Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has welcomed suggestions that the Government will now review its decision to cut funding for 26 disability organisations.
Deputy Martin had raised the issue repeatedly in the Dáil this week challenging the Taoiseach on the decision. Earlier today, an RTÉ report suggested that Minister Alan Kelly has finally bowed to pressure and announced a review into the funding cuts. The 26 groups were refused financing under the Support National Organisations in the Community and Voluntary Sector (SSNO), which provides funding for community and voluntary organisations.
Deputy Martin commented, “Twice this week I challenged the Taoiseach directly on this appalling decision. On each occasion the Government sought to downplay the significance of the funding cuts and said there was an appeal process that could be used. This is no good for organisations like the Irish Deaf Society which has to immediately close its Deaf Forward Advocacy Service. These groups don’t have the time or resources to go through a lengthy appeals process In fact, the appeals process is not transparent and only states whether an appeal is valid or not without giving further detail.
“I welcome the fact that the Minister for the Environment now appears to have bowed to pressure from Fianna Fáil and ordered a review of the scheme. I am calling for an immediate statement from the Minister outlining the process that will be involved and what kind of review is taking place in order to give the groups affected some clarity.
“I am also calling on the Minister to fully restore the funding for these organisations while the review is taking place.”