Teachta Tully said:
“The state spent €700,000 defending court cases taken in the last two years by parents of children whose assessment of need did not comply with the timeframe within the Disability Act.
“How can the Government defend spending that amount of taxpayers’ money on court cases when it is supposed to ensure that assessments of need for children who have or are suspected to have a disability or learning need be carried out in a timely fashion?
“It is defending the indefensible, it has to stop and the €700,000 or whatever sum might be available to defend court cases should be spent on the children who need the assessment.
“In response to a parliamentary question I submitted in July 2020 there were 90 children overdue an assessment of need in Cavan-Monaghan, with 42 of these children waiting over three months.
“Surely this money would be better spent ensuring these children get their assessment in a timely fashion.
“It has also been pointed out to me time and again that when an assessment of need is finally completed, if a therapist is not available to follow up with the treatment identified in the assessment, it is very difficult.
“Parents tell me that children spend years waiting for assessment. Then, when the assessment is done and the needs identified, they spend more years waiting for treatment. “Something needs to be done in relation to that sector, the Government need to take action in relation to this.”