By Gillian Stedman
Last Wednesday thousands took to the streets of Dublin to protest proposed cuts to disability payments. The crowds marched to Leinster House where they chanted in unison “No ifs, no buts, no disability cuts.”
The march was held to urge the Government to fully implement the promises made in the 2011 Programme for Government. The programme published in March 2011 contained the Government’s key promises to people with disabilities including, “tackling Ireland’s economic crisis in a way that is fair, balanced, and which recognises the need for social solidarity”.
Other promises included the maintenance of social welfare rates and the introduction of independent inspection of disability services.
The protest was organised by the Disability Rights Coalition Ireland (DRCI). Speaking to the crowds on Wednesday, DRCI spokeswoman Suzy Byrne said, “We should not be relying on rattling buckets to provide us with our human rights.” Protestors who attended on the day were asked by the DRC not to bring political banners in order to make the protest as inclusive as possible.