News

2017 March
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‘Julia does things differently’: Sesame Street’s muppet with autism

Posted on 21, Mar 2017

Through new character, children will learn not to be frightened by certain behaviour Children’s TV favourite Sesame Street has added a new character to its ensemble, an orange-haired muppet named Julia, who has autism. In her first episode, Julia is introduced to the large, inquisitive wild fowl Big Bird. She ignores him, causing h ...more>>

SNA services are ‘over-stretched and under-resourced’

Posted on 21, Mar 2017

“Keep your child up as late as possible and fill him full of sugar,” was the unorthodox advice that Joanne Duffy received when struggling to secure a special needs assistant (SNA) for her son Ronan, who has Down Syndrome. The services are so stretched that only extremely challenging cases were likely to get the resources vital to ...more>>

Watchdog criticises unacceptable delays for scoliosis surgery

Posted on 20, Mar 2017

Four-month maximum waiting time complies with best practice, says ombudsman No child with scoliosis should have to wait for surgery more than four months, according to a report by the Ombudsman for Children that criticises “unacceptable” delays by Government in providing treatment. Delays and a failure by Government to adequa ...more>>

20% of mental health professionals are not trained to deal with violent patients

Posted on 20, Mar 2017

One in five mental health professionals are not trained to deal with violent and aggressive patients, it has emerged. A new European study led by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland also found there was a lack of clarity on violence management in psychiatric hospitals. It reveals that just 30% of mental health professionals received ...more>>

CF charity renews call for deal on life-saving drug

Posted on 20, Mar 2017

Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI) has reiterated its call to Government to swiftly conclude discussions with the manufacturer of a life-changing drug so that more than 500 patients can potentially benefit from the treatment. The plea came at the launch of CF National Awareness Week and nine months into the wait for a decision on whether the Stat ...more>>

UNICEF release eye-opening video to mark anniversary of war in Syria

Posted on 16, Mar 2017

Last year was the worst yet for Syria's rising generation, with at least 652 children killed in 2016, the United Nations' child relief agency has said. To mark the 6th anniversary of the war in Syria, UNICEF have released 'Song for Syria', which is performed by a 10-year-old girl who was born blind. The video was filmed i ...more>>

Coveney vows to end hotel use for homeless by July

Posted on 16, Mar 2017

Housing Minister Simon Coveney insisted Ireland will achieve its July target of ending reliance on hotels and B&Bs for long-term accommodation for homeless families. His vow came as dozens of families fear having to leave their hotel accommodation because of bookings pressure from St Patrick's Day tourists. One Dublin family of f ...more>>

Fewer than 33% of working-age people with disabilities employed

Posted on 16, Mar 2017

ESRI report says adults with disabilities are older and more likely to live alone Fewer than a third of working-age people with disabilities are employed and without Government intervention this is unlikely to change, a report published on Thursday warns. The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) report says adults with disabilit ...more>>

Daffodil Care Services Jobs Announcement

Posted on 14, Mar 2017

2017 will see Daffodil Care Services significantly expanding services with new residential centres being established. Daffodil Care Services currently provides a range of residential and community based services through a network of registered children’s residential centres, semi-independent residential care and community based outreach su ...more>>

Dear David Coleman: How can I help my shy 3-year-old's confidence?

Posted on 14, Mar 2017

Clinical psychologist David Coleman offers parenting advice in his weekly column. Q: I'm looking for some advice to help with my shy 3-year-old boy. He gets on great in Montessori, playing and chatting happily. But he holds back at birthday parties, visiting friends, using bouncy castles and going to the playground. He has no problem cli ...more>>

Gardaí probe claims €50,000 'taken from patients' accounts'

Posted on 13, Mar 2017

The HSE says it has contacted gardaí after allegations €50,000 has vanished from the bank accounts of vulnerable patients. The HSE confirmed to the Irish Independent that it had discovered "what may be irregularities in service user accounts in one of the community group homes". It was reported over the weekend that ...more>>

Noonan 'not to blame' in Grace scandal

Posted on 13, Mar 2017

The whistleblower at the centre of the Grace foster care abuse case has said she does not believe there is "any evidence" to suggest failures on behalf of Michael Noonan. The whistleblower said she had seen much of the documentation held by the Department of Health in relation to the case during the 1990s, when Mr Noonan was health ...more>>

Measure up and pay the victims of abuse, Taoiseach tells Catholic Church leaders

Posted on 13, Mar 2017

Religious congregations need to "measure up" and take responsibility for the restitution owed to victims of abuse, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said. Speaking in Philadelphia, Mr Kenny said the Catholic Church had not lived up to expectations in terms of compensation. He said the Church must "measure up in so far as accepting ...more>>

'Their lives were robbed' - Sister of 'Sarah' who lived in the Grace Foster Home speaks about 'horrific sex abuse'

Posted on 10, Mar 2017

The sister of a child who spent time in the 'Grace' Foster Home has claimed her sister 'Sarah', also suffered horrific sexual abuse at the home. In an interview with David McCullagh on RTÉ's Prime Time, the woman spoke out about her family's experience at the foster home. Sarah had intellectual disabilities ...more>>

Complaints to HSE over treatment of vulnerable adults surge

Posted on 10, Mar 2017

Independent whistleblowing service received 220 contacts, an 85 per cent increase on 2015 Complaints to the independent whistleblowing service for the HSE’s treatment of vulnerable adults almost doubled last year. However, the number of complaints alleging abuse to independent confidential recipient Leigh Gath dropped, her second a ...more>>

Repayments of illegal nursing home charge to cost €486m

Posted on 10, Mar 2017

About half 70,000 thought eligible applied for refund of fee paid between 1976 and 2004 The final cost of the repayment scheme for people illegally charged for nursing home care dating back to the 1970s will be about €486 million, the Dáil public accounts committee has been told. This is half the cost forecast when the Health ...more>>

Irish aid agency warns of ever increasing humanitarian crisis in Syria

Posted on 09, Mar 2017

Violence has seeped into every aspect of life for people in Syria after six years of civil war, an Ireland based aid agency has warned. Concern Worldwide hit out at the international community and wealthier countries after it found a £147m (170m euro) shortfall in the funding needed for protection for ordinary citizens in their homes, ...more>>

Sonas: protecting women and children from domestic violence

Posted on 09, Mar 2017

Sonas helped 1,200 women and children in danger of domestic abuse last year Sonas is the State’s largest provider of accommodation for women and children in fear of domestic violence. It provides clients with a range of accommodation options – generally according to the level of threat they face – and a range of support ...more>>

'Grace' inquiry to be extended amid claims of a cover-up by HSE

Posted on 09, Mar 2017

The inquiry into the abuse of 'Grace' is to be extended to include 46 other potential victims amid claims of a "major HSE cover-up". Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath withdrew a motion on the Commission of Investigation yesterday, after Fianna Fáil joined other Opposition parties in arguing that they fell short of ...more>>

Woman recalls pain of losing child at Bessborough home

Posted on 08, Mar 2017

‘Liveline’ caller says babies taken from girls and sold to highest bidder at Cork facility A woman who was sent to a mother and baby home in Bessborough, Cork, has described how she and other residents were “sitting ducks for the people who wanted our babies”. Her child died there in 1960 after a short illness. Th ...more>>

Katherine Zappone seeks AG advice on abortion Bill

Posted on 08, Mar 2017

Minister told legislation could assist abusive partners more than pregnant women Minister for Children Katherine Zappone was told by four of her women Cabinet colleagues that an abortion Bill she sought more time to examine would help abusive partners rather than pregnant women. The Cabinet has once again disagreed on an Opposition abort ...more>>

Alcohol Bill may return to Seanad before summer

Posted on 08, Mar 2017

HSE AskAboutAlcohol.ie website aims to raise understanding about harmful drinking A controversial alcohol Bill which will introduce minimum unit pricing and curtains over drinks displays in shops could return to the Seanad for debate before the end of the current Oireachtas term, a Government Minister has said. The Public Health Alcohol ...more>>

Harris orders review of hospital double charging

Posted on 07, Mar 2017

Minister for Health Simon Harris has promised to review the double charging of people with health insurance when they use public hospitals.   Patients with health insurance have reacted with fury to new details about how they are being pressurised into signing forms that mean their insurer is charged for treatments in public hospita ...more>>

Breathe easy, men: those tighty-whiteys and your phone don't cause cancer

Posted on 07, Mar 2017

Men who fear that wearing tight underwear increases their cancer risk have been reassured it is a myth. Other rumours, such as claims that carrying a mobile phone in the pocket or extended use of a computer laptop are risk factors for the disease, have also been debunked. The reassurance has come from researchers at University College Co ...more>>

Irish teens embrace clean living, but worries over rise in self-harm

Posted on 07, Mar 2017

Most children and teens in Ireland say they are happy with their lives and fewer are experimenting with alcohol, cigarettes and cannabis. But there are also signs of rising stress levels, with many youngsters buckling under the strain, leaving them at risk of depression and anxiety. The mixed snapshot has emerged in the latest 'State ...more>>

The anti-social media - how being online makes us feel more lonely

Posted on 06, Mar 2017

Social media sites designed to help people connect are actually causing them to feel more alone, say psychologists. The more time young adults spend on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest, the more likely they are to feel cut off from the rest of society, a study has found. More than two hours of social media use a day doubl ...more>>

'This is a living hell and I don't trust the HSE or accept the apology' - Grace's mother speaks for first time

Posted on 06, Mar 2017

The birth mother of Grace, the young woman left in a foster home for years after allegations of abuse were made, has said recent years have been a "living hell" since she learned her daughter was not living with a loving foster family - as she had been led to believe.   The woman was speaking to RTÉ Investigates in ...more>>

Criminal investigation into mother and baby home 'graves' is likely

Posted on 06, Mar 2017

Calls for Garda role after discovery of bodies dumped in septic tanks Gardaí are liaising with the coroner investigating the Tuam Mother and Baby Home deaths as a full criminal investigation looks increasingly likely. Last week, a large number of human remains in a septic tank was confirmed at the site, which was run by the Bon Se ...more>>

93% of children in State care had foster placements last year

Posted on 03, Mar 2017

93% of the 6,329 minors in care of the State were living in foster families last year, according to a study by an organisation representing social workers employed in the area.   This is one of the highest incidences of foster placements in the world and a reason to be proud, a sub-group of the Irish Association of Social Workers (I ...more>>

Grace inquiry needs to 'look at what happened and how'

Posted on 03, Mar 2017

A retired Supreme Court judge, who led a major investigation into the Kilkenny Incest case in the 1990s, has said child protection services have been continually under resourced.   Speaking ahead of the publication next week of the terms of reference for an Commission of Investigation into a foster home in the southeast at the centr ...more>>

Garda helpline offers ‘trained listeners’ for sex abuse victims

Posted on 03, Mar 2017

Lots of offenders unpunished due to abusers reluctance to go to police, says One in Four Fewer than 10 per cent of sexual violence victims who contacted the One in Four organisation for help made a criminal complaint to the Garda but a new helpline service may increase the number, it said. One in Four, which supports men and women who ha ...more>>

Hundreds of Irish Travellers left outside Leinster House as Taoiseach formally recognises ethnic status

Posted on 02, Mar 2017

Hundreds of Travellers have been left out of Leinster House for the historic recognition of their ethnic identity by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.   Just before Enda Kenny took to the Dáil chamber this evening to deliver his speech recognising the ethinic status of Irish Travellers, a number of TDs asked for a break to allow more Tra ...more>>

Ten people per week are diagnosed with HIV

Posted on 02, Mar 2017

HIV Ireland is marking its 30th anniversary by undertaking a national survey on stigma and HIV at a time when new diagnoses of the disease have reached a record level.   The survey, launched online yesterday, will reveal how living with HIV affects the day-to-day lives of sufferers.   It will be followed by another on t ...more>>

Abuse survivor Marie Collins quits Pope’s sex-abuse commission

Posted on 02, Mar 2017

Clerical abuse survivor and campaigner, Marie Collins, said she resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors because a group of people in the Vatican had been obstructing its work, including not following recommendations from the Pope.   Ms Collins had been a member of the 15-person commission for the past th ...more>>

Care staff in ‘Grace’ case to face disciplinary proceedings

Posted on 01, Mar 2017

Taoiseach: Treatment of woman in foster home ‘a disgrace’ Disciplinary proceedings are to begin immediately into staff implicated in care failings identified in two reports on abuse allegations at a southeast foster home, the Health Service Executive has promised. The HSE says the publication of the reports into the alleged a ...more>>

Gardaí investigate allegation of toddler being offered for sale in Limerick

Posted on 01, Mar 2017

Gardaí are investigating claims a child has been offered for sale in Limerick.   A spokesman for the Garda Press Office confirmed gardai have begun an investigation into the claims. "Gardaí at Roxboro Road are presently conducting enquiries into the circumstances of the reporting of the incident and possible c ...more>>

15 ways to support a loved one with an eating disorder

Posted on 01, Mar 2017

Up to a staggering 200,000 people in Ireland are affected by eating disorders. To mark Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Áilín Quinlan talks to Harriet Parsons, psychotherapist with BodyWhys, and with clinical psychologist Dr Malie Coyne, a lecturer at NUI Galway to address some of the common myths surrounding the issue. Educate ...more>>