Respite action committee formed

PARENTS of people with special needs have formed an action committee to try and combat proposed cuts to services to respite centres in Laois.

PARENTS of people with special needs have formed an action committee to try and combat proposed cuts to services to respite centres in Laois.

The committee was formed at a meeting held in the Laois Down Syndrome Centre in Gort Na nOir in Abbeyleix last Thursday evening and was attended by a large crowd of parents. As well as parents, the meeting was also attended by Brian Stanley TD and Sean Fleming TD.

Chairman of Laois Down Syndrome Michael Gorman told the Leinster Express that there was a full house at the meeting, and many of the parents were angry and upset at cutbacks to the Abbeyleix and Mountrath services.

“We’re not happy that there has been no consultation with the end users. We have had no input and we’re going to have no input. We weren’t being listened to and we won’t be listened to,” he said..

Mr Gorman said that the committee of about seven people will be meeting this week.

“We do understand that there is a financial problem but it is not a problem that was caused by ourselves. We are not going to take it lying down and there is a belief that we are regressing back not ten but trwenty years,” he said.

Mr Gorman said that some parents at the meeting were apprehensive about the proposed Share a Break scheme, which has been suggested as an alternative to respite for some clients.

“We want people who have experience of looking after people with intellectual disabilities”, he said.

The Muiriosa Foundation say they have been forced to make changes to services because of cuts imposed by the Government.