7 October 2019
By Elaine Murphy
New figures provided to Fianna Fáil Disability Spokesperson Margaret Murphy O’Mahony TD show a drop of some 26,523 respite overnights for people with disabilities between 2015 and 2018.
This is a reduction of more than 14%.
“It is genuinely shocking that at a time when the need for respite is growing that we should see such a reduction in overnight services. To go from 184,891 overnights in 2015 to 158,368 in 2018 is completely failing people with disabilities and their families”, said Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.
“It looks unlikely that there will be any increase in the figures for 2019 with 79,912 overnights provided during the first six months of this year. At best any increase will be modest and will still be significantly behind what was delivered four years ago.
“I know that people with disabilities and their families are bewildered by this reduction. Overnight respite can be crucial for them. It provides a much-needed break for carers in particular.
“This cut seems beyond all comprehension, especially when you consider that it has coincided with significantly improved public finances. Demand for respite is not going to fall and we need to address the current shortfall and ensure that these overnights are delivered to those who need it”, concluded Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.