“Some of our most vulnerable citizens and families are left to suffer”

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In December, Sinn Féin Councillor Mairéad Farrell hit out at the Government for ‘staggering’ failings in health and housing.

The Galway City East Councilor illustrated her frustration with the health service staff shortage in Galway while demanding an alternative to those ‘struggling with market rent’.

This week, Cllr. Farrell again slammed the Government – this time for its failure to bring in a bin waiver a year on from the Government’s announcement to introduce an annual support of €75 for persons with long-term medical incontinence.

In June 2017, Denis Naughten – the then Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment – announced the introduction of this support.

At the time, the support was promised to ‘help people meet the average annual cost of disposal of incontinence products’.

It was stated that the details and arrangements regarding this support would be made known and finalized by the end of 2017.

Cllr. Farrell complained that although the support was announced by the Government a year ago, it has still not been introduced and implemented.

She went on to explain how this has resulted in a regrettable situation where large cohorts of householders have experienced increases in their waste collection charges without any financial support to meet these increased costs because of their medical condition.

The delay in the introduction of the support was clearly caused as a result of certain difficulties which the Government stayed silent on, she argued and added that this silence has come at the expense of those who are suffering financially without the waiver.

Although the Councilor acknowledged Minister Richard Bruton blamed complications around data protection for contributing to the delay of the waiver payment, she still maintained her skepticism remarking that ‘these complications could not have been ongoing since June last year when this payment was announced’.

The Galway City Councilor alluded to the possibility that the Government made the announcement before ensuring that such a waiver was possible to introduce in the first place.

As a result, “some of our most vulnerable citizens and families are left to suffer,” she added.