Fianna Fáil Spokesperson Disability, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that it is a sorry state of affairs when parents of children with disabilities need to take a court case to compel the State to assess their children.  She has said that Minister Finian McGrath should consider not wasting scarce resources that could be used on supports in fighting the case.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony commented after it emerged that three families who have been waiting well in excess of the statutory limit of three months for an Assessment of Needs from the HSE have launched an action against the State.

“Ministers Harris and McGrath should hang their heads in shame. This is something no parent wants to do, but will do, if their children’s wellbeing is being put at risk.

“Delays in getting assessed result in delayed interventions, and ultimately can affect the future development and wellbeing of the child.

“Parents have enough on their plate when looking after children with disabilities rather than taking the State to court.

“At the end of 2016, there were nearly 4000 children waiting longer than the three month statutory rule.

“We need to get our act together. Children with disabilities, and their needs, have, for too long, been forgotten by the Irish health system.

“We are only making this worse for children and their families by delaying intervention.

“Is it a case that the HSE is making a determination that if we don’t facilitate Assessment of Needs, they won’t need to provide the support required? If so, that is a truly damning indictment of the Government.

“Minister McGrath, and the Government, should consider not contest this case. They are the ones acting contrary to existing legislation. The resources that may be extended on opposing this case would be better used facilitating assessments and supports for children,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.