2019 must be the year when iCare gets the State funding that they need
2019 must be the year when iCare gets the State funding that they need- Pádraig Mac Lochlainn
Inishowen Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has stated that this year must be the last year that the parents and supporters of iCare, the widely respected autism support organisation based in Buncrana and supporting over 100 Inishowen children and young people and their families, are denied the State funding they need to continue their work.
He was speaking during a Seanad debate that he secured with the Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath.
The HSE have confirmed that their national service plan has been signed off on and that that they are currently awaiting their budget allocation and at that point, they will confirm what funding, if any will be allocated to iCare.
Senator Mac Lochlainn said:
“For 18 years the parents and supporters of iCare have grown their services every year against all the odds. They have fundraised relentlessly with great support from the people of Inishowen but they are weary and tired of this endless pressure to fundraise such a large amount of money every year.
It must be remembered that most of these parents are carers themselves. They need substantial State support and they need it now”.
“Again and again, they have been denied the level of State support they require to keep the doors to their services open. Last year, iCare teamed up with the Bluestack Special Needs Foundation based in Donegal Town and the organisation, Extern to apply for funding under the Ability programme, a multi-million State wide disability programme, co-financed by the EU.
They were again denied funding but the controversy that followed the publication of a map of all the organisations funded across the State with only one applicant organisation out of 27 being north of the infamous Dublin to Galway line, led to the HSE having to allocate partial annual funding to both Donegal organisations.
2019 must now be the last year that iCare are without a Service Level Agreement and fixed annual funding. They have estimated that €100,000 will keep their doors open and that is what the HSE must allocate them now and into the future”.
Donegal Sinn Fein