Following the Motion re People with Disabilities on July 18th 23 of those disability organisations are to see their funding continued under the Scheme to Support National Organisations for a twelve-month period. Below is the transcript of the speech I made on July 15th.
“26 organisations supporting people with disabilities had their funding cut with a total loss of €1.2 million, which is not a huge amount when one considers the work they do and the people they reach. We know of the work of the Irish Deaf Society and I tabled a Topical Issue on its cut. We know of the work of the Post Polio Support Group which was totally left behind when so many other groups were looked after. The Centre for Independent Living had funding cut as did the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland. This affects a small number of people but one must ask what sort of message that sends to those people with disabilities.
The Government’s amendment reads, “it is committed to facilitating the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the life of the community”. However, the organisations which facilitate this have had their funding cut. One group I know well is the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, IMNDA, because of my friendship with someone who battled motor neurone disease for several years, as well as two Dáil Members I knew. I have taken part in several fund-raising events and even gone down the catwalk at a fashion show. Eleven neurological organisations had their applications for funding turned down. While we are raising funds for this organisation, the Government is taking funding from it. It is completely illogical.”
Photo used under Creative Commons from Rachel Groves