Minister defends cut in funding for mental health

A junior minister has defended a €15m cut in funding for mental health.

Minister Kathleen Lynch has also admitted that she does not have enough staff to tackle the issue of mental health - but says she can continue to deliver services.

Some €35m a year had been ring-fenced by government over a five-year period to deliver mental health services, but only €20m has been made available for 2014.

"I think most people will understand that this year's Budget has probably been the most difficult of all," she said.

"During the negotiations, and they were very very tough negotiations, not just in health but in all different departments, concessions had to be made all around."

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