Tipperary Autism Campaigner Meets With Taoiseach Following Protests

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Cara Darmody meets with Taoiseach Simon Harris - Image Credit - Mark Darmody

Cara and Mark Darmody from Ardfinnan are reporting a positive meeting yesterday with the Taoiseach Simon Harris, the Minister for Special Education Hildegarde Naughton and the Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Autism Micheál Carrigy.

The Taoiseach says the recent announcement by the Government of €7M in funding for Assessments of Needs was entirely due to Cara’s advocacy, campaigns and the specific Dáil motion brought in Cara’s name a year ago.

Cara, aged 13, outlined a number of requests in yesterday’s meeting highlighting that the HSE is currently breaking the law in failing to assess an autistic child within 6 months – it currently takes between 3 – 7 years in most cases which Cara describes as “a national disgrace.”

Ms Darmody sought a timeline as to when the HSE will meet the 6-month limit for all children and suggested a period of 12 months for this target to be achieved.

A further meeting is to be arranged in a few weeks’ time. Ms Darmody is to protest outside Leinster House and the Taoiseach’s office until the Dáil summer recess begins on July 11th to highlight her campaign for improvements in service provision.