Tag Archives: Dail motion

From top: Thomas Pringle TD; filmmaker Paddy Slattery, right, on set directing his debut feature film Broken Law

Tomorrow in the Dáil.

Donegal Independent TD Thomas Pringle will be tabling a motion for the right to a personal assistance service for people with disabilities in Ireland.

The motion calls on the Dáil to legislate for the establishment of a commissioner of independent living within the Department of Social Protection tasked with establishing a comprehensive personal assistance service (PAS).

The motion can be read in full here.

Ahead of tomorrow’s motion, award-winning filmmaker Paddy Slattery, from Tullamore, Co Offaly, writes:

“Imagine being told you don’t have a right to lead an independent life.

Imagine being told you don’t have a right to design your own daily/nightly routine.

Imagine being told your basic needs will be met on someone else’s limited and degrading terms, if at all.

Imagine your life’s goals and ambitions having to be curtailed or moulded around someone else’s limited schedule.

Well, people with disabilities in Ireland (myself included) don’t have to imagine because without a Personal Assistant Service (PAS) we would be incapable of undertaking the most basic of physical or sensory needs without relying heavily on help from our family, our friends and nurses.

I happen to be one of the very fortunate few living with a disability and provided with a PAS. Without it, I may as well kiss my ambitions of filmmaking goodbye. I may as well do our government a favour, curl up in a ball and die.

You see, our government believes we shouldn’t have a right to a Personal Assistance Service. In fact, our government considers it an unnecessary expense and would much rather spend a hell of a lot more of our Tax payer’s money (yes, I also pay tax) on institutional care and carer related services.

What this actually means is that people like me should be “looked after” or “nursed” on a very limited and set schedule, because they don’t think our basic human rights and needs should be met or even recognized as WE see fit.

This is 2019. Not 1919. We are capable of deciding what’s best for US.

What does Independent Living actually mean for people with a disability?

Independent Living is about people with disabilities having the freedom of CHOICE in terms of housing, transportation, education and employment.

Independent living is about choosing what aspects of social, economic and political life people with disabilities want to participate in.

It’s about having control over your life, to have a family, to get a job, to participate socially and to realise your goals and dreams.

For many people with disabilities, Independent Living can be best achieved through the Personal Assistance Service (PAS).

A PA does not “look after” or “care for” me. With the PAS, WE are in control and direct the PA to carry out tasks both inside and outside of the home, including personal care, domestic duties, assisting in day-to-day tasks such as shopping, support in the workplace or socialising.

A distinct benefit of PAS is that it reduces dependence on family and friends. The confidential relationship that develops between us and our PAs allows us to maintain a private life and our dignity.

The PAS is often the difference between existing and living.

Some not-so fun facts:

Because our government doesn’t recognize the right to a Personal Assistant Service, it currently operates as a Pilot Project which renders it ineffective for most people availing of the service.

In 2017, 84 percent of those in receipt of a PA service received less than three hours a day and 42 percent of these people were in receipt of between one and five hours a week. This is only an average of 42 minutes a day.

As far back as 1996, it was identified that an average need for 10 hours of PA service per person per week could only respond to essential personal care needs, not quality of life requirements and it would certainly not enable full participation in the community.

Currently there is no legal right to personal assistance in Ireland. There is no standardized procedure or application process and those in receipt of this support have no security regarding the continuation or extent of their service due to lack of legislative protection.

So what now?

Tomorrow a motion will be brought before the Dáil to debate our right to a Personal Assistance Service (PAS). Right now we all need to become active and let our elected representatives know that this is a human rights issue.

We need you to mobilise friends and family to email your local TDs to ensure they participate in the debate and vote in favour of the Motion.

This is URGENT as this is our opportunity to have our voice heard!

We are simply asking our TDs to support this disability rights campaign. We need our TDs to be part of the debate when the motion is put to the Dáil tomorrow.

If you have read this extremely important appeal, thank you so much for your time.

Please share this message and feel free to tag any politicians you might know on social media.”

Pic: David Foley

Previously: Life In The Moment

Thanks Paddy

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A vigil outside Leinster House on November 2 supporting calls for 200 unaccompanied child refugees in Calais to be relocated to Ireland

Last night.

The Dáil passed an all-party motion committing Ireland to take 200 children from the former makeshift refugee camp in Calais, France.

It passed without debate.

The motion came about following a campaign by the group Not On Our Watch – a group of Irish volunteers who have been travelling back and forth to Calais to help those present.

The group, and supporters, held a vigil outside Leinster House last week calling for the motion to be carried.

From last night’s proceedings:

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald: I move:

“That Dáil Éireann:

— stands in solidarity with all people displaced by war and conflict seeking international protection in Europe;

— notes that the French Government has dismantled the refugees camp in Calais and has moved the unaccompanied 1,500 children to other areas in France;

— notes with concern that up to 10,000 children are missing and at risk across Europe and that this requires a special humanitarian response from European Union (EU) member states;

— commends the Irish humanitarian response led by the Naval Service’s ongoing search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea and our humanitarian aid programmes;

— notes the establishment of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme in September 2015 to implement the decision of Dáil Éireann to bring 4,000 persons seeking refuge to Ireland and opt in to the EU relocation and resettlement programmes and endorses the stated priority to support the wellbeing of, and to provide safe services for, the protection of unaccompanied minors, children and their families;

— notes the disappointment that there is slow progress to date in actually relocating refugees to Ireland for various reasons;

— commends the work of Irish non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and their volunteers for the support that they have given in addressing the migrant crisis;

— agrees that where practical to prioritise those unaccompanied minors from countries specified in the EU Relocation Programme as those who are likely to be in most need of assistance; and

— notes the ongoing commitment and resources of the French and UK authorities to provide protection to unaccompanied minors from the unofficial camp in Calais in accordance with EU and international law; and

calls on the Government to:

— convey to the French Government the solidarity of the Irish people and of Dáil Éireann in relation to the protection of unaccompanied minors previously living in the unofficial camp in Calais and their readiness to offer assistance if needed;

— work with the French authorities, in accordance with national and international law, to identify up to 200 unaccompanied minors previously living in the unofficial camp in relation to the protection of unaccompanied children previously living in the unofficial camp in Calais and convey Ireland’s commitment to offer assistance to the French authorities;

— act now to ensure the relocation to Ireland, by 1st May, 2017, of 200 of these unaccompanied children;

— commence a programme of relocation in liaison with Tusla and Irish volunteers and youth care professionals operating in Calais in a structured and timely fashion with the best interests of the children always given primacy; this programme is to compliment, and is additional to, the Irish Refugee Protection Programme;

— work with the French authorities, in accordance with international law and in consultation with youth care professionals formerly working in the camp, to identify those unaccompanied children who would want to come to Ireland;

— make available the necessary resources and expertise to Tusla, all relevant agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) so the vulnerable children can be offered a new start with those families that have offered to provide them with a home or in other appropriate settings; and

— use this pressing need to reaffirm the Government’s overall commitment, on behalf of the people, to a coherent national programme involving the public and private sectors, communities, NGOs and volunteers, that would help to establish Ireland as a society of equality, tolerance and diversity.”

Regina Doherty: “I move amendment No. 1:

“That the following text be added to the motion:

That Dáil Éireann will work with the French authorities, in accordance with the national and international law, and liaise with volunteers and youth care professionals formerly operating in the camp to identify up to 200 unaccompanied minors previously living in the unofficial camp in Calais who expressed the desire to come and stay in Ireland so that they can be relocated as soon as is practicable.”

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Previously: For Your Consideration: Voices From Calais

Pic: Ross McCarthy