Sinn Féin TD for Offaly Carol Nolan has welcomed the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities but described the occasion as a ‘bitter sweet’ achievement given it has taken Ireland eleven years to ratify the Convention which they signed in March 2007.
Whilst acknowledging the contribution of Minister Finian McGrath on moving the Resolution, and commending the work of her colleague Caoimhgín Ó Caoláin on the issue, Deputy Nolan stated, "let it be known, in no uncertain terms that it was the unyielding and relentless campaigning of the Disability Rights activists throughout the country that has brought about this moment."
"It is well beyond time that the equal status of people living with disabilities was vested in law and that the mechanisms of the State were compelled to ensure their full and equal enjoyment of the rights and freedoms of a sovereign society.”
Deputy Nolan also went on record to express her dismay at what she calls the failure of the Minister to provide an Irish Sign Language rapporteur for the occasion.
The Resolution was passed by unanimous vote and the Government must now lodge the Instrument of Amalgamation with the United Nations.
The Convention will come into force 30 days after receipt of lodgement.
"It is now incumbent on all parties to ensure that the Disability Bill 2016 and all of its proposed amendments are prioritised for enactment as soon as possible to enable the UN Convention to achieve its intended outcomes," Nolan concluded.
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