Friday 20 January 2017

Tributes paid to inspirational disability campaigner

Laura Larkin

Published 14/10/2016 | 02:30

Activist Martin Naughton. Photo: Tom Burke
Activist Martin Naughton. Photo: Tom Burke

President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to disability rights campaigner Martin Naughton, who has passed away aged 62.

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"As a political activist, Martin Naughton had the vision, skills and determination to build solidarity between all those who strive for equality, dignity and the fulfilment of human rights for all groups in society, making him a valuable ally for a multitude of social justice groups. His struggle for equality in Ireland and internationally has been an inspiration," Mr Higgins said.

Mr Naughton campaigned for Independent Living and founded the first Centre for Independent Living in Dublin in the early 1990s.

The Galway native was born with muscular dystrophy and spent much of his childhood in St Mary's Hospital in Baldoyle.

He worked with the Disability Federation of Ireland for 19 years and also founded Áiseanna Tacaíochta in 2010.

Most recently he was appointed to a Government taskforce on personalised budgets for people with disabilities.

Senator John Dolan, CEO of the Disability Federation of Ireland, said he "brought a tension and edge to the disability sector and was ever the conscience in the room".

Irish Independent

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