Ó Caoláin criticises 'blatant disregard for Equal Status Act'
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has criticised the Department of Health's decision to reject the recommendation of the Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, following a recent investigation into the refusal of an application by a young Donegal man for aid under the Motorised Transport Grant scheme. Deputy Ó Caoláin claimed the decision represents further evidence of a blatant disregard for the Equal Status Act.
Speaking outside the Dáil today Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“This is the second time in the past four weeks that the Ombudsman has had a recommendation rejected by the Department of Health. On 24th October the Department rejected a recommendation that the Mobility Allowance scheme be amended to remove the upper age limit. This rejection was supported by the government.
“This case arose from an application by a severely disabled young Donegal man for aid under the Motorised Transport Grant scheme. Following an investigation into the HSEs refusal of his application the Ombudsman found that the HSE's operation of the Motorised Transport Grant reflected an approach to disability which is unduly restrictive, improperly discriminatory and fails to have proper regard to the Equal Status Acts.
“This episode is a damning indictment of not only the Department’s, but the Government’s, attitude towards those who rely on their support. It is clearly further evidence of a blatant disregard for the Equal Status Act.” ENDS