Minister Reilly Announces Paediatric Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist

Minister Reilly Announces Paediatric Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist for Letterkenny Hospital
Children’s with type 1 diabetes and their parents made the long journey today by bus to Dáil Éireann to protest at the gates of Leinster House and to present a petition of almost 20,000 signatures to the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly. This was the culmination of a 4 year campaign by parents demanding a dedicated paediatric diabetes clinical nurse specialist for the 144 children with type 1 diabetes currently attending Letterkenny General Hospital for diabetes care.

Following a brief protest outside the gates of the Dáil the 26 children presented the petitions to the minister’s private secretary. A delegation of parents from the Donegal Diabetes Parents Support Group along with members of the Donegal branch of Diabetes Ireland were accompanied by Mr Kieran O Leary,CEO Diabetes Ireland and Professor Hilary Hoey Chairperson of Diabetes Ireland.

The group met with Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly, Deputies Padraig McLaughlin and Thomas Pringle and a delegation from the Department of Health together with senior HSE officials. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the demands of the parents for a dedicated paediatric diabetes clinical nurse specialist in Letterkenny General Hospital and we are delighted to announce that Dr James Reilly and Mr Bill Maher CEO North West Hospital Group announced that this position has been sanctioned and will be filled in the coming weeks.

The meeting also went on to explore the potential of locating a regional specialist centre for paediatric diabetes care in the North West region. Currently there are only 5 centres of excellence nationally, all of which are located south of the Dublin- Limerick line. Parents feel their children are entitled to fair and equal treatment regardless of their geographical location and demand the gold standard of care available in other parts of the country. This issue received favourable response and extensive debate and further meetings will take place in the coming weeks to explore how to further develop paediatric diabetes services in the North West.

Spokesperson Denise Gillespie of the Donegal Diabetes Ireland Parents Support Group said, “We are absolutely delighted with Minister Reilly’s announcement for the appointment of the Paediatric Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialists in the coming weeks and look forward to further discussion with Mr Bill Maher on the development of paediatric diabetes services”.

The Donegal parent support group wish to thank the people of Donegal, the TD’s and the media for their massive support over the past few weeks during the recent petition campaign. Kieran O’Leary said, I can only admire the courage, tenacity and commitment of our Donegal Parents Support Group who with the support of all the families stayed with their campaign over 4 years despite the many obstacles put in their way. Yesterday, was a very good day and hopefully is only the start of further developments in diabetes services throughout the HSE West region”.


Previous releases on this petition can be found here:

 For further information, please contact Sinead Deasy on 086 105 9086 or Denise Gillespie on 087 290 2204.

About Diabetes Ireland

Diabetes Ireland is the national charity dedicated to providing support, education and motivation to all people affected by diabetes. It also raises public awareness of diabetes and its symptoms and funds Irish-based research into diabetes.

About Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition in which the amount of glucose in the blood is too high. In Type 1 diabetes this is due to an absolute lack of insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas which enables glucose in the blood to enter the cells where it can be used for energy. Type 1 diabetes is managed with diet and exercise and multiple daily insulin injections. In Type 2 diabetes there is a lack of insulin or there is insulin resistance, it can be managed with diet, exercise, tablets and sometimes insulin injections. Poorly controlled diabetes over many years can lead to damage to the eyes, kidneys and the heart.