A Co Galway man who has been a campaigner for people with disabilities for more than 10 years and who will run as an independent candidate in the general election will launch his Dail campaign tonight (Thursday ) at Munroe’s in Dominick Street at 8pm.
Eamon Walsh, a city businessman and father of two from Headford who is a founding member of Hope4Disability, a local disability action group, believes a fresh approach is needed to manage the country.
The 43-year-old NUI Galway graduate who owns a computer and telephone system business called CommandIT, based at Briarhill Business Park, says as a small business owner he is committed to driving political and public sector reform, job creation through supporting and developing the small business sector and a fairer and more equitable society for those who need support in the areas of health and disability.
Last year was a positive year for disability services when the disability community spearheaded by Eamon Walsh and Hope4Disability stood together and refused to accept further cuts to the already diminished services. This resulted in cutbacks for 2011 being capped at 1.8 per cent rather than the expected five to seven per cent.
Mr Walsh welcomes the appointment of a national director of disability services with executive powers, a position for which his group had been calling.
“This represents a move towards a separately accountable disability Budget. It is essential that the lack of transparency and accountability in the provision of disability services is addressed. For far too long people with disabilities and other vulnerable people have ended up being the easy target for budget cuts, inefficient practices and underinvestment.”
If elected Mr Walsh says he will drive an agenda of reform including the complete reframing of the failed National Disability Strategy. Central to this drive will be a call for the establishment of a Dáil Committee on disability and mental health.
He is confident that a cross party reference group of Dáil members can be drawn together to support these reforms and provide a unified voice for people with disabilities in the houses of the Oireachtas.
Mr Walsh and his team will be available at tonight’s launch to meet people and procide campaign information. Music will be provided by The People Carriers and there will be spot prizes and food provided.
A second campaign night will take place at Regan’s, Clonboo, Annaghdown on Thursday February 17 at 8pm with music by Joe Forde.
For further information log onto www.eamonwalsh.ie
or Blog www.eamonwalsh.ie/blog