Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin TDs and MEP support

8 February, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Equality and Human Rights, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD will lead a Sinn Féin delegation that will include Dail leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD and Marylou McDonald MEP to the "Rights make the difference" national public meeting tonight at the Concert Hall in the RDS, Dublin. The meeting has been organised by the Rights Make the Difference Campaign, a coalition of disability sector groups protesting against the fundamental flaws of the Disability Bill 2004.

Speaking before the meeting Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Sinn Féin is attending this meeting to reaffirm our full support for this campaign. The Government's Disability Bill is not rights-based, it is resource-based. It is regressive legislation that may even cut access to services for people with disabilities. Not only does it not rectify the deficiencies of the earlier withdrawn Bill by allowing for peoples' rights to be vindicated through the courts if need be, it sets up the ultimate legal defence for the Government, who will now be able to cite resource restrictions as per the provisions of the soon-to-become-notorious section 5.

"This Bill is just not good enough. We have called for its withdrawal because we have a vision for a very different future - a fully accessible and fully inclusive Ireland of Equals where all people with disabilities can reach their true potential as individuals, because society no longer disables but enables them. Real rights-based legislation is the necessary first step in that direction." ENDS

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