Ireland is a small country and it is well known that our services for people with chronic and progressive neurological disability are inadequate. Much of the gap between what is required and what is available is bridged to a greater or lesser extent by the voluntary sector, which relies on charitable donations to operate.
People with MND are fortunate to have access to one of the best organized and most efficient voluntary organizations in the neurological sector. The IMNDA is a model of good governance, and provides essential and practical care for people with MND, including 2 dedicted nurses, specialised equipment, information and support. The IMNDA relies heavily on charitable donations to maintain these essential services. The IMNDA’s commitment to research is unquestionable . However, as a clinician and research with a life time commitment to MND, I must attest to the importance of the support services provided by IMNDA.
Without this voluntary organization, the type of clinical and translational research that is undertaken in Ireland would not be possible. And while our budget for MND research is in the order of €300,000 per annum, the majority of which is from competitive research grants, industry collaboration and philanthropic donations to our academic institution (TCD), we work closely with IMNDA in all aspects of our respective roles, and are very appreciative of the continuous funding provided over the past 15 years to support one of our research registrars.