Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North, Frank O’Rourke, has criticised a 17% decrease in the number of respite nights available in the Kildare – West Wicklow area.

Deputy O’Rourke was commenting as new figures provided to Fianna Fáil show that in Kildare – West Wicklow there were 7,064 respite overnights in 2015 but just 5,808 in 2018 – a drop of over 1,200.

He said, “Nationally there has been a drop of some 26,523 respite overnights for people with disabilities between 2015 and 2018 – representing a 14.3% decrease. This comes as the numbers requesting overnight respite continues to rise.

“Every week I hear from people in Kildare who are fighting for respite overnights for their loved ones. Many are carers and they are desperate for some overnight support. Their own health is deteriorating as they try to care for their loved one.

“As it stands the figures for 2019 don’t look as though they will be any better. From the beginning of the year to the end of June there were just 2,376 respite overnights in Kildare – West Wicklow. At best any increase will be modest and will still be significantly behind what was delivered four years ago.

“The Government need to realise that carers save the state huge amounts of money each year so overnight respites are a small ask considering”, he concluded.