Vera Twomey sleeps outside Dáil in bid to change cannabis law

A Cork mother’s campaign to ensure her child is given access to cannabis-based medication to ease her daily suffering has forced her to camp outside the Dáil in a bid to force through the legal change.

Vera Twomey began her latest action as Solidarity-People before Profit TD Gino Kenny separately called on the Government to pass legislation allowing the medication to be provided.

Ms Twomey has been joined by two colleagues outside the gates of Leinster House to ensure her seven-year-old daughter Ava is given access to cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a form of medicinal marijuana.

The medication can help relax Ava’s muscles and reduce the risk to her life from up to 20 seizures per day caused by her rare form of Dravets syndrome.

Ms Twomey said she was beginning the camp-out protest in order to force politicians to face up to the issue.

“We’ve decided our only alternative is to come up to Dublin and camp out, to stay here until such a time as we get a respectful response for our kids,” she said.

Ms Twomey has previously met with Health Minister Simon Harris and organised protests. Earlier this year she walked from Cork to Dublin to highlight her daughter’s situation, and declared to officials at Dublin Airport at Easter that she had brought in CBD oil from Spain.

However, Mr Harris has previously made it clear he has taken steps to address the case but that legal constraints remain.

Meanwhile, Mr Kenny held a press conference with independent doctors calling for CBD oil to be made legal in Ireland.

Citing a recent Irish Medical Organisation motion backing the move, Mr Kenny said a number of doctors now support the call for the medication to be made available under a strictly limited prescription process.

He said the call contradicts that of Mr Harris and the Government, and will not only benefit people like Ava and Ms Twomey but will help to address other cases of a similar nature which are not receiving attention.

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