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Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Joan Collins: I welcome all the families and campaigners who are in the Gallery today. It is a shame they have to come in here again after all their years of campaigning. However, there is a need for their presence. I see the Minister of State is nodding. I hope this will spur her on to push for action moreso than long-term strategies. We know what we need. We must fill the children's disability...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Mick Barry: I wish to use the time allocated to me to raise concerns relating to autism and the housing crisis. Those concerns arise from a case in Cork city with which I am dealing. It involves a woman who has been living in emergency accommodation for about a year. She has been offered alternative accommodation in the form of a one-bedroom apartment. She self-identifies as autistic, however, and...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Seán Canney: I welcome the opportunity to speak on this important subject that is close to my heart. I thank the Labour Party for bringing forward the Bill. Last October, the Regional Group reintroduced a Bill that had been brought through the Seanad by former Senator James Reilly. It was parked to allow the Government time to put in place the necessary measures. Autism is not a health issue; it is...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Verona Murphy: The Bill refers to the autism strategy, service delivery and all the various aims of the strategy. There is no doubt that education must form a central part of such a strategy. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak on special needs education. We are falling short in many areas in that regard. In that speech, I highlighted a discussion I had recently with a parent of a child with...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Bríd Smith: I am sharing time with Deputy Barry. I welcome everybody to the Gallery. I always think it sends a powerful message into the House on what democracy means. We can sit here chatting all day in a vacuum but to have people from the outside with real lived experience coming in sends a powerful message and I hope the Minister of State also recognises that. People Before Profit welcomes this...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Patricia Ryan: I welcome the groups in the Gallery and wish them well. I welcome the opportunity to speak on this Bill, which we in Sinn Féin support. Indeed we supported a similar Bill last October that was reintroduced by the Regional Group. That Bill is scheduled for Second Reading this October. In April 2019, Sinn Féin brought forward a motion calling for an autism empowerment strategy...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Johnny Mythen: I thank the parents of children in the Gallery. I also thank the Labour Party for bringing forward the Bill. It is obvious that to address the shocking lack of services, relentless lists for assessments and unavailability of school places for children with autism that something must be done. At the moment, parents of children with special educational needs do not know if their children...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Holly Cairns: I welcome the Bill tabled by Deputy Ó Ríordáin and I thank the Labour Party for using its limited Private Members’ time to advance this legislation. The Social Democrats are strongly in favour of the Bill and its intended outcomes. Awareness of autism and neurodiversity more broadly has increased in recent years. Developmental needs of children are finally being...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire: There is so much I could say that I am not sure where to start, but I will begin with the Government's approach to the legislation. The context here matters. The Government has indicated it will not oppose or support it. In April 2019, Sinn Féin brought forward a motion in support of a special autism committee and an autism empowerment strategy, and finally, three years later, that...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Mark Ward: I too thank the Labour Party for bringing forward the Bill and allowing me the opportunity to speak to the challenges people with autism face. Some challenges they have are pronounced, such as those relating to social interaction and communication, repetitive and restrictive patterns of behaviour and sensory processing. These challenges are bad enough, but the greatest challenge they face...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Chris Andrews: I welcome the Labour Party Bill. It is so important because it speaks to who we are as a society. Groups such as Involve Autism, which is represented in the Gallery, do such powerful work in advocacy but also in supporting families in communities who are struggling day in, day out. There is also Neurodiversity Irishtown, Ringsend and Pearse Street, which does amazing work for families that...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Duncan Smith: I am very disappointed in the Minister's script. While he did not read these words out, his script states: "It is for these reasons that the Government will not oppose, but can neither support at this time, the Autism Bill 2022." We did not pitch this Bill to be two or three steps away from the Government position so that it could not support it. We spent an awful lot of time working with...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Pauline Tully: Sinn Féin will support this Bill. I commend the Labour Party on bringing it forward. My party colleagues in Sinn Féin and I supported a similar Bill from the Regional Group in October 2021. It is important that we see the development and implementation of a cross-departmental and multiagency autism strategy that has legislative underpinning. In April 2019, my colleague, Deputy...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Pádraig O'Sullivan: I will share some of my own thoughts and come to the Bill at the end. I was struck by something Deputy Ó Ríordáin said, which was that we all have a shared responsibility here. We do have a collective responsibility - public representatives, the HSE or whatever State agency you want to name. We all sit in very similar committee meetings and get similar briefings from...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Gerald Nash: For the benefit of those watching, the Government is not supporting the legislation. It is merely not opposing it and has provided its own critique. We do not want to be here legislating for basic public services that should be provided as of right to persons with autism. Deputies Ó Ríordáin and Bacik said that we were here in April 2021 calling on this Oireachtas and the...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Roderic O'Gorman: I thank Deputy Ó Ríordáin and colleagues in the Labour Party for bringing forward this Bill to allow us to debate the incredibly important issue of support for persons with autism in Ireland and their families. I welcome the families who are here in the Dáil to witness this debate. Like Deputy Ó Ríordáin, I share that sense of responsibility both as...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Ivana Bacik: It gives me great pleasure to second this Bill on behalf of the Labour Party. I commend my colleague, Deputy Ó Ríordáin, on speaking so passionately in proposing it. He has fought so hard for so long on the rights of children with autism in education. As he said, we are very glad to be joined today in the Public Gallery by many parents who have spent so long fighting for the...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Childcare Services (29 Jun 2022)

Roderic O'Gorman: I look at the sustainability fund in another way. I do not know many other sectors where the Government provides a safety net for private providers. We are doing that because we recognise the importance of this sector. Where there is a situation where a private provider has a sustainability issue, the Government is ready to step in. There are not many other sectors of private enterprise...

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Autism Bill 2022: Second Stage [Private Members] (29 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time." I am sharing time with Deputy Bacik. Deputies Bacik, Nash, Duncan Smith and I have just come from a briefing with parents who live with autism every day of their lives. Once again, they told their stories of how they are trying to manage the system. As a result of that briefing and other discussions I and my colleagues have had, I feel...

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