Minister McGrath welcomed the passage of the Recognition of ISL for the Deaf Community Bill 2016 through the Seanad yesterday. This important legislation, published by Senator Mark Daly, not only formally recognises ISL as a distinct language but provides for access to interpretation services and extra supports that are essential for deaf, hard of hearing and deafened citizens. Minister McGrath was keen to highlight that the bill also included funding for access to cultural life.

Minister McGrath thanked his colleagues in Seanad Eireann on what was a historic day for the Irish deaf community. The Bill enjoyed cross party support after comprehensive engagement with members of the deaf community. A special word of thanks to special advisor to the Minister, Gerry Maguire and Dept of Health officials Deaglán Ó Briain and Jennifer O’Farrell who were instrumental in getting this important civil rights issue over the line.

The next step is that the Bill go before Dáil Eireann and Minister McGrath is confident this can be be progressed and signed into law without delay.