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Tag Archives: disability

Department: ‘access to suitable accommdation’ for asylum seekers ‘severely constrained’

COUNTY Councillors at this week’s meeting of Shannon Municipal District slammed plans to house refugees in an industrial building at the Shannon Free Zone and also criticised the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) for the secrecy it has maintained around the plans. The meeting also heard warnings that a lack of information can give an opportunity for misinformation to flourish, and give the far right an opening to exploit. Following the criticism at Tuesday’s Shannon Municipal District meeting DCEDIY told the Clare Champion it has no option but to take advantage of any type of accommodation available, while it said there would be communication with local representatives before the facility does open. At Tuesday’s meeting Sinn Féin’s Donna McGettigan said the Department’s decision not to make information available was leading to “all sorts of innuendo”. She also said councillors have been called liars when they have said they don’t know what the plans for accommodation in …

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Clare wheelchair user has to pay to get in and out of bed

AN ENNISTYMON wheelchair user, with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), has been forced to pay almost 60% of her weekly disability allowance on private care so she can go to bed at night. Trish McNamara (52) requires assistance to get into bed, but was recently informed by the HSE that it doesn’t have anyone available to put her to bed for six out of seven nights in the near future. This leaves the disability activist with two choices: sleep in her wheelchair, running the risk of sores on her skin, leading to ill health and hospitalisation or pay €102 out of her weekly €175 disability allowance for a private person to assist her, which she is currently forced to do. While the HSE pledged to advertise to fill the required hours, the authority noted there is a huge lack of personal assistants and carers in the North Clare area. “I have been asked do I have to continue working at the Cliffs …

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Contracts worth €6.36m for Clare hotels to house Ukrainians

SEVEN County Clare accommodation providers signed Government contracts with a cumulative estimated value of €6.36m to accommodate Ukrainian refugees in the second quarter of this year That is according to recently released contract details by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. Clare has become home to one of the highest populations of Ukrainians per capita in the country and the figures provided by the Dept of Integration show that one Lisdoonvarna-based firm, The Hydro Hotel Ltd which operates the Hydro Hotel entered a contract worth €1.53m with the Dept. Another hotel firm, Windward Management Ltd operating the Park Inn hotel entered a contract worth €955,000 while a third firm, Atlantic Hotel Management Ltd operating Lahinch Lodge entered a contract worth €329,400 to house Ukrainian refugees. The figures also show that Kilkee Town Ltd operating the Kilkee Bay Hotel entered a contract worth €1.52m while the Cliffs of Moher Hotel Ltd which operates the Cliffs of Moher hotel …

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Actions on bullying in schools to be updated for digital age

ACTION on bullying in schools is to be reviewed and updated to take account of cyberbullying, Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD has been told. In response to a parliamentary question from Deputy Cathal Crowe, the Minister for Children outlined a number of responses being undertaken to make the online sphere safer, including a review of school policies that date back to 2013. Responding to Deputy Crowe’s question, Minister Roderic O’Gorman said the Department of Education is soon to update its interventions in relation to bullying. He noted that Minister Norma Foley’s Department has already published a strategy document for schools.  “My colleague the Minister for Education has also brought forward significant policy initiatives in this area this year including the publication of the new Digital Strategy for Schools in April, which focusses on further embedding the use of digital technologies in all teaching, learning and assessment activities and includes building awareness and knowledge around online safety,” Minister O’Gorman said. “The Department …

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Clare wheelchair user’s plea for help to stay off streets

A 40-year-old Lisdoonvarna wheelchair user has made a desperate last ditch appeal for emergency accommodation to avoid being forced to live on the streets this weekend, writes Dan Danaher. In and out of hospital over the last nine weeks, Brendan Clohessy booked into an Ennis hotel recently but is now running out of money to pay for this temporary accommodation. An intensely private person, Mr Clohessy stressed he has reluctantly taken the decision to highlight his plight publicly as a last resort, having exhausted all other available avenues. “On Saturday when my money runs out, I have a choice between returning to hospital or staying on the streets where I wouldn’t cope in a wheelchair.” In November 2018, Mr Clohessy had to move out of his accommodation and has effectively been without any permanent dwelling house since then. The qualified computer technician, who spent the first seven years of his youth in Cooraclare and most of the remainder of his …

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‘End the culture of institutionalisation’

THE “catastrophic and emotional impacts” on young disabled people who have been forced to live in nursing homes has been highlighted by Clare campaigners ahead of plans for an online event this December. Clare Leader Forum are hosting ‘Empower’, a concert with a host of special guests, aimed at raising awareness of the need for a “better future for younger people deprived of their liberty in nursing homes.” The free event, which goes live on December 3 at 7pm, will also celebrate International Day of Disabled People. Those taking part will include Anne Rynne, Shannon Sisters, Fionnathan, Ann Marie Flanagan, Paddy Mulcahy, Marie Griffin, the Donnellan Dancers and many more. Ms Flanagan of the Clare Leader Forum explains, “We will be showcasing a number of very talented artists, some disabled themselves and also some local allies. This concert will be a real show of solidarity with young people forced to stay in nursing homes. “Through no fault of their own …

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Pádraic adjusts to lockdown life

THE lockdown has brought challenges for everyone but there is no doubt that it is much more difficult for some people than for others. A wheelchair user who lives alone in Shannon, Pádraic Hayes is in a vulnerable category, with underlying conditions including cerebral palsy, arthritis and diabetes. When one hears about the difficulties that teenagers have in not going out or grandparents in not holding small children, Pádraic’s situation puts things into a greater context. “It’s ok, I’ve been confined to the house. I normally attend the Dulick centre in Ennis and I miss that. I’m also heavily involved with the Irish Wheelchair Association and I’m getting a lot of support from the two of them.” He says that he gets dinners delivered from the Dulick centre and they call him also, while the Irish Wheelchair Associations deliver packs with things like word-searches, quizzes and puzzles to keep his spirits up.These days he rarely leaves the house, with his …

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Rocco a ‘godsend’ for Stephen

A North Clare special needs child is the first in the county to receive an assistance dog from a new national charity. Karen Murtagh, who lives in Ennistymon, has described the arrival of Rocco, a nine-month-old black Labradoodle as a “godsend” for her son, Stephen (10), who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Stephen is one of the lucky children who are benefiting from 48 service dogs provided by My Canine Companion, which trains dogs to assist children and young adults living with ASD. It is the only charity that will give an assistance dog to a child over 10 years of age, as other organisations like to pair an animal with a younger child. Each dog costs the charity over €10,000 to train and Karen will have to raise half of this figure over the coming years. Businesses in Lahinch, where she was born on Main Street, are already rallying around this worthy cause. The 19th Bar in Lahinch has …

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