Disability Minister apologies to Kerry mother for comments on institutions

Photo: justice.ie

The Disability Minister has issued an apology to a Cahersiveen mother who had condemned his statement that some relatives had ‘dumped’ family members with special needs in institutions.

Finian McGrath sent his apology to Ina O’Dwyer, whose son Bernard has lived in St Mary of the Angels since 1981, on Facebook.

Ina O’Dwyer said the Minister’s comments felt like a personal attack and called for increased disability funding.

She said the policy of not admitting new residents to St Mary of the Angels needs to be changed.

Minister McGrath, whose daughter has an intellectual disability said his comments were directed solely to people that never visit or keep contact with our disabled community.

He said he has met many people in institutions that want to get out and his plan is to move 223 people into the community with their agreement and consent and families and carers will have a big say in this decision.

Minister McGrath said the O’Dwyer family were never the target of his comment and apologised for any distress caused.

The Minister said it his intention to reform and invest in services.