Frustration at lack of progress on disability services

Photo © Tipp FM

A Tipperary father says calls for improved support for people with disabilities are ‘falling on deaf ears.’

Mark Darmody is a Dad to Cara Darmody the primary school student from Ardfinnan who raised €40,000 this year for autism services in the area after she took the Junior Cert maths exam at just 11 years old.

He says that while the campaign gave them the opportunity to meet Government officials, which last Friday saw Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan visit some of the special schools in the county, the waiting lists are still continuing to grow.

Mark described the appearance of the HSE before the Dáil Committee on autism last week as a ‘disaster’ and said they need to try a strategy to support parents accessing disability services.

“They will not fill those vacancies because as they are filling them there are probably people going out the door so it’s an absolute farce you’re not going to be able to solve the HSE problem so stop asking parents to pay for these assessments , you pick up the tab full stop, from now on.”

Meanwhile Cara, now in 6th class, says despite a meeting with the Taoiseach little has been done.

Cara told Tipp FM that she plans to come back even bigger with Cara’s Mount Everest Maths Campaign.

“When I went to the Taoiseach’s office in July I got an 80 minute meeting and he said he would do things about it and I may have had doubts but it seemed like there was a chance they might actually do something about it but they haven’t done anything about it.. I am going to have to come back in a big way now to make them do something about it, but it’s frustrating yes.”