commitment in this area is ultimately resource-dependent. In other words, Taoiseach, it is over to you.

“This is not one of those shameful historical episodes of neglect or ill-treatment of children in the care of the state. This is now. We cannot blame anyone else if it continues. It is happening on our watch.

“Do you accept that this is a damning report? Do you accept its recommendations? Will you provide the resources needed?”

Following the exchange, Teachta Adams expressed his disappointment that the Taoiseach refused to say that he will ensure the implementation of the Ombudsman’s recommendations.

He added:

“The government is failing children with disabilities in the most profound way. The issues and the difficulties are clear. Yet instead of allocating resources that would make a big difference in the lives of these children and their carers, we get task forces and lip-service.

"This is far from good enough.  This is about rights. The Taoiseach must intervene to ensure that children with disabilities and their carers are given their rights.”

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