OACS Ireland is a voluntary organisation that supports families who have been impacted by the drug Epilim (Sodium Valproate. Epilepsy Ireland is the national patient organisation supporting and representing people with epilepsy and their families. OACS Ireland and Epilepsy Ireland have been campaigning since 2013 on three key issues:
Yesterday, women and children impacted by Epilim (Sodium Valproate) took to the streets of Dublin to protest. They and their families protested due to the following 3 points and in relation lack of intervention for families already with d diagnosis of Foetal Valproate Syndrome / Spectrum Disorder, no further information on the Irish Inquiry into Epilim – Sodium Valproate and no action to reduce the risks associated with in-utero valproate exposure. Families have had enough and quite frankly sick and tired of the false promises that they receive from the HSE. They want action and they want it now !
The need for an inquiry into the historical licencing and use of valproate in Ireland.
The need for action to reduce the risks associated with in-utero valproate exposure.
The need to ensure that individuals and families affected by FACS have access to appropriate diagnostic and support services.
The Convention Centre
Some families protested outside Dail others protested outside the Convention Centre which got an excellent result from the Irish public. Families stood across the bridge as when one of the signs said “BEEP DON’T SLEEP” the families and their children got great support and a lot of “BEEPS “. The Irish Public could not believe how families have been treated to date. We had warned the HSE that this would happen at some stage, OACS Ireland stated that families will take to the streets of Dublin. The families and their children made some amazing signs, on how they are feeling at this present time. Families want an inquiry they want the answers to give their children. Families and young children should not have had to take to the streets. When there is a “Disability Package” sitting in the Department of Health Office waiting to be funded. It is now clear that families impacted by the drug epilim (sodium valproate) have had enough. The HSE and other state bodies have had enough time to put everything in place.
The families and their children walked though Dublin City from the Convention Centre down down to the Dail with their young children. They then spoke to many TD’s some TD’S came out to speak to the women and there children and gave the mothers a tremendous support, when they were standing outside the Dail with their children. We know if everything is not put in place with urgency, their will be more mothers in bigger numbers tuning up at the Dail these families.
This was Protest was put together at the very last minute by Debbie Ann Reynolds and Adrienne Pettigrew. Debbie Ann has two young children with Foetal Valproate Spectrum Disorder. Adrienne Pettigrew who has two children impacted by Epilim (Sodium Valproate). The amount of work the women and children put into there sign was just outstanding. As, this protest was organised at the last-minute members of the OACS Ireland Board and there with their children to support both mothers with their decision to protest. A lot has to be said for the children who stood around for the whole day so to you the children we at OACS Ireland take our hats of to you. You and your families are amazing in every way.
See the selection of photo from yesterdays Protest: