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Minister Andrews should restore children’s out-of-hours plan or resign – Ó Caoláin

8 August, 2008 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described as "appalling" the decision of the HSE to abandon plans for a comprehensive out-of-hours social care service for troubled children.

Describing it as "one of the cruellest cuts so far", Deputy Ó Caoláin said that if the Minister for Children Barry Andrews TD does not secure the reinstatement of the plan then he is not fit to be Minister and should resign.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "There is a crisis in child protection in this State. This has been highlighted repeatedly with insufficient numbers of social workers unable to cope with the task of protecting vulnerable children. The Children's Ombudsman, Gardaí and the office of the Minister for Children himself have pointed out this huge deficiency in our social services.

"It beggars belief that in the face of this crying need the HSE is now to abandon plans for long-promised and absolutely essential improvements in care for vulnerable children.

"Minister for Children Barry Andrews must secure the reversal of this disgraceful decision. If he does not do then he is not fit for office and should resign." ENDS

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