– Civil Rights for 50,000 members of the deaf community will now be enshrined in law -
Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has said that he expects his bill, the Recognition of Irish Sign Language for the Deaf Community Bill, to be passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas and signed into law by the President before the end of 2017.
Senator Daly made the prediction as the bill passed Final Stage in the Seanad this evening.
“We have worked really hard since the Bill passed Committee Stage in the summer to improve it, and to ensure that it would be acceptable to the Government.
“Having worked with all sides, I am confident that the Bill when it goes before the Dáil will receive unanimous support and will be passed very quickly. This bill is desperately needed by the members of the deaf community in Ireland to end their extreme marginalisation.
“It is simply unfair that they are not able to access State services in a language that they use and understand. This Bill not only gives rights to the deaf community but also puts responsibility on the Government.
“While we are at a point where there is support for the bill from all sides of the political divide, it wasn’t always like this. Fine Gael in the Seanad fought us tooth and nail, and it took a lot of convincing to bring them onside.
“That has now happened, and the passage of this bill through the Seanad is an important step on its journey to full enactment by the Oireachtas and the President.
“I am proud of this Bill. Fianna Fáil looks forward to its enactment, and yearn for the day when members of the Irish Deaf Community can go about their lives and do their business with the State in the language of their choosing,” concluded Senator Daly.