It comes more than ten years after Ireland initially signed the treaty

The Dáil has approved the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Ireland signed the agreement back in 2007, and is the last EU country to formally approve it.

The convention is designed to ensure people with disabilities have equal rights in all areas of life.

There was unanimous support for the proposal, but some including independent TD Michael Harty said it must be backed up with more funding.

Deputy Harty argued: "We need to disability-proof our services, because if we do that than our services will be suitable for every member of society."

Welcoming the Dáil approval, Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath said it marks a 'key moment' for people with disabilities, as well as their families, friends, support networks and Irish society in general.

He observed: "[The Convention] rebalances the right of people with disabilities to make decisions for themselves, rather than have decisions made for them."

The Convention will ultimately come into force in Ireland 30 days after the ratification is formally lodged with the UN.