Persons with disabilities face poverty, and consistent poverty, more than any other group in Ireland. Almost one in four disabled people is in consistent poverty and this is acknowledged by the National Disability Inclusion Strategy. The way out of poverty is imagined through “making work pay” for people with disabilities.
The jurisdiction of the High Court to detain people if they were a danger to themselves or others was extended to vulnerable adults in 2011 with the case of Health Service Executive (HSE) v. O’B . In that case the vulnerable person in question had a long standing history of what was termed “very challenging behaviour” and “extreme violence”.
Will Government Ministers and TDs listen properly to the needs of People with Intellectual Disabilities & their Families? I don’t think so, because Government and most TDs don’t think the needs of people with intellectual disabilities and their families are important enough.
As we approach the possibility of a government being formed, it’s worth reflecting on what is required of a new Health ministry with responsibility for improving the lives of people with disability and their families.
I have been asked to outline why I am a candidate for the Seanad election. Put simply the Dail is the assembly of publicly elected representatives who elect the Taoiseach, eventually, and to whom the Government report. The Seanad is elected by less than 1,200 people, namely the members of every County and City Council, the newly elected TDs and the outgoing 60 Seanad members.