‘Locked up,’ concerns raised for individuals over disability services in Tipperary

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Mattie McGrath has described the HSE as “utterly dysfunctional” when raising the cases of two Tipperary people with disabilities, one a young person and the other a man of 62 years of age.

The Independent TD for Tipperary related how a young woman who had received a letter on July 30, 2020, stating that she had been accepted by the Brothers of Charity, news of which her mother was delighted to receive.

The girl had finished in Scoil Chormaic in Cashel last March because of Covid-19 and did a trial in Dún Aoibhinn in Clonmel.

The family understood that their daughter was to get a place in September.

Speaking in the Dáil on Thursday, September 10, he said: “She did not get it however. She is 18 years of age, waiting at home, wilting away and regressing.”

The other case concerned a man attending Cluain Árann, as well as Cluain Croí in Tipperary Town.

“This is a wonderful service but such services are all closed. The man cannot avail of a respite service in Cluain Árann every eight weeks.

“Cuan Croí is a wonderful place that I often visit but the doors are closed.

“All these places are locked up. We find that skilled people from the HSE who are needed in these services are out doing contract tracing although thousands of people signed up to Ireland’s cause and offered help. The HSE is utterly dysfunctional,” claimed Deputy McGrath.

In his appeal to the Government, Deputy McGrath, added: “The disability service is so sensitive. It is so important for the young people affected. I know them.

"Can one imagine being incarcerated? Can one imagine not being able to go off in the bus with the carers and driver, who are part of a wonderful community, to and from a day services centre? Their being able to do so would allow for interaction with others.

“For the service to be closed up since March, thus locking out those in need of it, is criminal.

“While we must listen to the advice of NPHET, we must also be cognisant of the impact on people’s lives, including their mental health.

“Consider the mental health of the families of those in need of services. They see their loved ones suffering and cannot do anything about it.”

“They have to strike a balance overall, accounting for the impact on mental and physical health and on those with special needs.

“The latter cannot just be sidelined and marginalised,” added Deputy McGrath.