DFI seeks further committment from Political Parties

February 17 2011


Press Statement from Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI)

16th February 2011

Over two weeks ago the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) contacted all political parties, contesting the present election, asking them to respond to five specific proposals on the disability sector. All parties have now responded to DFI and the responses, as received, are outlined below.

In its communication with the party leaders last month DFI said,

“We are now asking all political parties and individuals contesting the forthcoming election, to make a commitment to the following disability issues, either as part of an election manifesto or some other such public commitment. We also invite you to respond to the DFI on the following specific issues:

  1. That your party in Government would prioritise the ongoing support of people with disability and their families.
  2. That your party in Government will publish a practical plan for the advancement of the National Disability Strategy.
  3. That your party in Government will ensure the protection of benefits and public services available to people with disability.
  4. That your party in Government will support the self-determination of people with disability by continuing to build the capacity of families and voluntary disability organisations who work with them.
  5. That your party in Government will support the appointment of a Minister with sole responsibility for Disability and Mental Health”

John Dolan, Chief Executive of the DFI said today,

“We welcome the responses received from the political parties; however we are surprised that none of the parties have publicly made the specifics of their plans for the sector known. We are contacting parties again this week to ask them to offer some level of detailed reassurance to the 18.5% of our population, who experience some level of disability. For each person elected to the next Dail there will 5,000 people with a disability, which includes mental health. These people are currently experiencing the same economic difficulties as everyone else and now face a double hit, if services and supports are not available into the future. There is also immense concern among the people we represent, their families and carers that all that has been achieved and planned, through the National Disability Strategy, will now begin to unravel.”


John Dolan, Chief Executive, DFI, 086- 8370072

Further information: www.disability-federation.ie

Attached: 1. DFI comment on the Letters of Commitment from the Political Parties available here: http://www.disability-federation.ie/index.php?uniqueID=10278

2. Response from propositions put to each Political Party available here: