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Government failing people with disabilities

9 August 2017

Statement by Joe Costello
Spokesperson for Urban Regeneration

Labour spokesperson Joe Costello has said that the Government continues to fail people with disabilites due to the ongoing delays in ratifying the UN Convention on People with a disability despite extensive pledges by the super junior Minister Finian McGrath.

Mr Costello said:

"The Government has failed the thousands of Irish citizens with a disability by failing to ratify the UN Convention on People with a Disability.  Ireland is the only country in the EU which has not yet ratified the Convention.  Consequently, people with a disability are denied their full range of statutory rights.

"This impacts specifically on independent living. Hundreds of people are consigned to nursing homes unnecessarily and there is no timeframe or resources provided to move them into more flexible accommodation and lifestyle.  Thus, many people with a disability who are capable of independent living are frustrated and are effectively subjected to detention in nursing homes and other institutional care. This is a national scandal. 

"Finian McGrath, the Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities has broken all his promises and has no credibility in this matter.  Ratification of the UN Convention was his main commitment when he entered Government and was one of his major justifications for entering Government in the first place.

"Now he is admitting that he has no idea when the ratification will take place.  Even though he is a Minister with a seat at Cabinet, he appears to have no clout and is unable to deliver on his core policy. 

"It is time for Minister McGrath to stop huffing and puffing about other matters and either do his job or consider his position."