Fianna Fáil Whip and Kildare South TD Seán Ó Fearghaíl has said Fine Gael and Labour have reneged on pledges to provide additional financial support to the Jack and Jill Foundation, having previous stated publicly that more money should be afforded to the charity.
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl said: “I am surprised that the Government has moved so quickly and decisively to rule out further funding for Jack and Jill.  However I do welcome the commitment from Minister of State Kathleen Lynch that “The HSE will work closely with Jack and Jill to ensure that no child is hospitalised for want of adequate home support, provided by either Jack and Jill or the HSE.  However, if a child needs hospital care, the HSE will provide this.”
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl added: “I have tremendous respect for the Jack and Jill Foundation.  The charity provides extraordinary assistance for sick young children and their families and has proved itself extremely efficient and professional at managing its care and costs.
On September 21st 2010 James Reilly TD told the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children: ‘I support Mr. [Jonathan] Irwin’s call for increased funding… I commend the foundation on its work and offer it my full support.’
Kathleen Lynch TD told the Committee: ‘I do not understand why we do not adequately fund the hospice movement and I definitely do not understand why Jack and Jill is not better funded. It provides a similarly vital service to a uniquely delicate group. Mr. Irwin can rest assured that all members will support his meeting with the Minister in regard to funding.’
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl said: “Now that James Reilly is Minister for Health I hope that he will continue to support the great work of the Jack and Jill Foundation.  However Minister Lynch has made it clear in a reply to a Parliamentary Question I placed that “the HSE is not in a position to provide additional funding to compensate for a drop in their [Jack & Jill Foundation] private fund-raising income.”
“Before leaving office my party gave favourable treatment to disability services and set a lower savings target for disability services of a maximum budget reduction of 1.8%.  This was an extremely important decision and was based on a recognition of the needs of the vulnerable and the principal of protecting those most in need of support first.  While it is clear both Fine Gael and Labour have raised the white flag on honouring their commitments to the Jack and Jill Foundation, I hope that more support for this wonderful charity can be secured,” concluded Deputy Ó Fearghaíl.