‘We will not tolerate neglect of our children,’ says group protesting in Cork today

"It is time for parents to rise and remember that we are the people, we have the power, and we will not tolerate the neglect of our children any longer.”
‘We will not tolerate neglect of our children,’ says group protesting in Cork today

Cork members of the recently-established Families Unite for Services and Support (FUSS) marched on the Grand Parade at 10am, calling for adequate support and services for their children.

CORK campaigners who have joined forces under a new group established to support parents of children with disabilities are protesting in Cork today about a lack of services.

Cork members of the recently-established Families Unite for Services and Support (FUSS) marched on the Grand Parade at 10am, calling for adequate support and services for their children.

It comes following Cork Kerry Community Healthcare’s reconfiguration of children’s disability services to Children’s Disability Network Teams (CDNTs) under the national Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People Programme (PDS) in 2021.

PDS is a significant national change programme for the provision of services and support for children from birth to 18 years . The primary objective in the development of CDNTs is “equity of access to services” for all children and their families.

Parents of children with disabilities, however, have said that issues related to filling particular roles within these CDNTs have been affecting the services their children are able to access.

“We decided to do this march because we have spent so long on our knees begging for services and getting nothing,” said organiser of the Cork event, Rebecca O’Riordan.

 “There is no such thing as early intervention in this country and PDS has destroyed what little function this sector had. 

"It is time for parents to rise and remember that we are the people, we have the power, and we will not tolerate the neglect of our children any longer.”

Comments from Minister Rabbitte

Speaking to PJ Coogan on the 96FM Opinion Line on Thursday, Minister with Responsibility for Disabilities Anne Rabbitte agreed that the lack of services is not acceptable and assured people that she is working to solve the problems.

“That’s what I’m trying to do is to bring about change. 

"That the repeated cycle of failure and disengagement has to stop,” she said.

The Minister said there “has to be ways to bring better services and to bring an end to the repeated cycle of failure” and that she wants her meetings with parents that have been taking place across the country to give parents “whose voice never gets heard at a particular level an opportunity for the HSE to come and hear in a very public format as to what we need to be doing to support”.

She said that since she took office, over €11 million has gone into disability services in the Cork and Kerry region and that she is sourcing the funding and giving it to the HSE to pass onto the providers “but unfortunately it is not getting to the end-users”.

She said that as Minister of State it is her job “to understand where the roadblocks are” and that the end-users are getting supported.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more