It has been announced that €10m will be drawn from the National Action Plan on Covid-19 to support the resumption of day services and home support services for disability service users.

The announcement was made by the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and the Minister of State for Disability Anne Rabbitte.

A significant portion of that support - €7.5m - will increase the level of day service provision, while €2.5m will provide intensive support packages for children and young people with complex or high support needs.

The funding comes following repeated requests by people with disabilities and their families for day care services to be reopened in full.

Most services opened in August and September but with reduced hours. 

On Saturday, a group representing carers and people with disabilities issued a statement calling for Government action because it said people with disabilities are suffering and carers are burning out. 

Calling for "a sufficient support package", Enough is Enough spokesperson Linda Comerford described the lack of inclusion and funding for those with disabilities as "an indictment of the Government". 

Transport has also proved problematic for families accessing services since they began reopening nationwide. 

In early September, the Health Service Executive acknowledged that there were challenges in the provision of transport due to social distancing guidance, which limits the number of people that can be facilitated on each journey. 

It said it was addressing the issue within the resources available and in line with public health guidance.

Today's funding announcement does not mention transport.

Ms Rabbitte said her focus had centred on increasing the number of days people can attend services which she says was the main issue put to her by people with disabilities and their families who she has been engaging with in recent weeks. 

The funding aims to increase day services by one day a week for over 14,000 adults and provide an additional 210 intensive support packages to help children and young people with complex or high support needs remain living with their families. 

Ms Rabbitte said she hopes this will "ease the pressure some families are under". However, she added there is some way to go before disability services can be fully restored. 

"This package of €10m is a step in the right direction towards full restoration of services and will have a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities as we face into the tougher winter months," she said.