Belfast Telegraph

Medicinal cannabis licence granted for girl with rare syndrome

The campaigning mother of a girl battling drug resistant epilepsy has expressed her joy after the Government granted a licence for her to be treated with medicinal cannabis.

Seven-year-old Ava Barry from the village of Aghabullogue in Co Cork has a rare form epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome.

Her mother Vera Twomey has led a high-profile campaign to urge Health Minister Simon Harris to grant a licence for her to receive a drug made from a component of cannabis.

Ms Twomey has recently been accessing similar treatment for her daughter in the Netherlands.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin told the Dail on Tuesday that a licence had now been granted.

Responding, Minister Harris said: "I am very pleased that I was in a position, whilst I cannot discuss an individual case, to sign another licence for a citizen in this country, a little girl, to access a medicinal cannabis product.

"It's the third licence since becoming minister for health. All licences that have been validly submitted with the support of a monitoring consultant in Ireland have been granted."

Ms Twomey, who once set out to walk from Cork to Dublin to raise awareness of her daughter's case, welcomed the decision.

"I just want to thank everybody for the support and everything," she said.

"We'll be home for Christmas and she's doing really, really well.

"We just can't wait to get her home to Aghabullogue and she'll be even better there.

"I just want to pass on the good news. We're going to be home as soon as we can."

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