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'No more crumbs from the Budget table': wheelchair users stage 72 hour Dáil protest

Treatment of people with disabilities has created a mix of “anger and rage”.

A PROTEST IS taking place outside of the Dáil in aid of people with disabilities.

It will last for 72 hours, starting this morning, and it is hoped it will draw attention to the inequality and abuses experienced by people with disabilities.

The group organising the protest the AT Network has criticised spending cuts made by the government to services in recent years.

A similar protest was held in 2012.

Aims of the protest 

The group is aiming for a €300 million investment in disability services in Budget 2016, which is due to be announced next month.

Since 2008, spending on disability services has been cut by 10%, or almost €160 million.

Speaking today, one of the organisers Martin Naughton, said, “We have been patient, we have waited for the delivery of many promises and proposals, crumbs from the Budget table, but today, Ireland’s 600,000 people with disabilities and their families are at breaking point.

We are calling on the Government to listen to the voices of people with disabilities and our families who want support services to be redirected so that we can live independently in our homes, in our local communities with dignity.

He also said that the treatment of people with disabilities, including incidents at residential centres around the country, “invokes a heady mix of emotions of anger and rage”.

Cuts to services 

The group claims that 68% of people who use disbility services in Ireland are dissatisfied with them.

Last month it was found that 93% of inspections at disability homes around Ireland failed to comply with national standards.

This accounted from the time that Hiqa began inspections up until November 2013. 

The HSE funds disability services for around 9,400 individuals at a cost of around €900 million.

Originally published 2.40pm

Read: Children detained in special care unit forced to urinate on floor

Also: As many as 17,000 people in Ireland could have this disability… but no one knows for sure

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