A centre in Buncrana, Co Donegal which provides services for children with autism and their families is in danger of closing due to lack of funds.
Inishowen Children’s Autism Related Education, known as iCare, is a unique centre for children with autism in north Donegal.
It was set up by parents 18 years ago and has seen demand for the service continually rising.
It has survived since it opened on fundraising and some small grants but that well is running very dry.
iCare was recently turned down for Government funding for a scheme it wanted to run for young people with autism under the Ability programme.
They say there is a great need for such a scheme because many in the 15 to 29 age group have nowhere to go.
iCare now provides after school and summer courses, training and information for over 100 families in the Inishowen area.
It costs about €100,000 a year to run the service but the organisation is now down to its last few thousand euro.Tomorrow is the last day of work for the manager at iCare, Liam Gill because there is no money left to pay him.
Parents say they are worn out from fundraising and it is now time that the Government steps up and provides funding for iCare.
In response, the HSE says it has met with iCare and acknowledges the valuable service they are providing for children with autism and their families.
iCare is seeking €78,000 funding from the HSE to support the services it currently provide.
This will be considered in line with the 2019 estimates.
For parents and children, however, the immediate issue of funding and the threat to the future of iCare remains.