Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle’s Motion on Right to access a personal assistance service PASSES the Dáil with cross-party support


Thomas Pringle TD – 19 Nov 2019


Independent TD for Donegal has welcomed the passing of his Dáil Motion which called on the Dáil to legislate for the right to access a personal assistance service for disabled people. The Government did not oppose the motion meaning the Motion was passed with cross-party and unanimous support.

Introducing the motion, Deputy Pringle said, “while we have a Personal assistance service in Ireland, it is chronically underfunded, inconsistent and incomplete, restricting the lives of many disabled people and their desire for independent living.

“I know that many disabled people can attest to this in the context of Donegal as people in rural Ireland face extra barriers to independent living with the added restriction of limited access to transport, education and employment.

“Many thousands of people in Ireland have access to a Personal Assistance service, yet many more than that remain without. Currently, only 0.3% of disabled people have access to a personal assistant service.

“For those who do get it, the service remains limited and access is restricted due to lack of funding. Since 2008 funding for PA hours has not increased and disabled people have been witnesses to the constant degradation of support services as Governments past and present continue to outsource service provision in this country. It can depend where you are on the waiting lists, which Health are you live in in the case of CHO1 for Donegal access to health services is even more restricted and under resourced.

“I welcome the support for this motion as it continues my work on rights-based initiatives which I believe is the only way we can achieve progress in this country and the only way we can eradicate inequality, disadvantage and the barriers which disable people in society.

“For disabled people being able to live independently whether accessing education, working or raising a family, access to a personal assistance service is crucial.

“With a personal assistance service disabled people are in control and direct the PA to carry out tasks both inside and outside of the home, including personal care, domestic duties, assisting in day-to-day tasks such as shopping, support in the workplace or socialising.

“I want to thank the Centre for Independent Living in Donegal Rosaleen Bradley, Frank Larkin and Vicky Mathew who have been very supportive of the motion and who continue to campaign for the rights of people with disabilities in Donegal.

“While I welcome the overwhelming support in the Dáil for my motion it’s time the Government shows its support with action by legislating to establish a Commissioner for Independent Living tasked with the necessary functions to enable the right to access a personal assistance service for people with disabilities in Ireland,” concludes Pringle.