The Irish Times has delivered great news for the Irish Deaf Society, however not without reporting that the current Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly, is infuriated with the former minister, Phil Hogan. For most people, this news will indeed be great news. The Minister will be reversing cruel cuts to the Irish Deaf Society. He will be conducting an internal review of why the cut backs occurred in the first place in such a manner that it occurred and will be making additional announcements in coming days.
It was also made very clear that the Irish Deaf Society is not the only non-profit organization that was impacted by this change that Phil Hogan had pushed into effect. 26 organizations in total were axed by the predecessor with very little notice. Some organizations had been able to proceed with the appellation process, however in the Irish Deaf Society’s case, they were not able to afford an appeal process and in addition, had to immediately close their Deaf Forward Advocacy Services.
Minister Kelly released an immediate statement on the request of Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin:
“I am calling for an immediate statement from the Minister outlining the process that will be involved and what kind of review is taking place in order to give the groups affected some clarity. I am also calling on the Minister to fully restore the funding for these organisations while the review is taking place.”
Irish Deaf Society has been operating for 11 years, providing services including advocacy for people in Ireland. IDS had to shut down their advocacy services, “Deaf Forward Advocacy Services” due to funds being cut back by their government. That meant, cutting 5,000 people in the community off from obtaining essential services and advocacy needs. Not only that, IDS positions are at a full loss, as well as government roles that help lead the community through activities, building relationship with others within the community, now are at a loss too. It is expected that the Environment Minister will return €75,000 to the organization. With these promised changes by Alan Kelly, Deaf Forward Advocacy Services can resume business and continue to provide services.
The new Minister of Environment, Community and Local Government assumed office on the 11th of July of this year. Minister Kelly also was elected as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party on the 4th of July in 2014. Before assuming the latest position, he had been Minister of State for Public and Commuter transport from 2011 until 2014. For more information about Alan Kelly or to contact him directly, please visit his website by clicking here.