Minister of State Finian McGrath has revealed that he raised the controversy about blockages to the Republic ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities at yesterday's Cabinet meeting.

The Independent Alliance Minister with Responsibility for People with Disabilities has told RTÉ News that "very shortly" the Government aims to publish legislation that would bring it closer to guaranteeing compliance with the Convention.

But Mr McGrath conceded that it is unlikely that his earlier promise of ratification before Christmas will be fulfilled, but he is determined that will happen "at an early date".

His statement came after people with disabilities protested outside Leinster House for the second time over his admission last week that he could not fulfil his promise, of last August, to ensure the UN Convention was signed by Christmas.

The protesters are angry that this is the only EU member state not to have ratified the document which guarantees equality to people with disabilities and the right to highlight statutory discrimination at a UN monitoring committee.