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DUP accused of failing disabled community

9 November, 2005

Sinn Féin Loughgiel councillor Anita Cavlan has accused the DUP of failing the disabled community after DUP councillors refused to back a motion calling on the council to adopt the Barcelona Declaration, which has already been adopted by the Irish and British Governments and also over 400 councils on the island of Ireland.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Cavlan said:

"I am more sad than angry about the DUP in Ballymoney refusing to recognise the need for more provisions for the disabled people in the Borough. This declaration would help to promote better awareness of disabled persons in our community and realise their potentials and contributions among the general public.

"I put this motion to the council because I have been contacted by many groups and individuals campaigning for better treatment of the disabled people in the North.

"Unfortunately, the DUP in Ballymoney can't see past their bigoted mindset to back a very important motion, just because it was put forward by a Nationalist party.

"It's about time that the DUP caught a grip of themselves and realise that there politics and views are being left out in the cold, while the rest of the elected representatives are working to create a better society for all. The day they realise this, couldn't come quick enough for the people of the North." ENDS

Notes to editors:

Motion for November meeting of Ballymoney Council:

"This council adopts the Barcelona Declaration and commits itself to taking positive and radical measures to improve the quality of life for citizens with disabilities across the borough.

"This council will promote better awareness of disabled persons, their rights, their needs, their potentials and their contributions among the general public. We will liaise with the Equality commission and disability groups, such as Disability Action, to ensure that the Council meets its commitments under the declaration.

"This council will also use its position to lobby other parts of the government and statutory agencies to adopt the declaration." ENDS

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