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Clare Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne, (SF), who has made a €12,116 to a local charity. Photograph by John Kelly

Wynne defends partner’s cannabis oil use for epilepsy

NEW Clare TD Violet Anne Wynne has come under scrutiny since her election and a video has been circulating on social media in which her partner spoke about using THC oil from cannabis to deal with epilepsy, something that is illegal.

Asked for her position on the issue, Deputy Wynne said, “We [Sinn Féin] have said that in cases where every alternative has been ventured and tried, we would be open to medicinal cannabis in those circumstances.”

Deputy Wynne said that conventional medication had not worked for her partner but the use of THC made a difference. “My partner has been with neurologists for the last several years trying to figure out medication suitable for him, for his make up. We all have our individual differences and while medicine might work for the majority of the population, there are instances where it causes problems.

“He doesn’t have any medical experience, just his own personal experience of his condition. For him it stopped his fits for two years. Prior to this every medicine he was given caused some health problems. One, for instance, was allowing fluid to build up on his organs so he had to go on to diuretics to release the fluid, you can’t have fluid on your organs, it inhibits them from being able to function properly, so that was a huge difficulty. Others seemed to be affecting his thought processes and his mental health, so that was a different kettle of fish altogether.”

She said that the use of conventional medication was actually making things worse rather than better. “It was difficult because his original diagnosis was hemiplegic migraine but then with all the medicine they were trying he ended up having seizures and epileptic fits so the neurologist changed the diagnosis from that to epilepsy and that’s where it became even more difficult to medicate. A lot of the medications were bringing on more epileptic fits.”

Deputy Wynne is organising a series of public meetings around the county in the coming weeks.

Sinn Féin has held large-scale meetings in Dublin, Cork and Newry recently and Deputy Wynne is planning smaller local ones, beginning in Clonlara next Monday, with further meetings planned in Shannon, Ennis and Kilrush.

“I just want to give people a better opportunity to come together and relay the issues that they’re experiencing in their areas, to be able to take note of them and start looking into them. I just find that face to face interaction is much better than phone calls and emails,” she said.

“When someone comes to you with their local issue sometimes it starts to show gaps in legislation and things like that, but it’s harder to hone in on a problem when you’re dealing with one individual case.That’s why I decided it’d be great to meet a larger amount of people and hear more in depth information. Also this will give people the opportunity to get to know me, I only had the three week campaign and before that I would have been a local election candidate,” the Kilrush resident added.

She said that she is still getting used to life as a TD. “It’s been a whirlwind; that’s the main word I’ve been using. The delay in forming a government is hindering things. It’s been hard for them to arrange office space but I’m told tomorrow I’ll have a temporary office. “It’s been difficult in that you can’t get your base organised, which can develop into organisational issues but I’m used to situations like this with the kids and everything else,” she concluded.

Owen Ryan

About Owen Ryan

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Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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