Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability and TD for Cork South West, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that she welcomes the progress made to date in terms of resourcing the Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS) as a way of supporting the Irish Deaf Community.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony was commenting after raising the matter with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection which has responsibility for the service.

Funded by the Citizens Information Board, the SLIS is the national service for the development, promotion and delivery of sign language interpreting services to the Deaf community in Ireland.

“The service has a total budget of €676,000. Every cent of it will be needed to ensure that the large and vibrant Irish Deaf Community which numbers 50,000 at present gets the services it needs.

“Last year, my party colleague, Senator Mark Daly secured the passage of the Irish Sign Language Act 2017 which guarantees state recognition of Irish Sign Language, requires State agencies to provide interpretation services and to ensure that deaf citizens have a statutory right to use ISL in court proceedings.

“The Minister has informed me that guidelines have been drafted with regard to the implementation of the Irish Sign Language Act. These guidelines are for the administration of a scheme to facilitate access to social, educational and cultural events and services by ISL users.

“I fully expect the need for interpreting services to grow in the year to come, and the various government departments must ensure that the resources grow to match need,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.