27/01/2012

Momentous week for people with disabilities – Conway

Govt to act on Seanad Motion on disabilities

 Fine Gael Clare Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on Disability and Equality, Martin Conway, has said that it’s been a momentous week for people with disabilities in this country. Senator Conway was speaking after the Government vowed to act on a Private Members Motion on disability supported by all parties in the Seanad.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend Senator Mary Ann O’Brien and her Independent colleagues for tabling a ground-breaking Private Members Motion on the question of the rights of people with disabilities in Ireland. It calls on the Government to fast track mental capacity legislation and to publish a value for money audit on funding for disability support groups.

“The Motion also calls on the Government to introduce individualised budgeting to help people with disabilities and their families to choose support services most suited to their personal requirements. The Motion was one of the most comprehensive in the area of disabilities to be introduced and supported in the Oireachtas for a long time.

“I am greatly encouraged by the fact that the Government is taking heed of the issues highlighted in the motion. Minister of State, Kathleen Lynch, who gave an informed contribution to the Seanad debate, has now committed to introducing mental capacity legalisation, which brings Ireland to a position where it could ratify the U.N Convention on the rights of people with disabilities. Far more importantly, it will modernise the legalisation which affects the lives of all citizens with intellectual disabilities.

“Minister Lynch has also committed to publish the value for money audit and act on its recommendations. This will ensure that the maximum possible resources will be used to enhance the lives of people with disabilities instead of being wasted on rent, administration, endless reports and paying the wages of senior management in the groups involved.

“As the Fine Gael Spokesperson who proposed the Government’s amendment in the Seanad, I was delighted to have played a key role in persuading my Government colleagues to have unanimity in this issue, which should not be party-political.

“Thanks to the contents of this Seanad Motion, and the subsequent commitments received from Minister Lynch, I believe there is reason to be hopeful for the year ahead for the 750,000 people in Ireland with a declared disability.”