New Departure on Rights of Persons with Disabilities as Formal Committee Begins Work in Monitoring Ireland’s Obligations
Eleven people will today be formally appointed to serve on the first ever statutory advisory committee in Ireland to support monitoring of Ireland’s implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
The eleven members are appointed to their roles on the Disability Advisory Committee by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (the Commission). The Disability Advisory Committee, made up of a majority of people with disabilities is brought together by the Commission to support its statutory function of monitoring Ireland’s implementation of the UN Convention.
The CRPD was ratified in 2018 more than a decade after being first signed by Ireland and is now in force. Ireland is expected to produce its first report to the United Nations in Geneva on its implementation of the Convention in 2020. Article 33 of the Convention requires an independent mechanism to monitor the implementation, a role which will be fulfilled by the Commission.
The appointments to the Disability Advisory Committee are for a three-year term and come after an open competitive process. Eleven people are being appointed with a significant majority of members being people with disabilities.
Monaghan County Council is delighted the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has appointed its Social Inclusion Officer, Bernie Bradley to the Disability Advisory Committee. Bernie has worked in the area of accessibility and equality for 25 years, working in both community and voluntary sector and public sector. Since 2004 she has worked in the local government sector leading significant cultural and organisational change in equality and accessibility in Monaghan County Council. Bernie has developed numerous policies and initiatives to improve accessibility for people with disabilities that have been implemented in local authorities throughout the country. Bernie holds a Master’s Degree in Public Management and a Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality. Bernie’s appointment is a reflection on the significant progress achieved by Monaghan County Council in the area of inclusion, equality and accessibility in the county over the past fifteen years.
Speaking on the appointment, Monaghan County Council Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Sullivan, said “I very much welcome the appointment of Monaghan County Council Social Inclusion Officer Bernie Bradley to this very important National committee. It is a recognition not only of the important role performed by Local Authorities across the country, and by Monaghan County Council in particular, but to the many years of commitment that Bernie Bradley has given in her role in the Council as Accessibility Officer and Social Inclusion Officer. I wish Bernie well in her role and I am sure that she will be a very valuable part of the committee for its three-year term”.
As set out under Section 18 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014, the Chair and Vice Chair must be Members of the Commission.
According to Census 2016, over 13% or over 643,000 people in Ireland have a disability. Research published recently by the Commission with the ESRI has shown that people with disabilities continue to experience higher levels of discrimination compared to those without.
Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:
“The question of how Ireland meets its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities must be put in the spotlight. This new Disability Advisory Committee will be an important mechanism to ensure that the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission can fulfil its mandate to hold the State to account on the rights of people with disabilities.
“The Members of the Disability Advisory Committee bring with them significant personal and professional experience, and wide expertise in relation to the rights of persons with disabilities in Ireland.”
The full listing of the eleven Members being appointed is below, including biographies provided by the Members themselves.
Photos of the Members are available at the following link: