World Down Syndrome Day – ‘a welcome celebration for all’ – Ó Caoláin
Today, March 21st, marks the 6th annual International World Down Syndrome Day.
Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Disability Rights Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin speaking on the occasion said;
“It is most important that a special day has been assigned to those most marginalised in our society, a day of recognition, awareness building and of course celebration, a welcome celebration that we should all embrace.
“Approximately 7,000 of our citizens in Ireland are living with Down Syndrome. These citizens are our siblings, our children, they are our neighbours and they are an integral part of our communities.
“World Down Syndrome Day takes on a particular significance in Ireland in this year following the recent ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“There is much that Government has yet to do to ensure the rights contained in this Convention are delivered and actually make a difference in the lives of those for whom the Convention is all about. Legislation must be progressed and significant resourcing is necessary to fund the changes required across all sectors of society thereby giving effect to these rights.
“The Government also needs to sign up to the optional protocol associated with the Convention which will ensure proper oversight of Ireland’s adherence to the commitments and promises contained in the Convention.
“On this day, I particularly wish to thank our inspiring Down Syndrome community, their advocacy groups and their families for organising a vast array of entertaining events across the country to mark this very important day. Comhghairdeas daoibh uilig.”