Ross needs to clarify what ‘disability activist’ means and ensure people with disabilities are appointed to State boards – Murphy O’Mahony

Published on: 11 February 2018

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has called on the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross to ensure that when he appoints new members to the boards of various transport bodies to represent the interests of people with disabilities that they are, in fact, people with disabilities.

“Last week, the Minister tweeted that he intended to appoint a number of ‘disability activists’ to the boards of CIE, Irish Rail, Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and other bodies to ensure that the opinions of people with disabilities are heard by those making important transport decisions.

“I think it’s very important that people with disabilities are, as much as possible, the ones advocating on behalf of themselves and their peers.

“There is of course a major role to be played by family, friends  and disability allies in fighting for fairness and equality, but only people living with disabilities can truly articulate their lived  experiences.

“Perhaps the Minister chose poorly in terms of the language he used in his tweet, but it’s important that the Minister clarifies that he intends to appoint people with disabilities to these boards rather than those who advocate on their behalf.

“I’m firmly of the belief that the best people to speak up and for people with disabilities are people with disabilities themselves,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.

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