Latest: Gardaí remove Vera Twomey from Dáil sit-down protest

Latest: Gardaí remove Vera Twomey from Dáil sit-down protest
Campaigners for legalising medicinal cannabis Vera Twomey (centre) and Sarah Mahoney stage a sit down protest inside the gates of Leinster House, Dublin. Picture: PA

Update 7pm: Gardaí have removed Cork mother Vera from a sit-down protest outside the main gate of Leinster House this evening.

Four people were involved in the demonstration including Ms Twomey, who has been campaigning for access to medicinal cannabis for her daughter.

She had been leading a protest there for almost three hours, demanding a meeting with Health Minister Simon Harris, accusing him of failing to follow up on issues she raised at a meeting two months ago.

The timing of the protest meant that TDs in the main car park were unable to leave as the Dáil wrapped up for the week.

Earlier:

A Cork mother is holding a sit-down protest at the gates of Leinster House this evening.

Vera Twomey is demanding a meeting with Health Minister Simon Harris over access to medicinal cannabis for her seven-year-old daughter Ava, who has a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome.

Ms Twoney recently walked over 200kms from Cork and Dublin in a bid to secure the THC-based medical cannabis for her young daughter.

Medical consultants will not sign off on the treatment, despite Vera pointing to research that indicates it works and the Government pledging to establish a compassionate access programme for the medication in January.

Ava’s frequency of seizures has reduced thanks to Charlotte’s Web - a CBD-based cannabis treatment - but Ms Twomey feels her daughter's condition is regressing and the treatment is not working as well.

There is a large Garda presence on Kildare Street as the demonstration is preventing TDs from exiting the Dáil.

Ms Twomey began a sleep-out last night and says she will not leave until Minister Harris meets with her.


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