Disability: an issue for local Government

December 6 2011

Press Release 3rd March 2009

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) hosted a conference in Dublin today (Tuesday 3rd March) to explore ways of how local government and disability organisations could work better together to provide much needed services in their local communities.

John Dolan, Chief Executive, DFI said today,

“We organised this conference so that service provision, involving both the voluntary and local government sectors could be maximised. We have also had ongoing contact from our members in the local areas, who are deeply concerned about potential service cuts – and the impact this will have in local areas. It is very clear to me that people with disability, their families and carers expect full delivery on the National Disability Strategy and all that this entails at national and local level. I believe this expectation will be raised by many people in the context of the forthcoming local elections”

Over the past ten years much has been achieved to improve services, support and care for people with disability – and much of this has been achieved by the efforts of individuals and small organisations at local level. This involved local government support, volunteers, professional care as needed and of course funding. If this funding is now dissipated, the entire structure, which has been so carefully constructed, could be at risk.

John Dolan went on to say,

“We are at a time when there is an absolute need for all stake holders to work together to maximise the services available and supports to disabled people – and this particularly applies to government at local and national level. It is inevitable that people will expect answers when local politicians knock on the door in the coming months”

Minister of State, John Moloney, TD, with responsibility for Disability and Mental Health addressed the DFI conference in Dublin today.