Saturday 21 October 2023

Useful Schemes for People with M.E. Associated Disabilities in Ireland


Invisible Disabilities    

According to Hidden Disabilities, 1 in 5 people across Ireland live with some form of disability, and 80% of these are non-visible, which is just under one million people who are living with a non-visible disability. Here are some schemes which may be useful to anyone with a disability.


The Irish Wheelchair Association is the country’s biggest provider of disabled parking permits.
Their online service allows first-time applicants to apply for a parking permit application form, and existing customers to renew their parking permits online.
This is a scheme which is now open to many disabilities including some types of invisible disabilities, depending on your condition and the eligibility criteria.
Although Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is not considered as one of the types of disabilities the IWA considers, physical disabilities are listed by them...Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is an illness associated with physical disabilities so it is your physical disabilities that will be assessed.
To find out more information and to apply for the scheme visit:
If you are unsure about any aspect of the process, you can read the following guide:


Disability Allowance (DA) is a weekly allowance paid to people with a disability. You can get DA from 16 years of age. You can get Disability Allowance even if you are in school. This is a social welfare payment from the Irish Government for people who have a permanent disability that prevents them from working in Ireland due to their condition. For more information visit:
You can access the Disability Allowance Application Form via the links above.
MEAI's advice re qualifying criteria and more about applying and appeal processes:


The Disability Access Route to Education is for any student sitting their leaving certificate with a disability, illness or condition which has a significant impact on their education.
DARE is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2024, whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education.
A disabled person can apply for this scheme to reduce points for college courses. The scheme ensures that everyone has an equal chance to progress into higher education.
To be eligible for DARE thestudent must meet both the DARE Educational Impact criteria and DARE Evidence of Disability criteria.
Although Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is not considered as one of the types of disabilities DARE considers, physical disabilities are listed...Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is an illness associated with physical disabilities.
For more information, visit


This is a scheme that originated from Gatwick Airport, on how to identify someone with an invisible disability when using their disability services. It has now grown and expanded to the UK and Ireland and can be used in shops, services and transport.
More information and helpful tips on how to obtain a Myalgic Encephalomyelitis sunflower lanyard here
To find out more or to get your own sunflower lanyard visit, then choose your country by hitting the flag in top right corner of the page.


This scheme was piloted by Waterford County Council and was met with great excitement and praise. Hopefully the scheme will be rolled out across Ireland. Waterford City and County Council installed two Hidden Disability Car Parking Spaces in Scanlan’s Yard in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.
The car parking spaces, introduced in September 2021, are easily identified with a bright yellow sunflower on a green background, see images in comments.
As not all disabilities are visible, or immediately obvious, the car parking spaces are in a safe location, not immediately located beside the road and are the same dimensions as a Wheelchair accessible parking space.
Anyone with a hidden disability has the right to park in the Sunflower space - there is no requirement to display a Sunflower badge, sign or disc on the vehicle. Users of the Sunflower parking space do not need to wear a Sunflower lanyard or any other product to indicate that they have a hidden disability.
Some of the users may not qualify for a Blue Badge, so these courtesy parking spaces provide a safe and accessible place to park. The hidden disability spaces require paid parking, with the Pay and Display ticket machine located close to these spaces.

More Supports


The Republic of Ireland provide medical cards which allow people with low levels of income or people with profound illness or disability have free access to healthcare services and medications. To check your eligibility please log onto the HSE website:

For more information, advice and qualifying criteria on how to apply for a medical see our webpage here:

GP Visit Card 

Income limits for means tested GP Visit Cards have recently increased for a second time this year. 

More people now qualify for a GP Visit Card; if you qualify for a GP Visit Card, you will not have to pay to see your doctor. 

The quickest and easiest way to apply is online at where you can find out more information, more here

Further Supports

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is classified as a neurological illness since 1969 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) ICD G93.3

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) Classifications:

  • WHO Classification ICD 10 G93.3 classified as a Neurological disorder

  • WHO Classification ICD 11 8E49 classified as a Neurological disorder 

  • SNOMED Classification SCTID: 118940003 classified as a disorder of the nervous system 

  • NASS (HRB) G93.3

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information purposes only. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the post or the information, products, services, etc contained in the post for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. The suitability of any solution is totally dependent on the individual. It is strongly recommended to seek professional advice and assistance in some instances. 

All rea

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Essential Care Around Malnutrition in Severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)

"This group of patients just don’t exist in the consciousness and experience of those from whom they need knowledgeable, guided & appropriate care." 

Malnutrition in Severe ME

One often overlooked but crucial issue that significantly impacts the lives of individuals with severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is malnutrition. Patients with very severe ME can experience difficulty maintaining their nutrition and hydration. In the most severe cases it is not uncommon. 

The most common reason for malnutrition in a severe ME patient is ME associated debility. There are a variety of other reasons which we will discuss below.

This post contains important and relevant information to be shared with patients' families and carers and more importantly with the doctors in a hospital where you or a person in your care is being refused treatment for malnutrition as a result of having severe ME, or where the patient is not being treated appropriately. 

The focus of this post is on overcoming the challenging aspect of accessing appropriate nutritional support for individuals with severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). When we say 'severe' we refer to people with either severe, very severe or profoundly severe ME.