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Ó Caoláin - Government will be held to promise of rights-based Disability Bill in new Dáil term

15 September, 2003

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said his party will be holding the Government to its promise to publish comprehensive rights-based disability legislation in November 2003. Deputy Ó Caoláin was speaking today (Monday) in advance of a special seminar on disability hosted by the Sinn Féin TDs in Leinster House with the Forum of People with Disabilties.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Following the debacle of its totally inadequate disability legislation which was rejected by people with disabilities and withdrawn last year, the Government has given a clear commitment to publish a new Disability Bill in November. This legislation must be rights-based. It must recognise that every person living with a disability has the legally enforceable right to have their whole person recognised, their capabilities valued and developed to full potential, and their dignity respected. People with disabilities must have the right to access appropriate, coordinated services. The state has the duty to provide such services, as well as proper individual needs assessments.

"Sinn Féin will be holding the Government to its promise to publish such legislation in November. People with disabilities must not be disappointed yet again.

"Today's seminar is an opportunity for Sinn Féin TDs, parliamentary assistants and equality officers to be fully briefed on the latest issues of concern from the point of view of people with disabilities and we look forward to working on a continuous basis with the Forum of People with Disabilities." ENDS

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