Motor tax dispute leaves residents of disability service stranded

Up to 20 vehicles used to transport residents have not been used in the past six weeks

Several people at an intellectual disability service in Dublin have reportedly been left stranded in their homes due to a motor tax dispute.

St Joseph’s Intellectual Disability Service is located on the campus of St Ita’s Hospital, Portrane, in Co Dublin and has up to 130 residents.

Up to 20 vehicles used to transport residents have not been used in the past six weeks because of changes to motor tax.

A spokeswoman for the HSE said it was advised earlier this year that there was an apparent change in policy by the Department of Community and Local Government in regard to the motor taxation of State-owned vehicles.


“The HSE is actively working with the Department of Health and Children and the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government to find a resolution to this issue. It is hoped that there will be a resolution to this issue in the coming week,” said the spokeswoman.

The HSE spokeswoman said in the interim, alternative transport arrangements have been put in place for residents of St Joseph’s to facilitate the needs of all clients as far as possible.

Eamonn Tierney, chair of St Joseph’s Parents and Friends group, called for the issue to be resolved as soon as possible.

‘Basically imprisoned’

“The people in Portrane can’t leave their homes. They are basically imprisoned due to this dispute. With the level of disability they have, the only way they can get out of their homes is in a modified eight-seater transporter.”

“When the rest of the country were basking in the sunshine, they couldn’t get out of their homes and they still can’t get out of their homes as they need the special transport.”

Mr Tierney said that while taxis are been used to facilitate residents in the interim, they are not covering all of the shortfall and are not suitable at times.

“Twenty vehicles in the ownership of the HSE will not be driven without the tax so the residents are essentially stranded or relying on taxis,” said Mr Tierney. “There should be serious questions asked as to how this has arisen and why it has taken so long to be resolved.”