Disability Federation of Ireland Urges Election Candidates and Party Leaders to Pledge to ‘Leave Nobody Behind’

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Thursday, 15th May 2014

Dublin

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) is calling on all party leaders and candidates to the Local and European Elections 2014 to sign its pledge to “Leave Nobody Behind” by Monday, 19 May.

The pledge represents a commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities do not get left behind, with candidates undertaking to implement DFI’s Top Election Priorities, as set out in the organisation’s election manifestos.  On signing the pledge, candidates’ names will be listed on the DFIwebsite.

This comes as part of the DFI's ‘Ask Three Questions’ campaign, which places disability firmly on the agenda for the upcoming elections by providing people with three important questions to ask of their local and European candidates.

In Ireland, people with disabilities continue to endure significantly poorer social and economic outcomes.  Disabled people remain twice as likely to live below the poverty line as the rest of the population, with 11% experiencing high levels of consistent poverty.  These realities can be ignored no longer.

John Dolan, Chief Executive of DFI, stated, “Disability and long-term illnesses are issues for every home at some stage, and no amount of private health insurance will successfully buffer individuals and families against it.  A strong and thoughtful public health and social services system will give the protection.  Only a committed, ambitious and determined state can deliver that, and it needs the active support of the community to back it”.

He continued, “We have written to party leaders, and asked them to sign this Pledge by Monday, 19th May.  Their commitment to delivering a credible and functioning infrastructure which supports and enhances the lives of people with disabilities and their families is essential”.

Mr Dolan concluded, “This pledge reaches further than next week’s elections; this is about the future of people with disabilities, their families and their communities.  Since 2008, consistent and growing cuts have eroded vital services and incomes supports which this group relies upon.  People with disabilities have been left behind. We are making the case for an inclusive society that does not allow this to happen any longer”.

Ends

For contact:

John Dolan, Chief Executive - 086 795 7467

Allen Dunne, Deputy Chief Executive - 086 850 2112

Jacqueline Grogan, Communications Officer - 086 388 2600

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