We must examine how best to support the participation of persons with disabilities in the electoral process - Moynihan

Published on: 12 December 2023

Fianna Fáil TD in Cork North West Michael Moynihan, has said we must examine how best we can support the participation of persons with disabilities in the electoral process.
Deputy Moynihan, who is chair of the Committee on Disability Matters, was speaking following his attendance at a European Parliament Interparliamentary Committee Meeting where the issue of removing obstacles to ensure that people with disabilities can fully participate in the electoral process was discussed.  
He said, "22% of people in Ireland have a disability, and there is a need to ensure that these individuals, who are eligible, have full access to their right to vote, and political participation in an inclusive democracy.
"We know that 52% of disabled voters surveyed after the General Election 2020 reported that they faced barriers to voting. Leading to polling day, these barriers included a lack of information in accessible formats and lack of knowledge on how to vote, or not being able to follow electoral debates because of inaccessible information. This is simply unacceptable and must be addressed without delay.
"We must also examine international practices to support people with disabilities participate in politics and the support provided to disabled candidates standing for all levels of election with a view to introducing similar initiatives in Ireland.
"I am proud to say that Fianna Fáil was the first party to prioritise disability policies and legislation to promote the rights of disabled people in our society which aligns with our democratic republican values of fostering equality and inclusion in everyday life.
"We must continue to meaningfully consult with people with disabilities and their representative organisations to ensure that disabled people are facilitated to participate in political life. We cannot allow a  lack of disabled candidates to lead to political invisibility for people with disabilities.''