Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada visited Wexford on Wednesday and said “a lot more must be done be to support organisations that provide vital services to people.”
Ní Riada, who visited both the Irish Wheelchair Association in Ballycanew and St Aidan’s Day Care Centre in Gorey, said voluntary organisations and charities “fill the gaps left by the state in service provision and deserve to properly funded and resourced.”
The Ireland South MEP continued;
“Today, I heard from coordinators at the Irish Wheelchair Association who are extremely concerned about the chronic lack of accessible transport for wheelchair users. The majority of transport in rural areas is not adapted. It clear that transport must be modernised to increase accessibility. As the association is so heavily dependent on fundraising, there is very little money to maintain buses and it can often take up to two hours to transport service users to the centre.
Speaking following a meeting with St Aidan’s Day Centre, Ms Ní Riada said;
“Staff who do incredible work are still on 2010 pay scales and the centre is having huge difficulties recruiting staff. This completely undermines the vital services which the centres provides.”
Ms Ní Riada said that she will be contacting Minister Finian McGrath to raise her concerns regarding the supports needed to ensure that both organisations can maintain and improve the services they provide.