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 ?