Press Release

“Brainwave – landmark in services for people with epilepsy” says O’Malley

Mr Tim O’Malley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, today (Saturday 24th September 2005) addressed the Brainwave – Irish Epilepsy Association National Conference “Epilepsy – What does the future hold”, in the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel.

The Minister commended the dedication of Brainwave’s members since its establishment in 1967 and stated that this date was a landmark in the provision of services to people affected by epilepsy. Minister O’Malley said “The establishment of Brainwave – The Irish Epilepsy Association in 1967 was a landmark in services for people with epilepsy in Ireland. This milestone was the beginning of what the future holds for people who are affected by epilepsy”. Minister O’Malley noted that the conference title continues and advances the objectives of Brainwave.

The Minister outlined future developments in the provision of services to people with disabilities and stressed the need for a spirit of partnership to evolve between all interested parties. Minister O’Malley said “In order for the improvements I have outlined to come into being a spirit of partnership needs to evolve. However, partnership cannot be confined to a relationship between the statutory and non-statutory sector.”

“The development of services for people with physical and sensory disabilities is a complex issue as there is such a wide range and variety of disabilities included in this category. To meet the needs of people with physical and sensory disabilities a wide range of interlocking and complementary services is often required. This combination of services can only be achieved when everyone involved in the delivery of services actively works together in partnership.”

The Minister also referred to the Department of Health and Children’s published Outline Sectoral Plan in respect of the specific health and personal social services provided for people with disabilities and stated “This is very much an interim plan, designed to encompass a programme of work which is to be undertaken over the next 12 to 18 months. The main aspects of this programme are related to the provisions contained in the Disability Act 2005, together with a strategic review of the services as a whole.”

The Minister concluded by thanking Brainwave for their invitation to participate in their important conference and wished them every success with their future work throughout the country.