Programme for Government Must Name and Position Disability as Societal Issue

March 3 2011


Press Statement from Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI)

3rd March 2011

DFI has written to the Leaders of Fine Gael and the Labour Party underlining the key commitments made during the election campaign to prioritise people with disability and mental health needs. Both party leaders confirmed their intention to prioritise the disability issue, during the final election debate and DFI is keen to have this prioritisation articulated in the Programme for Government.

John Dolan, Chief Executive of DFI said today,

“Both parties are in agreement that disability and mental health is the priority social justice and equality area to be progressed by the new Government. Over 18% of Irish people have some level of disability and it is imperative that the incoming Government have detailed plans to provide services and income supports for these people as required. Our National Disability Strategy provides all the guidance necessary for the development of these plans – it is now just a matter of leadership and commitment and both Leaders have also confirmed their intention to deliver a plan to protect disability”

John Dolan went on to say, “Disability is a societal issue requiring strong leadership at Government level if the desired outcomes are to be achieved. It is important that the new Government appoint a Minister with specific responsibility for this issue and that all Departments involved co-ordinate their efforts to maximise cohesion and outcomes”

“Implementing the Disability commitments will require the reform of public service provision and implementation of the Public Service Agreement”, John Dolan said.


For contact: John Dolan, Chief Executive Officer, 086-8370072

Copy of letter to Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore 28/02/11 are available here: