“People with disabilities have enough barriers to overcome and don’t need the hassle of blatant discrimination,” said Fianna Fáil’s Disability Spokesperson, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony in response to an ESRI report which shows that people with disabilities reported a 32% higher level of discrimination compared to people without disabilities.

“This research will come as no surprise to people with disabilities and their families. Day in, day out, decisions are taken with respect to them that are coloured by other people’s views or opinions on them and their lives. This is totally unacceptable.

“People with disabilities already face and overcome more hurdles in life than the rest of society. They should not have to deal with blatant discrimination as well.

“What’s very interesting is the varying levels of discrimination experience by people with different disabilities. As the report noted, people with disabilities are not a homogenous group – they, like the rest of society, are affected in different ways and should not be lumped in together for ease by the State or by other agencies.

“We need to understand why and how this happens, and then put in practical steps to address it. Moreover, the State, as the ultimate guardian of a person’s rights cannot be the one discriminating. Many people with disabilities experience discrimination when it comes to accessing health and education services – services provided by the State itself. This is wrong, and it cannot be tolerated,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.