Even with endless stories of people and charities struggling to cope because of lack of money and reduced funding, a comment made to me by a charity leader at a recent event hit home.
It was the chairman of a group called Coolmine Therapeutic Community, one of the country’s longest running organisations working with drug addicts in Ireland. Basically it needs 100,000 euro to keep open a special mothers’ rehabilitation unit – the only one in the country. It has already told 20 mums on a waiting list it would not be taking any more people in, unless money is found somewhere, urgently.
In recent weeks they were told by our Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald – who is respected by many charities – that they should try and apply for funding from the National Lottery to keep the unit open.
A clearly exasperated, but polite, Brian Ward, chairman of Coolmine, told me it was “incongruous” that the Government couldn’t find 100,000 for them, but could find 750,000 euro to pay for expenses for national politicians during the month of August, before the parliament even opened (in September).
It’s yet another example of money not being available, yet is available. All depends on who you are.
For my report in the Irish Examiner see http://www.irishexaminer.com/archives/2012/1003/ireland/staff-at-detox-unit-told-to-apply-for-lottery-funds-209630.html
To learn more about Coolmine see http://www.coolmine.ie/