Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters

Aligning Disability Services with the UNCRPD and Considering Future Innovation and Service Provision: Discussion ^

Photo of Michael MoynihanMichael Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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Apologies have been received from Deputy Wynne and Senators McGreehan and O'Loughlin. The purpose of today's meeting is to discuss the alignment of disability services to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UNCRPD, the future systems and innovation of service provision. On behalf of the committee, I wish to extend a warm welcome to Ms Magdalen Rogers, executive director of the Neurological Alliance of Ireland; Dr. Niall Pender, principal clinical neuropsychologist and head of psychology at the neuroscience centre in Beaumont Hospital; Dr. Alison Harnett, chief executive of the National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers; Mr. Michael Hennessy, chair of the National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers; and Ms Natalya Jackson, board member of the National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers.

I must remind members that only members participating from the precincts from Leinster House can contribute to the meeting, which means those who are physically located on the Leinster House complex. In this regard, I ask members joining the meeting remotely to confirm they are on the grounds of the Leinster House campus prior to contributing to the meeting. For anyone watching this meeting online, witnesses are accessing this meeting remotely. Due to these unprecedented circumstances, I ask that everyone bear with us should any technical issues arise.

Before we commence formal proceedings, I must begin with some formalities and advise our witnesses on the matter of privilege. Witnesses are directed that only evidence connected with the subject matter of these proceedings is to be given. They are asked to respect the parliamentary practice to the effect that, where possible, they should not criticise or make charges against any person, persons or entity by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable. I wish to advise witnesses giving evidence from a location outside of Leinster House to note that the constitutional protections afforded to witnesses attending to give evidence before the committee may not extend to them. No clear guidance can be given on whether, or the extent to which, the evidence given is covered by absolute privilege of a statutory nature. Persons giving evidence from another jurisdiction should be also mindful of their domestic statutory regime. If they are directed by the committee to cease giving evidence in relation to a particular matter, they should respect that direction.

Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice that they should not comment on, criticise, or make charges against a person outside the Houses or an official either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable.

I call Ms Magdalen Rogers to make her opening remarks.