COACTION West Cork has told the Minister for Disability that its budget is ‘totally overstretched.’
In a face-to-face meeting with Finian McGrath in Dublin on Wednesday, February 8th, the CEO of CoAction, Maurice Walsh, described the organisation as being ‘in a crisis situation’.
He explained that CoAction had to endure €1m in cutbacks from 2008-15. Although there were no cutbacks in 2016, he said that there has been no additional funding for respite and residential services since 2008.
Mr Walsh told The Southern Star that the meeting also served to highlight the fact that CoAction has received very little of the additional €30m that Minister McGrath gave the HSE for the disability sector in 2016.
Mr Walsh said CoAction West Cork did receive ‘a small amount’ under the school-leaver fund, but nothing more.
Michael Collins, the Independent TD for Cork South West – who arranged the meeting with the minister – said he was shocked to learn that CoAction had not received significant funding from the €30m allocation.
CEO Maurice Walsh confirmed that there are a lot of families who are ‘concerned for the future of their sons and daughters who have a disability because of the lack of resources available for residential and respite care’.
He said: ‘There are in the region of 30 people looking for respite services, and nine urgent cases looking for residential care, and we cannot accommodate that demand at the present time.’
In a statement, the HSE said: ‘In 2016 CoAction West Cork received funding to support a number of young people with disabilities who were transitioning from school to Day Service placements. Funding will also be made available to meet the needs of school leavers in 2017.’