County Hall calls for funding for the Irish Deaf Society

County Hall calls for funding for the Irish Deaf Society
Sinn Féin county councillor Eoghan Jeffers.

Cork County Council is to write to the HSE and the Department of Justice and Equality regarding the €300,000 core funding that is needed to keep the Irish Deaf Society up and running.

Sinn Féin Councillor Eoghan Jeffers put forward the motion, which received cross-party support at the council.

Mr Jeffers called it a “very serious issue”.

“The Irish Deaf Society is at risk of closure due to the core funding not being provided.

“This is obviously a threat to services, many of which are vital to the deaf community such as the teaching of Irish Sign Language, lip reading, minor hearing aid repairs and help with employment and so forth.

“The funding of 300,000, the core funding, is minuscule in the national scheme of things and it is extremely worrying that the Irish Deaf Society have said that they will have no choice but to issue all staff a protective notice to close their doors in March.” 

Mr Jeffers said this would be a massive blow to the Irish deaf community and extremely insulting one year on from the official recognition of the Irish Sign Language as Ireland’s third language.

“Instead of facing closure, the IDS should be getting increased funding, to provide better services.

“I am conscious that we have a very good facility here in Cork, the Cork Deaf Club and I think that it would be very much supportive if we as cork councillors give them our support and would support the core funding at a national level for the IDS.” Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath concurred with Mr Jeffers that this was a serious issue.

“It’s appalling to think that facilities and services would be curtailed as a result of a lack of commitment to funding.

“Funding is important, the Government needs to put their money where their mouth is in relation to this issue. It is a critical area that needs to be funding and resourced.” 

Sinn Féin Councillor Michael Frick Murphy said that he has spoken to a lot of parents about the issue Social Democrats Councillor Joe Harris said it was a crazy situation considering the amount of work that they do.

“I'm amazed and anything we can do any pressure we can bring to increase their funding and proof their funding and keep their doors open should be done.”

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