‘Devil is in the detail’ with publicly funded IVF scheme

by Louise Doyle

A LETTERKENNY woman whose twins were born through IVF said that while she welcomes the first ever State funded treatment to help others, she said the “devil is in the detail” bringing eligibility into crude question.

Marie Derelict and her husband Mark are proud parents to Katie and Naoise, who were born in 2021 following a difficult and heartbreaking journey.


The couple set up ‘Roses and Rainbows’ blog page for those affected by infertility and miscarriage.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly this week announced €10 million has been allocated in Budget 2023 towards funding the treatment.

One publicly funded IVF cycle will be available to those who meet access criteria from September.

Stipulations include that the intending birth mother should be a maximum of 40 years plus 364 days at the time of referral to a fertility hub, and that the Body Mass Index (BMI) of an intending birth mother must be within the range of 18.5kg/m2 – 30.0kg/m2.

Eligible couples must have no living children from the existing relationship and include at least one partner with no living child, access to publicly funded Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) treatment is available for those individuals who have previously undertaken a maximum of one previous IVF cycle and where all embryos created as part of that cycle have been used.

Speaking to the Donegal News, Marie said she has concerns that not everyone who wishes to have a baby will benefit from the scheme because of the criteria.

“It’s a day so many have been waiting for. I firstly want to show gratitude to everyone who has fought tooth and nail to get this to today. Tears filled my eyes to think our wee country is going to help so many people and I just know it will make so so many dreams come true,” said Marie.


“Then tears filled my eyes again as I read for the rest of the ones who aren’t eligible. My heart breaks a little as the devil of this is in the detail.

“I know as well as everyone that every new scheme will have conditions and it will never be the case that everyone was going to be granted a ‘free shot’ but it’s a hard day on so many as the news filters out many will be left a little bit broken as to how to fund their next round.”

Marie carried out a poll on her own Roses and Rainbows support blog page asking how many women believed they would receive a funded round of IVF treatment based on the criteria. She said the majority of respondents returned a ‘no’.

“Thirteen women said they would not receive a funded round of IVF, three said they would and three were unsure.”

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