Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ni Riada has called on the Government to step in and ensure the survival of the Irish Deaf Society (IDS).
Ms Ní Riada was speaking after it was revealed the IDS was facing imminent closure if it did not receive adequate Government funding.
“This is absolutely typical of this Government’s nonsensical approach to finances and their complete disregard for vital services,” she said.
“The IDS is relying on a €300,000 grant to survive. This is a comparably tiny amount of money when it comes to the budget, especially when you consider that the Taoiseach set €5million aside for his personal spin department last year.
“Aside from the financial aspect, the work the IDS do is absolutely vital. The provide key services for members of our Deaf community, often the only place they can get such services.
“I have worked extensively with the Cork Deaf Club over the years and they have shown me just how essential these services are to their day to day lives.
“In addition, if the society collapse it will lead to the loss of 30 members of staff as well as the loss of the Deaf Adult Literacy Services (DALS) and the Irish Sign Language Academy (ISLA).
“The Government’s attitude to these vital services is appalling, though sadly not surprising.
“Last year we warned that official recognition of Irish Sign Language must be the start of a process and not the end. Recognition would mean nothing if it wasn’t followed up with action.
“The threat facing the IDS makes it clear that once the government got their photo opportunity out of the issue they considered the matter closed.
“I will be raising this matter in the EU and my colleagues in the Dáil will also be giving their full support to the IDS. The Government must step in provide this funding as a matter of urgency.”