Thursday, June 22, 2017
Frontline Issue 89
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by Stephen Kealy

Stephen Kealy

The cover of this issue features Cillian having fun—and that is a large component of a good life. The summer paralympians reminded us what can be achieved in spite of what appear to be significant obstacles—achievements that reflected their interest, determination, motivation and desire to succeed—a real demonstration of the art of the possible...

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Jimmy Sweeney, Service User Council Chairperson. Eileen Costello-Conneely, Facilitator/Service Quality Manager

ability west logo

Ability West has a Service User Council in place which is representative of service users throughout the organisation. The Council has been in place since June 2010- The Chairperson of the Council is Jimmy Sweeney. The Council is facilitated by Eileen Costello-Conneely, staff member of Ability West...

Brendan Broderick, CEO, Muiriosa Foundation, Moore Abbey, Monasterevin

The Alvernia unit, housed in a wing of the St Fintan’s mental health facility at Portlaoise, offered a 24/7 support to a group of individuals with intellectual disability since the early-to-mid 1980s. At that time a decision was made to ‘de-designate’ the unit (i.e. to remove it from the regulatory framework of mental health legislation) and to manage it as if it were a community-based facility...

by Siobhan Kane, Inclusion Ireland

Inclusion Ireland was one of many not-for-profit organisations that supported a yes vote in the recent Children’s Referendum. The Referendum was passed by a majority of 58 per cent on 10 November. Paddy Connolly, Inclusion Ireland CEO spoke in support of the referendum...

Stephen Lawless tells us Philip’s story.

Alvernia House, in Portlaoise, closed its doors on 4 September 2012, with 27 people with intellectual disability moving into alternate living arrangements in community settings in the Midland area. The following is an account of one of these people, Philip Brady, and his progress so far in his new home...

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Roy McConkey (Extracts from a paper given at the 11th World Down Syndrome Congress in Cape Town, August 2012)

The governments of the world have given special needs education an exacting challenge for the 21st Century. The United Nations Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities spells out the aspirations for enabling disabled people to lead happy, fulfilled and self-determined lives...

Stephen Keating tells the story of Jim Kinsella, a former resident of Alvernia House.

Little was known about Jim when the initial project team first met him in May 2012. There was very brief information as to his level of ability—but nothing about him as a person. The person introduced to the support team on that first meeting at Alvernia House was a physically imposing man. The Muiríosa team were feeling apprehensive, as indeed was Jim...

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Kathleen Lynch, TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Older People, Equality & Mental Health

Lynn Conroy (left) and Carol Nairn (right) of the Special Olympics, with Minister of State Kathleen Lynch.
Lynn Conroy (left) and Carol Nairn (right) of the Special Olympics, with Minister of State Kathleen Lynch.

I am delighted to contribute to Frontline's issue on celebrating Disability. Just a few months ago we watched the London Paralympic Games and marvelled at the bravery and skill of each competitor in the games. The team from Ireland scored a number of successes and this undoubtedly lifted the mood of the whole country.

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Brian O’Donnell, Chief Executive, National Federation of Voluntary Bodies

The National Federation of Voluntary Bodies welcomed publication by government of the Value for money and policy review of disability services in July 2012. The National Federation engaged with the review in a spirit of constructive cooperation since its start date and is now looking forward to further engagement with the Department of Health...