Monday, March 27, 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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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...

by Stephen Conlon

Community Polytunnel

My friend Greg and I started a project three years ago that we were passionate about. Our passion is gardening and Greg and I have a medium-size garden in a polytunnel. Our polytunnel is at the back of the house where I live, which is called Cara Cheshire Home in the Phoenix Park...

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The benefits of national standards and inspections of services. Joe Wolfe and Trevor Nesirky introduce the fourth and final article in the series about standards. It focuses on their view of the potential benefits of the standards and the inspection process for people with an intellectual disability. (Contact email:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is the statutory authority with responsibility for setting standards for health and social care services and for ensuring that such standards are met. This responsibility extends to residential services / centres for people with disabilities...

Stephen Brown, Adrian Hand, Frances Tynan, James Baxter, James McWeeney, St Christopher’s Services, Co. Longford.

Rights Poster

In April 2011 we got together with the help of Pat Maloney and Audrey Ryan and formed an advocacy group which talked about our rights. This group met once a week for six weeks. At the end of the 6 weeks a working group was set up, who worked on the signs and how we would tell everyone about our book of rights...

by Áine Lawlor

Áine Lawlor
Áine Lawlor

My name is Áine Lawlor and I am 28 years old. I did a course in Killester College. I did a Special Needs Assistant (SNA) course for two years. The course was a year-long, but they let me do it over two years, so the pressure was taken off me that way. Also I got a disability worker to help me.