DFI and NAI relieved at reinstatement of SSNO funding, but highlight need for more sustainable funding

May 26 2015

Communication tower

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) and the Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI) announced today that they were relieved that the Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO) funding had been reinstated to the 25 disability and caring charities that it was withdrawn from in June 2014, but highlighted the need for more sustainable funding for disability services.

John Dolan, CEO of DFI stated “We are relieved that the SSNO funding has been reinstated to the 25 disability and caring organisations. These organisations run essential services in the community, including family support work, primary and acute health services, advocacy services, national help-lines, early intervention services and information provision, vital services to enable people with disabilities and their families to live with security, flexibility and well-being in their own communities. This one year continuation of funding means that these organisations can continue to support thousands of people with disabilities across the country.”

He continued “The announcement on the Claire Byrne Show last night is just plugging a gap in the short term - the organisations affected will face another year of uncertainty as a permanent solution to the chronic underfunding of disability services and supports hasn’t been addressed, to date, by our Government. The forthcoming budget is their final opportunity to leave a positive legacy and give a much needed start to the still awaited recovery for disabled people and their families.”

Talking about the impact on the neurological sector, Mags Rogers, Development Manager with NAI said "Last June twelve neurological charities supporting the 700,000 Irish people with neurological conditions such as stroke, dementia and multiple sclerosis were facing closure or the loss of vital frontline services due to the decision by the Minister for the Environment not to renew existing funding to all the neurological charities which were in receipt of funding under the SSNO scheme to support national voluntary organisations. Today they have a temporary reprieve but we will be back here again next year unless a proper solution is found. This is very poor reassurance to the people who depend on these charities".