Tuesday, 28 June 2016
Special Educational Needs Service Provision
I agree in respect of the broader issue. The Senator asked very important questions on HIQA and the house being closed. The overnight service was an excellent service. I can give her a commitment that I will go back and look again at the issue of the site. She also asked about the €350,000 and the answer is "Yes, absolutely." My role as Minister of State with special responsibilities for disabilities is to find out where this money has gone and why it is not being used for services for people with disabilities. There have been major cuts in the past seven years and the first thing I did when I took over as Minister of State some six weeks ago was to put out the fires of crisis in our services. I have immediately targeted the 1,500 school leavers who come out at 18 and have no service at all. I accept the Senator's point that respite, residential and day services also have to be a priority. I will come back to her on her specific questions.