Michael McCarthy

LABOUR TD for Cork South-West Michael McCarthy has called for the introduction of autism-specific legislation.

Deputy McCarthy said that the advances that have been made in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland on the issue, where autism-specific laws and national strategies have been put in place in recent years underlined the need for specific legislation in Ireland.

“It is a sad reflection of our State that we do not have similar legislative footing around the issue of autism, especially given the increasing prevalence of the condition here.”

Deputy McCarthy said that autism presents a significant public health challenge in Ireland, with an estimated 600 people born here with the condition every year.

“Until such time as we have a national autism strategy in place, there will be an ongoing cost to society of the resources we waste,” he said.

The Dunmanway TD said that it was wrong that the quality of service provision should depend on geography rather than need and that this must change.