Press Release

Minister O´Malley opens new respite centre for children with disabilities in Cork

The Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for Disability, Mental Health Services and Food Safety, Mr Tim O´Malley TD, today (31st May 2004) formally opens a new respite centre for children with disabilities in Charleville, Co Cork.

The Comhar Centre, which is part of the services provided through the St Joseph´s Foundation (formerly Charleville and District Association) is a purpose built facility located in a residential area in Charleville.

The Minister said that the enhancement of the availability of respite services was specifically targeted in recent years as part of this and the previous Government’s investment programme in services for persons with intellectual disability and those with autism.

The Minister also said “The Government is very conscious of and has acknowledged the difficulties faced by people with disabilities and the families caring for them. It is for that very reason that the Government identified these services as a priority area for funding. Services to people with intellectual, physical or sensory disabilities and those with autism is one of the limited number of areas in which additional revenue funding has been provided by the Government in any Department over 2003 and 2004. In respect of services to persons with intellectual disability and autism, this revenue funding, amounting to €43m up to the end of 2004, was specifically provided to meet costs associated with the provision of emergency residential placements, extra day services particularly for young adults leaving school and to enhance the health related support services for children”.