Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Disability Services Funding
For many years when I was on the Opposition benches, every June and July there were protests outside the gate in respect of people with intellectual disabilities who were about to leave second level or rehabilitative training and who had nowhere to go. Deputies Kelleher and Ó Caoláin will remember this too. There was always a crisis. What we have done since I came took up my position is ensure that such crises do not arise. We have put aside almost €8 million this year for the 1,700 people who will be coming out of that section. We have done that every year since I came into this post.
On the young man in question, John, if I could guarantee things, I would guarantee everything. However, that is not realistic. There are other methods and we are doing things differently.
St. Michael's House has been very adventurous in the type of things it has allowed the people in its care to do, and it is the one group with which I am always impressed when I present certificates in terms of new action to be taken by the people themselves. There are other ways of doing things but I fully accept that this grandmother must have additional concerns over and above what one would have regarding an 18 year old in those circumstances.