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Saturday 24 Feb 2018
You are here: Home Blog Articles People with disabilities and their families should be ‘grateful’
People with disabilities and their families should be ‘grateful’ PDF Print E-mail
Written by Avril   
Tuesday, 04 December 2012

I am incensed and outraged by the comments of our Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny in the Dail last week. As a parent of a 14 year old with severe autism, I know that his statement that "Persons with a disability, despite the economic circumstances we face, have been better protected than any other sector" is completely untrue. Everyone with a disability and their families has been hit badly with cut after cut.

The remark that really shows his attitude is in his reply to Micheál Martin when asked about funding for school leavers - our Taoiseach replies as follows; “I make the point to Deputy Martin that we should be very grateful to the service providers who do an extraordinary job with limited circumstances.” It is clear that Our Taoiseach and his government do not see people with disabilities as equal -citizens of this country. The week before last week, I walked in solidarity with thousands of other family members and people under the banner of the Disability Rights Coalition to say “Rights, not charity!” - stop seeing us as weak and vulnerable and give us the supports to have ordinary lives.

The service providers are well paid and have various bodies and agreements like Croke Park to protect them. We do not have any protection. Cuts are made without consultation. Some service providers are doing a good job, many are not. There are no standards, there is no competition, there is no ‘customer’ focus, we have no influence on where the €1.4 billion, that Enda Kenny quotes regularly, is spent.

Specifically on funding for school leavers, there is no right for any 18 year old in this country to have further education, yet we as a country rightly choose to fund third level education and access to other colleges. If the Taoiseach came out and said he was stopping all funding to education over 18, there would be outrage. Yet we had a group of young people with disabilities who left school last June who were told, “there is nothing for you”. And Enda Kenny maintains that they are “better protected”. Again, the leaders of this country do not see people with disabilities as equal citizens. Shame on them. Is our next stop the European Court of Human Rights? Shame on you, Taoiseach Enda Kenny.



0 #4 2012-12-09 16:23
It is absolutely disgusting .It is obvious out govermnet have no moral or human conscience what was he thinking????
0 #3 elaine knowles 2012-12-06 13:39
I write from borders of Wales/England. Impress upon your government the crucial demand for the right to every assistance in achieving equality of opportunity, and lead the whole of Europe! Now more important than ever, to minimise and eventually - soon? -eradicate marginalisation .
+2 #2 2012-12-05 09:43
Hi Avril

This comment by our most senior politician in the country, in a leadership role for his party and the Labour Party demonstrates not only his lack of knowledge about the hardship suffered by people with disability but also his grasp of reality for those people. Politicians confuse service provide with families and see the €1.4 billion as going to both - it doesn't. We need more pressure to bring in the individualised budgeting and the individualised services that families and people with disabilities should have control over. Tis legislation has been called for by many for many years, this government have promised it and so far there is no sign of it. Only when we make all citizens equal will there be any chance of people with disabilities being in control of their own life. The option of a case in the European Court of Human Rights should be a serious consideration. John
+2 #1 2012-12-04 23:26
Hi Avril
I heard that the other night on Oireachtas report and couldn't believe my ear
I immediately looked at it again on rte player and still couldn't believe it
I emailed it to Sarah in Inclusion and to Frieda
If that is how he thin
Nks what hope have our innocent children got !!! I am sickened!

About Me

I’m Avril, married to Robert and I’m Mum to 3 kids, Stephen, Michael and Rachel. Stephen has special needs (he has a rare chromosomal disorder). We can see he has lots in common with children on the autistic spectrum and children with down syndrome. As well being a Mum, I’m an advocate/lobbyist for those with disabilities. I feel strongly about the importance of including Stephen is as many everyday activities and I have created the Off We Go! series of books to help Stephen and kids like him manage with everyday events.