Our AGM hears multi-annual funding “now essential”

September 4 2020, 09:08am

John Dolan, Gary Lee and Minister Roderic O'Gorman

Our 2020 AGM looked back on a tumultuous year which started with an unexpected, retrospective 20% cut to our funding from the HSE.  

Both our outgoing Chairman, Gary Lee and our CEO, John Dolan, remarked on the resilience of DFI. Despite losing 6 staff to redundancy and operating for most of 2019 a full nine staff down, we came through stronger.  

We were able at the start of this year to rise to the massive challenges of Covid-19 and provide positive leadership and support to the sector.  

Our auditor, Damien Kealy, said in his overview that Covid-19 would certainly put new and severe financial strains on the sector. He said the current funding model was unsustainable and multi-annual funding for organisations was now “absolutely essential.” 

He sounded a note of caution when he recalled the sector had been slow to respond to the last recession. When cutbacks had eventually to be made, in terms of staff numbers and pay and benefits, they were therefore extra severe.  

Several tributes were paid to Chairman Gary Lee who is stepping down having led us through some very challenging times.  

Gary noted that another Gary, Gary Kearney is on the cover of our 2019 Annual Report as the originator of the #purplelights campaign. One of several DFI campaigns that raised public awareness of disabilities last year and every year.  

A seminar on implementing the UN CRPD took place after the AGM with video links from Minister Roderick O’Gorman and Anne Rabbitte. You can watch them below.  

DFI AGM 3rd Sep 2020 - Minister Roderic O'Gorman

DFI AGM 3rd Sep 2020 - Minister Anne Rabbitte