The National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers Supporting People with Intellectual Disability has expressed "deep concern and distress" with the findings of the Brandon Report, published last week.

It has said that the report highlighted an "urgent need" for safeguarding legislation.

The national umbrella organisation of not-for-profit agencies, which provides supports and services to people with intellectual disability in Ireland, has noted the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities.

In a statement, it has called for the continued development of rights-based models of support in intellectual disability services.

Article 16 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Ireland has ratified, enshrines the rights of people with disabilities to "freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse".

Voluntary Service Providers said the report details failures in upholding the right to freedom from abuse for those people with intellectual disabilities concerned.

"Every individual with an intellectual disability deserves to have their dignity, bodily integrity, safety and autonomy respected, and where a person is vulnerable, to have adequate and reliable safeguards in place to ensure their safety and dignity," it said.

It has also noted that the Brandon Report illustrated "inadequacies in safeguarding provisions and serious consequences for individuals when that safeguarding was insufficient".

It said there is no room for complacency from any individuals or organisations supporting people with intellectual disabilities or other vulnerable adults ,according to a statement by Voluntary Service Providers.

Voluntary providers have called for the introduction and the enactment of safeguarding legislation without delay.

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"Fundamentally, there is a need for people with intellectual disabilities to be supported in a rights-based, social model of support, along with the required safeguards. This need is borne out by the report".

The report, according to the statement, underscores the urgency and importance of supporting people to move out of congregated settings to living in the community with the appropriate supports required.

"The viability of the transformation to appropriate person centred and individualised models of support has been demonstrated for many people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland to date. The Brandon Report should bring further urgency to ensuring people with an intellectual disability are supported to live in the community, with the appropriate supports as required."

It has welcomed the report's recommendation regarding the establishment of a strategic working group tasked with developing a new vision for disability services in this area in line with national policy.

A week ago, evidence reviewed by the National Independent Review Panel of serious incidents at HSE-run facilities in Co Donegal between 2003 and 2018 was published.

The Executive Summary of the Independent Review of the Management of Brandon - otherwise known as the Brandon Report - found a lack of external management oversight and leadership from the HSE also allowed the situation to worsen.

It showed abuse occurred with the full knowledge of staff and and management of the facility at the time.

However, it also said staff experienced "powerlessness" because they regularly reported incidents up the line in the expectation that something would change which it never did.