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Sinn Féin backs campaign for rights-based Disability Bill

22 October, 2003

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human Rights Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has indicated the party's "unequivocal support" for a rights-based Disability Bill, and called for this to be introduced before the end of European Year of People with Disabilities. Following his attendance at the public launch of a renewed campaign for a rights-based Bill, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"There is no room for compromise on equal rights and on human rights. Nothing less than a rights-based Disability Bill will be acceptable to Sinn Féin. This is not just an issue for people with disabilities who are directly affected by discrimination in all aspects of their daily lives. It is not just an issue for the families of people with disabilities who are indirectly affected by such discrimination. It is an issue for all of us who live on this island who seek to build an Ireland of Equals that not only fully includes people with disabilities but that enables them to reach their full potential as persons. We need fundamental social change and this will be a long road. But a rights-based Bill is an essential first step towards eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities and vindicating their human rights.

"I appeal directly to the Taoiseach not to give in to pressure from a Minister for Justice who believes that equality, human rights and justice for all is too expensive. I appeal to him not to become a combatant in the Minister's war on a rights-based society, but instead to keep his word on this very important issue and deliver the rights-based Bill that the Irish people deserve and to do so before the European Year of People with Disabilities expires." ENDS

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