Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow/Kilkenny, Bobby Aylward, has criticised a 61% decrease in the number of respite nights available in Carlow and Kilkenny.
Deputy Aylward was commenting as new figures provided to Fianna Fáil show that in Carlow and Kilkenny there were 4,521 respite overnights in 2015 but just 1,721 in 2018 – a drop of 2,800 or 61.9%.
He said: "Nationally there has been a drop of some 26,523 respite overnights for people with disabilities between 2015 and 2018. How this can be the case when the demand continues to grow?
"Every week I hear from people across the constituency who are fighting for respite overnights for their loved ones."
He added: "It would suit the Government well to realise that carers save this country millions of euro each year. It’s a small ask for more overnight respite to be put in place.
"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 812 respite overnights in Carlow-Kilkenny.
"If the current rate continues there will be even less this year than in 2018."