THE DAUGHTERS of Charity in Lisnagry have confirmed they will continue transport services for the month of January while they try to “solve the issue for families that are in particular difficulties and have no transport whatsoever”.
The Daughters were forced to cut their buses from January 1, which brings around 100 clients to Lisnagry’s services, as part of cost saving measures due to a HSE funding cut of almost €4m in three years.
Mary Byrnes, Patrickswell told the Leader two weeks ago that she can’t drive so she won’t be able to take her daughter, Emma, in to day care anymore. Like many clients Emma was collected from home in the morning and dropped back in the afternoon.
Emma is one of nine individuals in the 18 to 25 category who attend the St Louise de Marillac Centre, Dooradoyle.
The centre was funded by the JP McManus Pro-Am but now a spokesperson for the group, Miriam Meaney, says there will be absenteeism.
“The parents are concerned that come February because of the prohibitive costs of the alternative service being organised, or their own circumstances they won’t be able to access the service. It’s a custom built building and the staff are the salt of the earth,” said Ms Meaney.
It could cost anything up to €100 if the families were to pay for transport for their loved ones.
“People are very, very worried, they don’t know what they are going to do. A lot of these people are already time poor and you’re talking about taking at least 1.5 to 2 hours out of their day. This is the only time they get free. Most of the mothers have had to give up work to look after their children,” said Ms Meaney, who adds that everyone is very relieved at the extra month’s breathing space. The price will remain at €30 per week which was introduced in November.
“Please God if we keep the pressure up something will happen,” said Ms Meaney, who isn’t blaming the Daughters as their budget has been slashed by €4m. A spokesperson for the Daughters say: “The current situation is unsustainable and if we do not implement a plan of recovery immediately, the very existence of the service will be in jeopardy.”