Independent TD for Dublin Bay North, Deputy Broughan, has welcomed the passing of the Independent4Change Motion which called on the Dáil to legislate for the right to access a personal assistance service for citizens with disabilities. The Government did not oppose the motion resulting in the Motion passing with cross-party, unanimous support a development also welcomed by the Ceann Comhairle in his concluding remarks.

Deputies Tommy Broughan and Thomas Pringle introduced the motion last night, November 19th, with the support of fellow Independent4Change TDs Deputies Maureen O’Sullivan, Joan Collins and Catherine Connolly.

In his introductory remarks, Deputy Thomas P. Broughan said “there’s been a long struggle particularly in Dublin Bay North for the recognition of a personal assistance service with appropriate funding supports. This motion is asking for definitive steps to ensure this service is provided to all our citizens with a disability and is being pushed by excellent advocates such as the Irish Wheelchair Association, and disability activist James Cawley who described personal assistants as vital to living independent lives.

“For disabled people being able to live independently whether accessing education, working or raising a family, access to a personal assistance service is crucial and I welcome Dáil support for the motion and want to see the Government moving forward on this human-rights issue” stated Deputy Broughan.

In his introduction, Deputy Pringle said, “while we have a Personal assistance service in Ireland, it is chronically underfunded, inconsistent and incomplete, restricting the lives of many disabled people and their desire for independent living. Many thousands of people in Ireland have access to a Personal Assistance service, yet many more than that remain without. Currently, only 0.3% of disabled people have access to a personal assistant service.”

Deputy Broughan concluded by saying “The cross-party support for the Motion is very welcome and I hope that the Government will now take steps to establish a Commissioner as outlined in the Motion and that people with disabilities and their advocacy groups are consulted extensively in the timely introduction of a Personal Assistance Service for those who so choose.”