Representatives of people with disabilities have criticised the Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters over attendance records.

It follows the cancellation of a meeting which was due to be held in private last Thursday but did not achieve a quota to enable it to proceed.

Social Democrat TD Holly Cairns, Sinn Féin's Violet-Anne Wynne and Pauline Tully, along with Independent TD Sean Canney were in attendance as well as Fianna Fáil TD and Chairperson of the committee Michael Moynihan.

An email signed by 42 people, most of whom are disability representatives, carers and campaigners say people with disabilities "seem of no interest or value to elected politicians".

A spokesperson for the Oireachtas Committee said there was no public meeting of the Disability Committee last week.

He said there was a private meeting for TDs and Senators - which witnesses or stakeholders do not attend.

However, he acknowledged that they were "one person shy of the quota" and so they had to rearrange.

The committee will hold public meetings this week, next week and on 7 October regarding the participation of people with disabilities in political, cultural, community and public life.

According to the 2016 census, 643,131 people in Ireland have a disability.

That figure is believed to have increased.

The group which signed the email says disabled people are poorly served at every level of society and are playing 'catch-up' to fellow non-disabled citizens.

The Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters was established in autumn last year.

During the pandemic it heard from people with disabilities, those caring for them and the organisations that represent them.

At an online meeting of the committee in July which launched its pre-budget report, it said extra funding would be required because of "huge backlogs and challenges in the sector".