Donegal Oireachtas members to meet Minister next week on funding for autism charity

Additional support sought for iCare and Bluestack Special Needs Foundation

iCARE, Buncrana

Funding is being sought for iCARE and Bluestack Special Needs Foundation.

Donegal Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has welcomed confirmation that the Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath will meet the Donegal Oireachtas members next week in Leinster House to hear their calls for additional financial support for iCare based in Buncrana, supporting families in North Donegal and Bluestack Special Needs Foundation based in Donegal Town, supporting families in South Donegal.

Senator Mac Lochlainn has also confirmed that the core funding of €36,000 for both organisations will be in place again next year.

He said: "This is a welcome opportunity for the Donegal Oireachtas members to collectivley make the case for additional funding for iCare and the Bluestack Special Needs Foundation directly to Minister Finian McGrath and senior officials in his department and the HSE.

"iCare and the Bluestack Special Needs Foundation have both been in existence for almost 20 years.

"Hundreds of children and young persons with disabilities and their families have hugely benefitted from their fantastic services over those years. But until recent times, they had not received State funding and the parents and committee members were exhausted with fund raising all year, every year.

"This is deeply unfair as many of these parents and committee members are carers themselves.

"I have confirmed with the HSE that the €36,000 of core funding for both organisations that has been secured over the last two years will be allocated again in 2020.

"This is good news but both organisations need much more financial support. The facts are that both Minister McGrath and the Minister for Health, Simon Harris are fully aware of the vital work carried out by iCare and the Bluestack Special Needs Foundation but they have not ensured funding from the national pot.

"Instead the HSE in Donegal have had to reallocate funding from elsewhere. 

"Next Wednesday will be an important meeting and I hope that they will finally deliver what is needed."

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