A woman who missed her mother's funeral because she could not get a carer for her autistic son has said she takes 'no comfort' of guarantees from the Junior Minister for Disability.
Gayle Murphy last month lost her mother after a seven-year-long battle with dementia.
Her son Luca suffers from a severe form of autism and cannot be left alone as he self-harms and requires "serious behavioural intervention".
Ms Murphy had to watch her mother's funeral online and said the HSE carer services are "appalling" for people in her position.
Minister Anne Rabbitte told Lunchtime Live Ms Murphy was let down by the system.
"I felt very saddened for Gayle, I can understand how isolated she must have felt," she said.
"I have lost my mum, I know how important it is to be at my mum's funeral.
"It wasn't like her son wasn't known within the services; her son was known within the services.
"It wasn't like people didn't understand that Gayle was at a crisis; it was very clear Gayle was at a crisis, she had lost her mum.
"Gayle should have been supported, there's no denying that whatsoever.
"The lack of empathy, the lack of heart in the whole situation saddens me a lot, to be quite honest with you.
"That doesn't change the situation for what Gayle has experienced, but it's wrong not to acknowledge the lack of care."
'This is a priority'
Minister Rabbitte said there has to be a standard approach to such cover, and she is putting more supports in place.
"To me it's unacceptable and that's why I have to start at the very basics and put in a framework," she said.
"I'm not the operational manager of the HSE, somedays I feel like I am the operational manager of the HSE because I'm trying to put in place suggestion systems that I shouldn't have to suggest."
Minister Rabbitte said having a panel of support available for carers is something she is committing to.
"This is a priority; sweat the assets, use what we have and bring relief immediately."
'I've heard it all before'
Ms Murphy said there is 'nothing' in what the Minister said.
"No I'm sorry, I take no comfort because I've heard it all before," she said.
"While the lady spoke so eloquently, there's nothing I can take away from that... and say, 'Good I know this is going to happen now.'
"It's not going to happen, there's nothing there that I could take away from that today."
"I'm totally delighted that she came in to speak to you and get some questions across, but there is nothing there.
"My life consists of, even when my son was in a school.... he was home at 3 in the day and I could be locked in 18 hours a day.
"That was when he was still in school which was pre-COVID, so that's what you have to look forward to."
Ms Murphy said in the week since her interview, no one has offered her help.
"I just came out of the car with him this morning, where I struggled for the last year and a half to be able to collect his Disability Allowance," she said.
"He was highly distressed in that car today... I get out, I run in, it's a five-minute thing and my heart's in my mouth.
"I got back into that car today [and] he was... roaring at me, I thought I was going to take a stroke.
"That's the reality of how they left us; I was on your radio station a week ago - nothing has changed, nobody came to me and offered me some help."
Ms Murphy said she was very appreciative of one gesture of support.
"I had one dilemma I'll give you: I had no way to NCT my car, and the wonderful Bill in Clonee Motors volunteered his lunchtime yesterday and took my car for an NCT," she said as her voice broke.
"That's the kindness of strangers would you believe, that means so much," she added.
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