Dear Minister Flanagan,
I am writing to let you know of my huge disappointment at the closing down of the National Platform of Self Advocates due to lack of funding. How can you justify this decision?
Functioning democracy depends on citizens having equal rights and being able participate in the decision-making process. This forum facilitated people with Intellectual Disability to participate in this process. I would like to draw your attention to the UN Convention on the rights of Disabled people (CRPD) which we as a country have ratified. I consider the funding of this National Platform to be a human right.
I am sure you are aware that people with intellectual disability in our society have not been treated equally to the rest of society. The ESRI/IHREC report Disability and Discrimination in Ireland (2018) bears witness to this. This is another example of inequality.
I am asking you as Minister to respect and resource the future of this organisation. Your action demonstrates lack of insight and a failure of the state to progress and realise the rights of people with Intellectual Disability.
I hope you will reconsider this decision and facilitate the National Platform of Self Advocates.
I would like to know if you have discussed this decision with the members of the National Platform of Self Advocates?
Programme Director for BNSc ID & College Lecturer
Department of Nursing ,Health Sciences and Disability Studies
St Angela’s College, Sligo
A College of the National University of Ireland, Galway
Lough Gill, Co Sligo, Ireland