Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon says he’s disappointed with the Taoiseach’s response to threatened cutbacks at the Solas respite centre for children in Sligo.  If the reported cuts go ahead, the facility will be closed for 24 nights a month.

Deputy Scanlon commented, “This is an extremely important service for parents of children with a learning disability or autism in the Sligo-Leitrim area.  The state of the art, purpose built facility was opened in 2009 and provided much needed respite care for families across the North West over the past 7 years.

“Demand for these services has increased year on year, but now there are serious concerns that cutbacks are imminent.  I have had a number of parents contact my office, distraught at the prospect of losing respite hours.  They’ve been told that the service will be reduced to six nights per month.  If this is the case, it is extremely regrettable.

“I raised this issue with the Taoiseach in the Dáil this week and was dismayed by the fact that he chose to make light of the situation in his reply saying “I am not sure what happens on the extra day in a month that has 31 days, if the service is open for six and closed for 24 days”.  These cutbacks will deprive families in the North West of essential respite care, and it is no joking matter.

“I have been in touch with HSE management who have told me that they have applied for funding and are waiting for a response.  I am calling on Minister Simon Harris to examine this case and ensure that funding is allocated to this much needed service”.