Statement from Minister Finian McGrath on the death of Donal Toolan
“It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of the great disability campaigner and activist Donal Toolan. I wish to extend my deepest condolences to his family and many friends.
Donal spent his whole life working to improve the lives of people with disabilities in founding a variety of advocacy groups and giving people with disabilities a real voice. He did so much to further the cause of inclusion and empowerment of people with a disability. Donal’s achievements were astounding which included being the first person with a disability to be nominated to the Council of State, to an actor, an award winning broadcast journalist and a TV and radio presenter. He packed so much into his all too short life.
To me however, Donal’s greatest achievement was in not allowing his life to be defined by his disability. The Disability and wider community have lost a unique voice and a true champion. It is so sad that in the last few months we have lost two true champions in Martin Naughten and now Donal Toolan. Their legacy will live on for generations.
Donal’s fierce commitment combined with a generosity of spirit touched so many lives and it was my privilege to have known him.
May he rest in peace.”