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Sinn Féin calls on public to back European 1Million4Disability Campaign - McDonald

15 September, 2007


Sinn Féin Chairperson and Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has today launched the party’s signature drive in support of the European ‘1Million4Disability Campaign’ in Dublin at the GPO on O’Connell Street where she joined party activists collecting signatures.

Ms McDonald said:

"The 1Million4Disability Campaign was launched in January of this year by the European Disability Forum (EDF) with the objective of collecting 1 million signatures for presentation to the European Commission and President of the European Parliament on October 4th.

“The campaign is about getting the EU to introduce effective legislation to combat all forms of discrimination and guarantee full inclusion of the more than 50 million people in the EU who live with disabilities.

“As the deadline is approaching and Ireland is short 4,000 signatures I agreed with the campaign that Sinn Féin would assist by organising a country wide signature collection drive.

“This campaign is very important for Ireland. Since the introduction of the Disability Act 2005 discrimination against people with disabilities in terms of access to services has actually increased by 16%.

“This years Equality Tribunal annual report revealed that 23% of the total case files opened during the previous year were by those with disabilities experiencing discrimination in the workplace or accessing services,

“The Authority’s Chief Executive said at the launch of the report that the barriers faced by people with disabilities were so prevalent that many thousands were left effectively ‘housebound’. This is a shameful indictment of the government.

“A measure of any society is how it looks after the needs of it most vulnerable.  Successive Fianna Fáil led governments have ignored the rights of people with disabilities. Sinn Féin continues to fight for an Ireland of Equals and I am delighted as an MEP for Dublin to be promoting our progressive policies in Europe and at home in such a practical way.

"Beginning in Dublin today Sinn Féin members in every county in Ireland will be asking people to sign the petition. We are hoping that Ireland can far exceed its quota and help reach the 1 million signatures needed. “ CRíOCH

Petition can be signed online @ www.1million4disability.eu

 

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