Irish Human Rights body fails to protect persons with a disability


  • On the occasion of a visit to Ireland by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, Inclusion Ireland again calls on the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) to investigate the continued institutionalisation of persons with a disability in Ireland
  • Inclusion Ireland calls on IHREC to publish the ‘confidential’ information they received from the HSE which persuaded them not to inquire.


In a report published by Inclusion Ireland today (08/12/2018), the advocacy organisation has accused the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) of failing to protect the rights of persons with a disability.

CEO of Inclusion Ireland, Paddy Connolly, said: “Despite significant evidence of abuse, denial of liberty, segregation from the community and other human rights abuses, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has failed to act or intervene to vindicate the rights of thousands of persons with a disability.”

“Inclusion Ireland made a detailed submission to IHREC in February 2015 setting out the grounds for an inquiry. It took 14 months for them to set out their reason for not conducting an inquiry. In that period and since, the Government and the HSE has not only failed to close large institutions and give people the supported life in the community they are entitled to, but has continued to institutionalise people.”

“According to the Health Research Board (HRB), only 4% of persons with intellectual disability live in an independent setting. The model of choice of the Irish State in supporting adults with an intellectual disability is to deny them the supports for independent, community-based living and to confine them to large and small institutions, nursing homes or the family home.”

“The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission have powers of inquiry where there is ‘a serious violation of human rights or equality of treatment’ or ‘a systemic failure to comply with human rights or equality of treatment obligations’. This is clearly the case for persons with an intellectual disability in Ireland.”

“Numerous HIQA reports have laid bare the abuse, violence, lack of freedom and choice that persons with an intellectual disability experience in residential care. We are again calling on IHREC to use their powers to inquire into the continued use of institutions for people with a disability in Ireland’





Further Information

Inclusion Ireland is a national rights-based advocacy organisation that works to promote the rights of people with an intellectual disability and their families. The advocacy organisation provides a central forum to identify priorities and formulate nationally agreed policies to present to government, statutory bodies, other relevant groups as well as the general public. Inclusion Ireland campaigns for changes in services and legislation that will improve the quality of life and participation of people with an intellectual disability in Irish society in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.



Nyle Lennon, Communications Officer, 086 837 3394