Polio Survivors Ireland

 

Sir, – I wish to correct some of the comments made by a spokesperson for the Rehab Group in the article “Polio survivors angry over being ‘abandoned’ by Rehab” (News, June 12th).

We have never claimed that the Rehab Group or the Polio Fellowship (which merged with Rehab) have an obligation to provide funding to Polio Survivors Ireland.

They provided the funding and we used that funding to provide wheelchairs, orthotics and other equipment that polio survivors need to maintain their independence. We were simply a conduit for the funding to people affected by polio.

The issue is not about funding Polio Survivors Ireland, and the Rehab Group knows this very well.

We have been very clear to Rehab Group that it has a legal and moral obligation to provide services and supports to people affected by polio. It is their responsibility to set up procedures for providing this support and arranging for the needs of polio survivors to be assessed. The loss of the Charities Lottery Fund is a red herring.

The Polio Fellowship is in possession of very valuable assets of at least €8 million and has cash reserves of over €1.5 million, which were acquired through the fundraising efforts of polio survivors and their families.

Yet Rehab refuses to accept that this places an obligation on them to use these assets to help people affected by polio.

Unfortunately, it has resisted every attempt so far to accept their obligations or to negotiate with the people it has a responsibility to help.

Finally, the issue is not and never has been funding of Polio Survivors Ireland by Rehab, and such a claim has never been made by us. Its obligation is to use the resources acquired through polio survivors’ fundraising to assist people with disabilities arising from polio. – Yours, etc,

PAT McGILLION,

Chairman,

Polio Survivors Ireland,

Unit 319,

Capel Building,

Mary’s Abbey,

Dublin 7.