My speech in Peamount 1-12-14 at the Tree Lighting Ceremony

I am very honoured as a former staff member and as a Former Parents and Friends member to be at this event in Peamount today. I spent many happy years working here.

Today is about Inclusion and celebration

• Inclusion is about ALL of us
• Inclusion is about living full lives – about learning to live together.
• Inclusion treasures diversity and builds community.
• Inclusion is about our ‘abilities’ – our gifts and how to share them

In 1955 the story of a brave and tired woman named Rosa Parks was put in front of the world and created awareness. They say this woman had gotten tired, in fact, historically tired of being denied equality. She wanted to be included in society in a full way, something which was denied to people labelled as “black” people! So Rosa Parks sat down on a bus in a section reserved for “white” people. When Rosa was told to go to “her place” at the back of the bus, she refused to move, was arrested, and history was challenged and changed. All of this happened because Rosa Parks was tired, historically tired of being excluded. She had sat down and thereby stood up for inclusion! Fighting for inclusion also involves assuring that all support systems are available to those who need such support. Providing and maintaining support systems are a civic responsibility, not a favor.

On SDCC I as part of the ruling Progressive alliance I am very committed to Disability and inclusion. As an independent I have had the following motion passed

”That the clondalkin Area Committee recognizes that all people with a Disability have a right to a full and meaningful participation and active inclusion in an accessible , safe and disability friendly environment. That SDCC will ensure that people with a disability will be a priority when planning and developing the new development plan.”

Work on this plan for 2016 will start next year and I will be pushing for a very inclusive plan going forward.

How would you feel waiting for 143 years to have your human rights acknowledged in law? People with Disability have and still have to live by a 1871 act when it comes to making decisions. We where promised the 2008 Capacity bill but this was never enacted , we now await the enactment of the Assisted Decision Making Bill 2013 People with a disability need clarification now. So My Motion for December SDCC Council meeting is
”That South Dublin County Council calls for the enactment of the Assisted Decision Making Bill 2013 in order to fulfil our requirements under Article 12 of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Equal Recognition Before the Law.”

I want to let everyone one in Peamount know that you have a friend and ally on SDCC that will work hard on Inclusion issues. I want to finish of by wishing everyone in Peamount the Clients, The staff, families and friends a peaceful, joyful and happy Christmas as we start our celebrations today.