Press Release

€50 million package announced for services for people with disabilities

“The allocation of an additional €50 million is evidence of the Government´s commitment to these services and to supporting people with disabilities and their families” Minister Micheál Martin TD

The Minister for Health and Children Mr. Micheál Martin, T.D. and the Minister of State, Mr Tim O´Malley, T.D. today ( 15th July 2003) announced that additional revenue and capital funding of €50m is being made available to services for people with disabilities by his Department in 2003.

In agreement with the Minister for Finance, Mr Charlie McCreevy,T.D., additional revenue funding amounting to €20m is being provided in 2003, with a full year cost in 2004 of€30m.

€15m is being made available to services to persons with intellectual disability and those with autism to meet costs associated with emergency residential placements during 2003, the provision of day services for young adults who have just left school and some enhancement of the health related support services for children.

€5m is being made available for services for people with physical or sensory disabilities to meet service pressures as identified by the Eastern Regional Health Authority and the Health Boards in consultation with other relevant agencies. Capital funding amounting to €30m (€15m for services to people with intellectual disability or autism and €15m for services to people with physical or sensory disabilities) is also being allocated to the Eastern Regional Health Authority and the Health Boards in respect of minor capital works in services for people with disabilities.

This funding will allow the Authority and the Health Boards to address such areas as the backlog of maintenance, re-furbishment, re-equipping, replacement of vehicles used within the services or works related to fire precautions and health and safety issues.

The provision of funding for these minor capital works will, when completed, help to up-grade many existing facilities. In the case of services to people with intellectual disability or autism, specific provision is being made in relation to a number of services, including St Joseph´s Services, St Ita´s, Portrane, St Raphael´s, Youghal, Grove House, Cork, St Senan´s, Wexford and St Brigid´s, Ballinasloe.

The Minister said that the provision of the revenue funding in particular will provide around 175 emergency places and over 600 day places and will enable the Authority and the health boards to address key issues of concern which had been identified by the various representative groups. The allocation of an additional€50m is further evidence of the Government´s commitment to these services and to supporting people with disabilities and their families.