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Needs of people with disabilities must be properly resourced – Ó Caoláin

10 May, 2017 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Disability Rights Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD spoke today at a major conference in Croke Park today on the United Nations Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“The rights set out in the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) are rights that all people have as people regardless of physical or mental status.

“As mentioned time and time again, it is to Ireland’s shame that it has taken this long to address the legal and administrative steps that would not only provide for its full ratification but for its full implementation – the critical follow through. It is simply unacceptable that it has taken 10 years to ratify this Convention and in my opinion it is a damning indictment of this Government and their predecessors.

“The sense of anger and frustration amongst those living with a disability, their families, friends and aware society is palpable. This is totally understandable. The 600,000 people with a disability and their families were undoubtedly those who bore the brunt of the cruel austerity policies imposed by successive Governments and who continue to be treated as though they were second class citizens.

 “In my position as Chair of the Justice and Equality Committee and as my party’s spokesperson on Disability Rights, I will continue to press the Tánaiste and the Minister of State on this and help ensure that the CRPD is ratified at the earliest possible date.

“Nothing will convince us more of Government’s genuine intent towards people with disabilities than their branding Budget 2018 as the Budget to restore and progress the rights and needs of people with disabilities. It is long past time that the austerity cuts were reversed; that the long identified needs of people with disabilities were properly resourced; that this significant body of first class citizens were given the opportunity to realise their full potential and as a right.

“Legislative change is welcome but of little practical comfort if people with disabilities have to resort to the courts to force Government to give effect to legislative provision. The time to take that decision is now and each relevant Government Department should be instructed to prepare its Budgetary plan accordingly.” 

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