Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Order of Business
I welcome the scheme announced last week by the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, whereby HIQA will take over the registration and inspection of all residential services for children and adults with a disability, including those in respite care. This is a great scheme and heralds a new era for those with disability. It is the first time that services will be subject to an independent inspection by HIQA.
People with disabilities are among the most vulnerable in society. This scheme, however, will protect and safeguard them in a residential setting while also holding service providers to a set standard.
I commend the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, on her work in this area. I was delighted that last week saw delivery of a promise contained in the programme for Government.
I also commend RTE and BBC on last night's programme dealing with the missing people who have never been found. It is said that a picture is worth 1,000 words. The harrowing images and the descriptions portrayed the sadness of people whose lives were ruined through no fault of their own. Major questions remain to be answered. The people named in the programme should answer the questions. Allegations have been made about an Oireachtas Member and the Minister for Justice and Equality should call on him to make a statement on the matter. I am a member of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. I have previously met the families of some of those who disappeared. As Senator Harte said, they conveniently disappeared today.