Ability West’s Team Adult Day Service, Tuam, took part in the Irish Performing Arts Festival (IPAF) in Cork this year for the fourth time. The IPAF is about creativity, inclusion, collective and individual experience and the arts. It provides opportunities for artists from all backgrounds to share skills and develop relationships. The IPAF showcases the outstanding talents and abilities of people with intellectual disability and autism. The competitions and street performances bring colour and vibrancy to Cork and Team has been proud to participate in this great festival for the past four years.
Ability West provides services and supports to over 500 children and adults with an intellectual disability throughout Galway City and County. Team is an adult day service in Tuam where 31 adults with an intellectual disability avail of a variety of programmes based around individual needs. There is heavy emphasis on personal development, basic care, social and personal skills and community involvement.
The Team drama group has worked tirelessly over the past months with the assistance of drama teacher Sylvia Nolan. In the past they have performed short comedy sketches, but this year they performed an interpretation of an old Irish legend, The Children of Lir. There was stiff competition from organisations all over Ireland, including entrants from COPE Foundation, Aisling Day Centre, Rehab Care, SOS Kilkenny, MIDWAY, Rosmini Resource Centre, Mullingar Resource Centre, Respite Support Project, Co-Action Cork and the Cloud Walkers (from Hungary).
When The Children of Lir was announced as the winner, the excitement was unbelievable and the celebrations have been going on since. The winning performers were Marie Roche, Tony Warde, David Warde, Breda Nicholson, Anthony Connolly, Rose Marie Martin, Kathleen Haran, Martin Douglas, Martin Shaughnessy, Noel Langan, Nicola Brennan, Teresa Mullins, Michael Feerick, Pat McDonagh and Mary Mullins. They were supported in Cork by Mary Margaret Garvey, Tony Goldrick, Susan Coady, Marie Miskell and Dominica Healy.
A great night of celebration and music was held in the Ard Ri Hotel, Tuam, to welcome home the Team performers and the All Ireland trophy! The play has also been performed to rapturous applause at Ability West’s 50th Anniversary Gala Concert in the Black Box Theatre, Galway, in October.