Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters

Aligning Disability Services with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Discussion

Photo of Michael MoynihanMichael Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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We have received apologies from Senators Higgins and Seery Kearney. The purpose of today's meeting is to discuss the alignment of disability services to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UNCRPD, in respect of physical and sensory disabilities. On behalf of the committee, I welcome Mr. Damien O'Reilly, Ms Sarah Clarke and Ms Samantha Kenny.

I must remind members that they are only allowed to participate in the meeting when they are in the precincts of Leinster House. In this regard, members joining remotely cannot participate in the meeting. We are online so I ask everyone to bear with us if any unprecedented circumstances or technical issues arise, which can happen from time to time.

Before we begin I must bring the issue of parliamentary privilege to the attention of those in attendance and call on them to observe the long-standing parliamentary practice that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable. I also point out to witnesses giving evidence outside of the precincts of Leinster House that we are not sure at this point the extent of the constitutional protections afforded to them. No clear guidance can be given. For members participating they have privilege. Anyone giving evidence from another jurisdiction should be mindful of the statutory regime there. In any evidence that is being given to the committee, if the person giving such evidence is directed by the committee to cease giving evidence, they should do so immediately.

I call now on Mr. Damien O'Reilly to make his opening remarks, please.