Date Released: 16 September 2015
SIPTU representatives joined a 72-hour vigil by disability campaigners outside Government Buildings, today (Tuesday, 15th September), highlighting the impact of cuts on services.
The protest is focused on a range of issues, including the €159.4 million in cuts to disability services since 2008 and the need for greater investment in Personal Assistant (PA) services.
Disability Rights Campaigner, Martin Naughton said: “A PA is someone who helps me, and so many others, to do the things we can’t do. There is a need for much greater recognition of the vital work that PAs do.”
SIPTU activist and PA, Stephanie McNamara, said: “I see the difference that PA services make in the lives of people every day. People have the right to be able to live a full life regardless of their physical ability.”
SIPTU Sector Organsier, Darragh O’Connor, said: “PA services allow people to live an independent life in their community rather that in an institutional setting. As a society we should be upholding everyone’s dignity by investing in a quality PA service that meets the needs of people with disabilities.”
SIPTU will formally launch a campaign to safeguard quality PA services and quality jobs with PAs, service users and providers later this year.
Disability Rights activist, Aaron Abbey, called on the Irish Government, “to make 2016 the year of inclusion by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and give everyone who needs one the right to a PA”.