Time to ratify UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Sir, – I write to support Michael Farrell (July 18th) in his call to the Government to ratify the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

I was president of the Irish Human Rights Commission at that time, and I recall the real sense of hope and vindication felt by all disability groups when the UN finally ratified the convention, and I recall too the very significant contribution made to the drafting of the document by various Irish groups, and in particular the extraordinary and internationally recognised contribution of Prof Gerard Quinn of NUIG.

The fact that over 10 years later we are, by my count, one of only 14 other countries worldwide still to ratify the convention should be a matter of national shame.

This is not the fault of Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath, who has long been an effective campaigner for disability rights, but as Minister it is now his responsibility to bang heads together and resolve any outstanding difficulties.

Indeed it would be entirely appropriate that the convention be finally ratified under his watch – and by the end of the year at the latest. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 4.