Monthly Archives: July 2014

Daly Criticises Government for Failure to Address Overseas Voting Rights

Irish Overseas Proposal

 

New ‘reform’ proposals again fall short of real reform


Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on the Irish Overseas and Diaspora Senator Mark Daly has expressed his extreme disappointment at the fact that voting rights for the Irish overseas was not addressed in the Government’s latest reform proposals.
He commented: “It is extremely disappointing that voting rights have not been addressed by the Government in their latest Seanad Reform proposals. A reformed Seanad would be the perfect avenue for Irish citizens living outside the state to have a voice in Leinster House.
“By omitting to address this issue in the new reform proposals, we are continuing to disenfranchise people who by virtue of article 2 and 3 of our constitution are either Irish citizens or are entitled to be Irish citizens.

“Since 2009 almost 400,000 people have emigrated from Ireland and they deserve a voice in Leinster House. This was a perfect opportunity for the Government to recognise it and make provisions for the diaspora’s voting rights in the new set of reform measures. However, the Government has once again failed to follow through on their promise of a “democratic revolution”.
“It has nearly been 12 months since the Constitutional Convention recommended extending the franchise to Irish Passport holders overseas in a presidential election but unfortunately there has been no movement on this either.

“Fianna Fáil has welcomed the appointment of Minister Jimmy Deenihan and I hope he will now focus on this issue as a matter of urgency.”

 

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Senator Mark Daly welcomes Government U-Turn Over Funding for 26 Disability Organisations including the Irish Deaf Society

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Senator Mark Daly has welcomed the Government U-turn that will see funding restored to 26 disability organisations including the Irish Deaf Society for 12 months.

Welcoming the decision Senator Daly stated ” This funding is essential for the deaf community as it provides for the advocacy service of the Irish Deaf Society. I fully welcome the announcement by Minister Kelly and hope these groups will be fully supported with funding in the future. The Irish Deaf Society Advocacy Service provide
access for Deaf people to public services, education, healthcare and the means to employment. I am delighted they will now be able to continue this vital work on behalf of the deaf community in Ireland “

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Funding restored to the Irish Deaf Society and other Voluntary Organisations

Fergal Dunne, staff member from Deaforward with a press release regarding todays announcement about Deaforward

Friday, 18 July 2014

Press Release

The Irish Deaf Society (IDS) welcomes the decision made by the new Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly to restore funding to Health, Disability and other organisations including the IDS for a twelve month period until July 2015.
The decision allows the IDS to reopen its National Deaf Advocacy Service which works to provide access for Deaf people to education, employment, health and general public information and services. Their advocacy service had been forced to close three weeks ago following the initial announcement that their funding would be discontinued following the announcement 30th June.
The 12 month long funding allocation will keep services running while a sustainable long-term solution to the funding problem is sought.
Commenting on the decision, IDS CEO Eddie Redmond stated, “The announcement comes as a relief to thousands of disadvantaged Deaf people who have come to depend on the Deaforward Advocacy Service for support in areas covering basic needs like phone calls for bills, to larger issues like discrimination in accessing public services or in seeking mental health support for which there are none for Deaf people in Ireland. For many Deaf people the advocacy service is an essential part of their lives”.
He added, “We would like to extend huge gratitude to our nominee to the Seanad Senator Mark Daly, and TD Joe Costello, with whose support we don’t believe we would be in the position we are today.”

Senator Mark Daly and members of the Irish Deaf Society meet at Leinster House after being present in the Seanad and the Dáil

Senator Mark Daly and members of the Irish Deaf Society meet at Leinster House after being present at the Seanad and the Dáil

For more information on this press release, go to:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=596314277155351&id=431819680271479

For more information on the Irish Deaf Society, go here: Irish Deaf Society Facebook Page

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Ireland’s first Diaspora Minister will be ‘closely watched’ says Irish in Britain group

The Irish Post

 

IRELAND’S newly appointed Diaspora Minister will face the watchful eye of the Irish in Britain as he prepares to take the reins of what will be a precedent-setting term.

Following a major cabinet reshuffle last week, Jimmy Deenihan is now the voice in the Dáil for the Irish abroad after his appointment as Ireland’s first Minister of State for the Diaspora.

Welcoming the news, the Irish in Britain organisation — which has long campaigned for such a position — also warned there is much work to be done to engage with the Irish here.

CEO Jennie McShannon said: “Minister Deenihan is the first minister to hold this portfolio, his will be a precedent-setting term. The millions of Irish around the world will be looking closely at his office and few as closely as those of us in Britain.”

She added: “We hope to build a partnership with him to enhance the experiences of the new Irish and to protect the most vulnerable.”

The Taoiseach has also vowed to work closely with his former Minister for the Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht.

Mr Kenny described the new ministerial position as “an important role in connecting with the huge Irish Diaspora throughout the world”.

When contacted by The Irish Post on Monday the Taoiseach’s office confirmed Mr Deenihan will take up the post immediately and that the scope of his brief was being discussed.

It has been suggested that among Mr Deenihan’s responsibilities will be examining whether the Irish abroad should be given the vote in presidential elections in Ireland.

But a spokesperson at the Taoiseach’s office added: “No concrete plans are even on the agenda yet.”

The Kerry native, who has headed up the Department for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht since 2011, will have little time to settle into his role, with issues such as Britain’s forgotten Irish community, voting rights for the Irish abroad and the plight of the undocumented Irish in the US being touted as pressing matters in need of urgent attention.

“Minister Deenihan’s appointment shows the importance of the 70million people of Irish heritage throughout the world,” said Senator Mark Daly, Fianna Fáil spokesperson for the Irish Overseas and Diaspora.

“And the challenges that face him include immigration reform for the 50,000 undocumented Irish in the United States, working visas to the United States and the forgotten Irish community in Britain.”

 

John O’Shea

http://www.irishpost.co.uk/news/irelands-first-diaspora-minister-will-be-closely-watched-says-irish-in-britain-group

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Senator Daly proposes the motion to reinstate funding to Voluntary Organisations, such as the Irish Deaf Society

I thank the Cathaoirleach, the Ceann Comhairle, the Superintendent, Oireachtas staff and all those involved in facilitating the Irish Sign Language interpreters who are in the Visitors Gallery and the Press Gallery in the Dáil. They are here because of the issues discussed yesterday in the Dáil and the motion we have tabled, No. 63, motion No. 11 regarding the cut in funding for the national advocacy service of the Irish Deaf Society. A range of organisations are affected by the cuts in funding of €1.2 million for voluntary organisations imposed by the Government. A copy of the Proclamation hangs in the main hall of the building, reminding us of the guarantee of equal rights and opportunities for all citizens of the State. While we are all agreed on that principle, we seem to find it very difficult to fulfil.

On the Order of Business yesterday Senator Jillian van Turnhout listed the organisations impacted on by thee cuts: the Alzheimer Society of Ireland; Arthritis Ireland; Aspire; Brí, the acquired brain injury advocacy association; the Centre for Independent Living; Chronic Pain Ireland; the Disability Federation of Ireland; the Dyslexia Association of Ireland; the Genetic and Rare Disorders Organisation; GROW; the Huntington’s Disease Association of Ireland; the Irish National Council of AD/HD Support Groups; Irish Autism Action; the Irish Deaf Society; the Irish Heart Foundation; the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, IMNDA; the Irish Stammering Association; the Migraine Association of Ireland; MS Ireland; Muscular Dystrophy Ireland; Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland; the Neurological Alliance of Ireland; the Post Polio Support Group; the Asthma Society of Ireland; and the Carers Association. In an article in The Irish Times today Professor Orla Hardiman expresses her horror at the impending closure of the Neurological Alliance of Ireland which gives a voice to more than 700,000 people and comprises 30 aligned organisations. A spokesperson for the Neurological Alliance of Ireland states: “The Taoiseach’s statement that charities can appeal the decision will be cold comfort to the charities affected as no timeline for the appeals process has been provided and they are left in limbo with no choice but to close their doors.”
The members of the Irish Deaf Society who are in the Visitors Gallery have seen their advocacy service wiped out. Who will communicate and interact with the Government on their behalf? The gulf in understanding between the hearing and deaf communities is enormous and was put into stark and almost comical focus by the statement from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government that representatives of the Irish Deaf Society should call in to discuss the cut in funding. I propose an amendment to the Order of Business to have the motion we have tabled debated today. We are seeking a reinstatement of funding not only for the Irish Deaf Society but also for all the organisations impacted on. They all rely on this funding to keep going. Staff in these organisations now find themselves unemployed, with no indication as to when their appeal will be heard or whether funding will be reinstated in five, six, ten or 12 months, if at all.

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