New figures released to Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Disability, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony TD, show that at the end of January this year, 4,312 children with disabilities were being kept waiting for their statutory right to an assessment under the Disability Act.

Previously the number of children waiting had surged from 3,217 in September 2016 to 4,120 at the end of May 2017 – an increase of more than 28%.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony said, “While the rate of increase has slowed, the fact remains that things are worse than they were last summer. To have so many children unable to receive their legal entitlement within the statutory timeframe is just wrong and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

“The 2005 Disability Act provides for an assessment of the needs of eligible applicants occasioned by their disability. Assessments of need must commence within three months of receipt of a completed application and must be completed within a further three months.

“The HSE data also shows that some 5,814 applications were received in 2017 so to have 4,312 overdue at the end of the year means that almost three quarters of assessments are running late.

“As a Cork TD I am particularly concerned that there are 1,869 overdue assessments in the county and city as a whole and it seems completely disproportionate to the national total and deserves further scrutiny,” concluded Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.