A motion, asking that Louth County Council support the right to a Personal Assistance Service for people living with disabilities and call on Government to enact legislation to standardise and fund additional personal assistant hours, was passed at Louth County Council’s monthly meeting on Monday morning.
The motion, put forward by Fianna Fáil councillor for Dundalk-Carlingford Erin McGreehan, asked that the local authority support the right to the PAS for disabled people – allowing them to have freedom, choice and control over all aspects of their lives and to enable them to fully participate in an inclusive society as equals.
Cllr McGreehans motion was a follow up on a motion that was passed in Dáil Éireann in November of last year, put forward by The Labour Party and supported cross-party.
Speaking on the motion at the meeting at County Hall, Cllr McGreehan stated that personal assistants “are a necessary requirement for people with disabilities to become self-determining, to be full citizens in this society with access to supports that enable them to take charge of their life, to engage with the world as they see fit.”
The councillor highlighted in her speech to colleagues and council officials that currently there is no legal right to personal assistance in Ireland. She said there is no standardised procedure or application process and those in receipt of this support have no security regarding the continuation or extent of their service due to lack of legislative protection.
Cllr McGreehan said that independent living is about “disabled people having the freedom to have the same choices that everyone else” and is about “choosing what aspects of social, economic and political life disabled people want to participate in.
“It is about having control over your life, to have a family, to get a job, to participate socially and to realise your goals and dream,” she added. You can read her full speech on the subject below.
CLLR ERIN MCGREEHAN'S SPEECH IN FULL
Read the entirety of Cllr McGreehan’s speech made at Louth County Council’s February meeting.