Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today raised with the Taoiseach the decision by the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan to cut funding from the National Advocacy Service for Deaf people.
The Sinn Féin leader described the Minister’s decision as deplorable and criticised the Taoiseach’s response advising the service to lodge an appeal to the decision as “inadequate and a serious blow to the available services for deaf citizens.”
Speaking in the Dáil the Sinn Féin leader reminded the Taoiseach that there was a commitment in the Programme for Government to “promote the recognition of Irish Sign Language.”
Gerry Adams said;
“The decision by Minister of State Kathleen Lynch not to grant official language status to the Irish Sign Language is disappointing.
“And now we have the decision by the Minister for the Environment to cut funding from the National Advocacy Service for Deaf people.
“This is a vital service for a section of society that has poor employment and salary prospects, lower participation in third level education, and lower health expectancy.
“Deaf citizens are a marginalised and socially isolated minority group within society.
“The state has a responsibility to ensure that they are treated with fairness and on the basis of equality and that their welfare needs are met.”