Disability campaigner calls for No vote

A prominent disability campaigner and independent Senator has called for a ‘No’ vote in the upcoming ‘carers’ referendum.

Dr Tom Clonan who cares for his son who suffers from scoliosis, wrote on X that the Govt’s wording of the ‘care’ amendment has been very carefully chosen “to Define ‘Care’ as Exclusive Responsibility of ‘The Family’ i.e. Unpaid Carers 98% of Whom are Women & Girls. The Word ‘Strive’ Gives Govt & @HSELive Opt Out & No RIGHTS to #Disabled”.

He added that he was “Voting NO!”

Senator Clonan was responding to a claim by Children’s Minister, Roderic O’Gorman, that a yes vote would help secure funding for disability services and carers. Dr Clonan retweeted a comment by children’s rights solicitor, Gareth Noble, who said, “I fear this is absolute nonsense and I really wish they wouldn’t use people who need support to gain [political] support for themselves”.

Senator Clonan has previously said that the ‘care’ amendment is a “Patriarchal Opt-Out” for the  State & the HSE as the vast majority of unpaid carers are women. He called instead for the Govt to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCPRD).