Cllr Mick Roche has condemned the scrapping of funding for an advocacy service provided to thousands of deaf people. The Sinn Féin Councillor said that with a tick of a pen the government had callously closed a critical service which was used by over 5,000 deaf people.
"The Irish Deaf Society's advocacy service existed to help deaf people access public services, education, healthcare and employment," Cllr Roche said, "For the last eleven years it has bridged a huge social exclusion gap allowing many deaf people and their families to live much more fulfilled lives. There is no justification for this cut and it looks like the people who wiped it out with a tick of a pen gave no thought what so ever to the long term consequences of their actions."
"The deaf community is very vibrant in County Wexford. There are about one hundred who organise regular fundraising and social events. They rightly feel that are often treated very poorly. It is very difficult for deaf people to engage with the state. A visit to the hospital, dialogue with the Gardaí or any dealings with other social services can be very difficult. This callous cut will make their lives even harder."
"The Irish Deaf Society, the Alzheimers Society of Ireland, the Carer's Association and Muintir na Tire all received €75,000 annually under a programme operated by the Department of the Environment before this cut. These are real charity groups, operating on the ground under constant financial pressure. It is insane to cut their funding while other bodies see fit to pay their CEO's exorbitant wages while claiming state funding."
"There was once a notorious Fine Gael/Labour government which was vilified for taxing children's shoes. Even today people talk about them with contempt. This current administration has just ruined the lives of thousands of deaf, Alzheimer's suffers, carers and their families. How will history judge this government? Sinn Féin is calling for this funding to be reinstated immediately."