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Funding for ASD facilities at St Anne’s NS welcome – Senator Reilly

1 October, 2015

Speaking this morning Sinn Féin’s Senator Kathryn Reilly has thanked the Minister for Education for finally addressing the concerns of families in Bailieborough regarding the funding for the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Unit at St Anne’s National School.

Senator Reilly said:

“Earlier this month I was contacted by many distraught parents concerned for how their children’s education would be affected by delays in provision of permanent ASD facilities at St Anne’s National School, Bailieborough or interim rental costs. It was clear that the delay was on the Department’s side and so I raised the issue with the Minister.

“I thank the Minister for Education for finally clarifying the position regarding the provision of grant-aid funding for the new ASD Unit, St Anne’s, NS Bailieborough, Co. Cavan. She has advised that the Department has approved grant-aid for the provision of the permanent ASD facilities in addition to funding for interim rental costs. The clarification is very much welcomed by all the families in Bailieborough and the surrounding areas, particularly as some children were travelling long distances to get access to the necessary services.

“It is now important that the unit is made fully functional as soon as possible so that those children can have access to it, and that they are not segregated from the mainstream school. This is imperative as failure to do so could compromise their development.

“The funding provision is very welcome but now the expediency of putting that funding in place must be priority.”

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Paddy McDonald also welcomed the news:

“This is an issue that myself and Senator Reilly have pursued thoroughly. She has raised the issue at a national level and I have worked hard at local level to ensure that funding was forthcoming and clarification given as to when that would be.

“Credit must also be given to the parents who have worked tirelessly on behalf of their children in the pursuit of adequate and timely funding for the ASD unit. Without the strength and courage shown by them the funding for interim rental costs might never have come about.”

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