Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill seeks State aid for autism assistance dogs

Ronan Dodd

Reporter:

Ronan Dodd

Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary Jackie Cahill has called for the HSE and the Government to provide financial assistance to support more children with autism in getting the use of specially trained autism assistance dogs. 

Deputy Cahill was commenting after he raised the issue with the Tánaiste during a recent Leaders’ Questions debate in the Dáil.

“The HSE has no involvement in any way shape or form with Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, and I requested that the Government changes tack and starts to engage with them and their service users to increase number of dogs made available to children with autism," he said.

The Thurles-based TD said that the dogs were an amazing support to children with autism and their families, giving the children stability and support and enable them go through their daily lives more free from worry and anxiety.

“Over the last number of months, I have been contacted by numerous parents of children with autism in the county who are at their wits ends waiting for these specially trained dogs to help and support their children," said Deputy Cahill.

He said that the charity was doing its level best with its own limited resources, but for it to expand its services, and to reach more children, it needed the HSE to support it financially. 

“I’ve asked the Tánaiste and the Minister for Health to engage with both Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland and Autism Ireland and to find a solution to this funding crisis,” he said.