To all CILs - meeting with Minister Lynch 19/12/2011

“CILs are the pioneers of Independent Living - they were the first people I heard who talked about people with disabilities living independently....”  Minister Kathleen Lynch

L-R: Gary Lee, Michael McCabe, Minister Kathleen Lynch and Tom King

Michael McCabe, Tom King and Gary Lee all of CIL Carmichael House met with Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State with responsibility for Disability on 19th December 2011. The meeting lasted almost one hour and covered a lot of ground.  

The advantages to Government having CIL playing a consultative role at the very highest levels within each department were outlined in terms of the uniqueness of CIL being a national pan-disability network governed by people with disabilities together with the vast experience of its members.  CIL has been a true consistent voice for people with disabilities and should be recognised as such particularly in light of the withdrawal of funding for PWDI.  This funding should not be lost to the disability sector nor should it be re-directed to organisations in the sector with a different remit. Minister Lynch said no decision regarding the allocation of this funding has yet been made. CIL is in the process of making a formal proposal to the Department of Justice in this regard, emphasising the services it provides and its direct connection to service users in terms of our members. Minister Lynch acknowledged the role CIL should play at this level and will follow up.  She will endeavour to arrange a meeting between CIL and Minister Alan Shatter.

“CIL looked at progressive international practices which promote independent living and has introduced them to Ireland...” Minister Lynch

CIL also expressed its deep disappointment that the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities has not yet been ratified by Ireland despite the fact that 106 other countries have ratified it.  Art. 19 of the Convention enshrines Independent Living and Personal Assistance in law – no more excuses - CIL will start a campaign to have it ratified.  

CIL also called for the 1871 Lunacy Act to be repealed and replaced with modern capacity legislation – but not to have the Government use the delay in enacting new capacity law as an excuse to continue to delay ratifying the Convention. The Convention can be ratified regardless.

For her part the Minister noted Government policy regarding the ratification of the treaty – that this will happen after new capacity legislation is enacted.  She expects this to be in place in the coming months. CIL whilst not doubting the Minister’s commitment has been hearing this for almost 5 years.
CIL Carmichael House