30 March 2017 

The Minister of State for Disabilities Finian McGrath T.D., has re-iterated his commitment to Ireland ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. “I am aware of the frustration of people, especially those with a disability, at what appears to them to be an unnecessary delay in ratifying the Convention”, the Minister said. “But I want to re-assure everyone that the ratification of the Convention remains a very high priority for me and the Government”.  

The Minister stressed that before we ratify any convention we must first ensure that our own domestic legislation is in place to ensure compliance and to actually protect the people for whose benefit the Convention exists. “The key remaining barriers to ratification are currently being worked on by the relevant Government departments or are making their way through the Oireachtas”, the Minister said. “Of course I am determined that the Convention will be ratified at an early date but only when we are legislatively in a position to guarantee compliance. I remain of the view that the Convention will be the template for the rights of people with disabilities for generations to come but it is incumbent upon me as Minister and others in the Oireachtas to get it done properly”, the Minister added.  

The Minister pointed out that the pending ratification of the Convention is not impeding him in progressing other initiatives in the disability sector. “Since I had the great honour of being appointed Minister around ten months ago I have overseen or collaborated with colleagues in Cabinet on a wide range of programmes and strategies that are aimed at transforming the lives of people with disabilities”, the Minister said. 

“I have demonstrated my commitment to the progression of the rights of people with a disability whom I have such a respect for and affinity to throughout my career and I am confident that they know that I have their interests at heart in everything I do”, the Minister concluded.