Rose Conway-Walsh

  • A Mayo Senator is calling on the Health Minister to intervene, as patients suffering chronic pain can no longer access the pain relief drug Versatis on their medical card.

    This affects about 25,000 people in total, including a large number of people in Co Mayo, according to Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh.

    She says patients who are in chronic pain caused by arthritis and other conditions have been informed that the HSE will no longer cover the cost of these pain relief patches, and while it’s a matter for the HSE, the Erris-based Senator believes the Health Minister Simon Harris should intervene on humanitarian grounds.

  • A Mayo Senator is calling for the immediate reinstatement of an allowance for young school leavers with a disability, which is being cut for new entrants from next month.

    The Rehabilitative Training Allowance provides €31.80 per week to young people taking up training programmes, but the Government announced last month that it will no longer be paid to new entrants.

    It's been described as "a cruel cut" by Erris Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, who has written to Minister of State Finian McGrath asking him to immediately restore the allowance.

    She said that  - despite growing pressure from organisations representing people with a disability - the cut has not yet been reversed.

  • A Mayo Senator says the situation facing teaching principals is getting worse and may result in posts being vacated, if nothing is done to alleviate the administrative burden on them.

    Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says many small schools in rural areas rely on principals teaching at the same time and in many cases they teach several different classes in the one setting.

    She said added to this, they have to function as principal of the school, with all the daily unexpected challenges that brings. Senator Conway-Walsh says they must then fulfil administrative duties, which involved regular contact with the Department of Education and a host of other statutory and voluntary bodies.

    She says principals are currently only given 15 administration days a year to do all this and have asked for one day per week.

  • A Mayo Senator has questioned a Minister on why it takes four years to build a flood defence wall, as in the case of Carrowholly, Rosmindle and Kilmeena.

    Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh raised the issue during a debate on flooding in the Seanad with Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran.

    The residents in these areas are waiting four years to have such a wall rebuilt to ensure their homes are protected from flooding.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says the situation is simply disgraceful. She says there must be a better balance between the views of the local community and the consultants that are brought in at great cost to draft reports on the issue.

    The Senator also raised the issue of insurance companies only wanting to offer cover tot those that will never claim. She asked Minister Moran to seek cabinet support for the Sinn Fein Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill, that would mean that insurers would no longer be able to use technical excuses to avoid paying out on claims.

  • The HSE decision to restrict access to the pain patch Versatismust be reviewed and the patches reinstated until such time as the concerns regarding its withdrawal are addressed.  That’s according to Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway Walsh.

    She is encouraging  all Oireachtas members to use their political influence to ensure that the decision to withdraw Versatis from the medical card scheme and the Drugs payment Scheme- impacting on up to 25,000 patients is reviewed.  

    The Senator hosted a briefing in Leinster House today where representatives of Arthritis Ireland, Chronic Pain Ireland and patients currently using the drug addressed the meeting.

    The Senator told Midwest News this evening that the Minister will address the seanad on the matter on Wednesday afternoon next.

  • The Education Minister needs to lift the restriction on the number of junior infants that can be taken into Educate Together schools next September.

    That’s according to Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh who says the restrictions could mean parents are faced with splitting up their families into different schools.

    The Department of Education has directed a number of Educate Together schools – including Castlebar – that their intake of junior infants for the next school year is limited at 13.

    Education Minister Richard Bruton came into the Seanad this week at the request of Senator Conway-Walsh to discuss the matter, and confirmed that his Department is currently carrying out a review, but he could not provide a timeline for the completion of the review.

    Senator Conway –Walsh says the restriction makes no sense given the demand for places in Educate Together schools.

  • A Mayo Sinn Fein Senator says it is puzzling that Fianna Fail has a new found interest in Jobpath and the impact of it on the CE, RSS and Tús schemes.

    Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says Sinn Fein brought forward a motion in the Seanad in November of last year which asked that all referrals to Jobpath should be stopped.

    At that time Fianna Fail firstly introduced an amendment to the motion that weakened it and then voted against it in the Seanad.

    The Erris based Senator says Sinn Fein has been critical of Jobpath for a long time now and worried about its impact on schemes such as CE, RSS and Tús.

    She says Fianna Fail Oireachtas members need to stop doing one thing in Leinster House and saying something different in their own constituencies.

    Senator Conway-Walsh was responding to Mayo Fianna Fail Deputy Dara Calleary who told Midwest News this morning that a Bill from his party showed their commitment to the schemes.

  • Patients who are diagnosed with cancer often need immediate treatment, but have to bear the cost themselves until their medical card application is approved.

    Mayo Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says the medical costs of such patients should be covered from the date they apply for a medical card.

    The Sinn Fein Senator raised the matter recently with Minister of State at the Department of Health Jim Daly, who said the HSE aims to process 95% of medical cards applications within 3 weeks.

    However, Senator Conway-Walsh says it can often take longer, due to amount of paperwork required for a medical card.

    In the meantime, she says significant costs can accrue for the patient, and the medical card should be granted retrospectively to cover such costs.

  • A Mayo Sinn Féin Senator has called for the rights of children with suspected disabilities to be respected and for the Government to fulfil its obligations under the 2005 Disability Act.

    Rose Conway-Walsh has called on the Government to end the scandal of parents of children who are waiting months for assessment of need to be carried out.

    She says each child is entitled under law to an assessment within six months and when this does not happen, their rights are being denied.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says many parents have become exasperated with the long waits and uncertainty and have to make huge sacrifices to fund these assessments privately.

  • The government's facing further criticism for the delay to the National Broadband Plan.

    Yesterday the Communications Minister Richard Bruton confirmed a decision won't be taken this week as had been expected.

    The final and sole tender for the project - to provide broadband to more than 500,000 homes - is being examined.

    Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says the National Broadband Plan was a promise in the 2011 Fine Gael manifesto and says it’s now time to show they are serious about delivering it.

  • A huge crowd attended last night’s public meeting in the Talbot Hotel surrounding the future of the Belmullet District Hospital and Aras Deirbhle Nursing Home.

    Local Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh who organised the meeting, says it was evident last night how much the hospital means to the people of Erris.

    Senator Conway Walsh says while there was a lot of anger in the room, it was an extremely constructive meeting.

    She believes there is mistrust between the HSE and the local community.

  • Over 3,000 people in Mayo - including 878 children - are currently awaiting Ear, Nose and Throat appointments.

    That's according to Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway Walsh who submitted a parliamentary questions on the matter, after speaking with a parent who was told her child would have to wait two and a half years for an appointment.

    The visiting ENT consultant holds a clinic one day per week at Mayo University Hospital, which Senator Conway-Walsh says is clearly not adequate to meet the needs of the county.

    She says delays in treatment can lead to permanent and irreversible damage.