Over 200 people marched in Sligo yesterday demanding better services for their children including early intervention, speech therapy and respite.The march was one of a number of protests took place around the country over a lack of services provided by the Health Service Executive for children with disabilities.
One of the organisers of the 'Enough is Enough
' protest, Yvonne Rainey, said the message to the Government is that this group is not going away.
The Sligo protesters marched from the Health Service Executive's Autism Service office on Mail Coach Road to the Child and Mental Health Service building at Nazareth House.
Following the march yesterday the Sligo organisers say they are taking their serious concerns directly to the Health Minister in Dáil Eireann. They say they are horrified that local GPs have been instructed by the HSE not to refer any more children due to the current 348 waiting list backlog.
The HSE claim that the lack of qualified full-time consultant psychiatrists within the service is a major contributing factor. The protesters at Nazereth House, Sligo. Photo: Twitter
Yesterday's protest march was organized by a group of parents and guardians, all of
whom are primary caregivers of children needing Early Intervention,
Assessments, School Age and CAMH’s services, many of which have been
waiting on these services for a number of years to no avail.
They are awaiting a follow up date to receive answers to questions posed at a meeting with the HSE where their concerns were put to the executive. Passing Sligo Cathedral
Tanya Fletcher said after the rally, "I've watched my nine-year-old son deteriorate before my eyes. My five-year-old daughter has had little intervention. I can't sit back anymore, each and every day is a heartache."
John Doyle, whose 21-year-old-son has Cerebral Palsy said, "Since my son turned 18 he has become non-existent in the HSE's eyes."
One of the Sligo organisers Yvonne Rainey added, "The message we want to put across is that we are not going to take this anymore, our children are suffering because their not getting the services that they need. We're not going anywhere, we're here to stay because enough is enough."