National Disability Authority – Viable ?

2008-12-12:  Further to the much regretted resignation of Mr. Niall Crowley, the Equality Authority’s Chief Executive, on the evening of 11th December 2008 … and meditating on the poor protection of human and social rights in Ireland …


It was interesting to listen to Ms. Angela Kerins, Chairperson of the National Disability Authority (NDA), giving sincere and earnest interviews in the media, a few weeks ago, about the possible amalgamation of the NDA into a larger, but single, Rights & Equality Organization.  [She also holds the Chair of the Equality Authority.]  


The question which I have been asking myself for a number of years is: “Does the NDA serve the best interests of the Irish Disability Sector ?”.


Back in September 2005, for example, I drafted a submission on behalf of FireOx International, SDI’s Fire Engineering Division, concerning the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government’s Outline Disability Sectoral Plan (2004) … and its serious omission of any consideration of ‘fire safety for all’ in buildings.


Commencing the Submission, I stated …


The 2005 Disability Act (Number 14 of 2005) is a deeply flawed and inadequate piece of legislation; and every individual and/or organization associated with its inception and development should be thoroughly ashamed.  It is an outrage, and a national disgrace.


In particular, we do not understand why every Board Member of the National Disability Authority has not already tendered his/her resignation.  We demand that this should now happen, and without any further delay.”


See the full 2005 FireOx International Submission.



Earlier this year (in April 2008), when reviewing a new National Disability Authority Publication: ‘Promoting Safe Egress and Evacuation for People with Disabilities’, I discovered – much to my great surprise – that the authors of the document, White Young Green Consultants (Ireland), had cut some corners and used copyrighted material developed by FireOx International for their commercial gain … without any permission.  This was later acknowledged by the National Disability Authority.


This NDA Publication also has many technical errors.


Maybe … it is Ms. Angela Kerins who should have resigned long ago … and not Mr. Niall Crowley ?







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4 Responses

  1. Interesting article – nasty people stealing your work though!

    More people should really be made aware of this.


  2. Ian,

    Leaving aside the separate, but related, issue of Mr. Sean Aylward … it is my very clear conviction that Dermot Ahern TD, Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform in Ireland, intended to render the Equality Authority unable to fully or effectively carry out its core functions under European Union and Irish Legislation by means of the disproportionately high 43% cut in the Authority’s 2009 Budget and the redeployment of 15 staff posts to the Authority’s Roscrea Office.

    This malicious act should, however, be seen in a wider context.

    If you get an opportunity, please refer to a Working Paper of the European Parliament: ‘Fundamental Social Rights in Europe’ (SOCI 104 EN – PE 168.629), which was completed in November 1999 and published in February 2000.

    Ireland’s performance concerning the recognition and support of human and social rights, when compared with other mainland European countries, was – and continues to be – disgraceful.

    Proinsias De Rossa MEP, was correct in making a complaint to the European Commission about Minister Ahern’s clumsy assault on the Equality Authority.

  3. I completely agree with you and am trying to make the issues known as widely as possible

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