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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Questions on promised legislation [Medicinal cannabis].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Questions on promised legislation [Medicinal cannabis]. (27 Jun 2018)

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Deputy Danny Healy-Rae - There is a promise on page 56 of A Programme for a Partnership Government to the effect that equal and fair treatment will be given to sick and vulnerable people and children. That is why Ms Noreen O'Neill from Kilgarvan and her friends are climbing Croagh Patrick next weekend. They are highlighting the need for tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, to be made available.

It is a component of cannabis oil that she needs for Michael, her 22 month old son, to prevent seizures and periods of chronic pain from which he suffers terribly. I am asking that this medicine be made available through our chemists and pharmacists, which would benefit people who need it, like little Michael O'Neill from Kilgarvan. I ask that this be done before the Minister, Deputy Harris, and the Government go on their summer holidays because consultants and doctors are afraid to give prescriptions for this vital drug.

Deputy Gino Kenny - The Health Products Regulatory Authority made a recommendation that this Government set up a cannabis access programme 18 months ago. Nothing has happened since. The Dáil supported the Bill I put forward eight months ago providing for access to medicinal cannabis. As nothing has happened, we will continue to have cases such as that of Noreen O'Neill.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae - The licensing system for medical cannabis is failing, and the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris, is quite well aware of this. I have raised the matter with him, as have other Deputies. In the case of Noreen O'Neill and her child, it is extremely worrying and frightening to think of a child suffering from seizures despite knowing that this cannabis oil, if made available, would stop those seizures from happening. Over the weekend, people were trying to get help, advice and assistance from another campaigner, Ms Vera Twomey, because their children are suffering with seizures. This is a very common problem, and I believe the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health should tackle it on behalf of the O'Neill family, Vera Twomey and all of the other families who are not as prominent and outspoken about this matter........

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