ILMI eBulletin 17th of May 2024

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ILMI eBulletin 17th of May 2024    

In this Issue:
DPER Symposium “Disability Policy in Focus”
Unspeakable Conversations

DPER Symposium “Disability Policy in Focus”
IMAGE: photo shows Fiona in action

On Monday 13th Fiona Weldon and Damien Walshe represented ILMI at the  Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform conference “Disability Policy in Focus: Knowledge Sharing Symposia for Improved Policymaking and Outcomes.”

Fiona led the ILMI presentation by asking “Is our current disability policymaking and service delivery working for those it serves?” As the symposium was tasked with how data and evidence for policy gathered, Fiona asked “what evidence do we that services are working have, where did this come from? Fiona posed the question to attendees “Do disabled people have real choice and control over the supports that they use”

Fiona then asked people “would you continue to go back to your hairdressers if they gave you a bad haircut, you might give them 1 more chance but after that…but many of us are being forced to use services that are not working and this is stripping us from expecting more, and perpetuating the belief that this is our lot in life, some of us are only surviving and not living. Why is this still ok?

Fiona pointed out what was not working is that disabled people live in a world that values and priorities the needs of non-disabled people over disabled people, this is Ableism, like Sexism, and Ageism, it needs to be called out – its rife in Irish society and is a form of discrimination. Internalised ableism is endemic as a result, disabled people are discriminating against themselves and other disabled people by holding the view that; being a disabled person is a bad thing, that it is something to be ashamed of, or something to hide.

Fiona then outlined the role of DPOs and how we can set an agenda for setting a new policy context that is based on the real needs of disabled people to live full lives.

Damien then spoke about the role of DPOs to co-create policy and to develop best practice to engage with disabled people. DPOs can provide insight into the questions that need to be answered in terms of systemic change​. DPOs, if resourced, have the mandate and values to create engagement that is often needed over a sustained time-period​. ILMI stressed that data gathering needs to focus on qualitative and not just quantitative ​and that who asks questions will often determine what answers you get. There is a world of difference between “are you happy with your service” and “if you were in direct control of the money the State spends for your services, what would you do”.

There were a number of inputs on data collection and a panel discussion in the afternoon with workshops clearly reiterating the need for active DPO development of data gathering and policy and embedding principles of Co-Creation into work.

Unspeakable Conversations at the Galway International Arts Festival 

Unspeakable Conversations by Christian O’Reilly in collaboration with Liz Carr, Mat Fraser and Olwen Fouéré
directed by Olwen Fouéré and Kellie Hughes

A Provocative Theatre Experience
IMAGE: photo shows (in evening attire tux and gown) Mat Fraser and Liz Carr

World Premiere Dates & Times:
– 14–27 July, 8pm
– Previews on 14th and 16th July
– Matinees on Saturdays 20th and 27th July, 2pm
– Thursday 25th July, 2pm
(No shows on 15th and 22nd July)
Venue: The Mick Lally Theatre, Druid Lane
Tickets: €25–€30
Duration: Approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes with no interval

Join us for a thought-provoking exploration of life and death dilemmas in “Unspeakable Conversations”. Inspired by a real encounter between philosopher Peter Singer and disability rights activist Harriet McBryde Johnson, this groundbreaking play challenges audiences to ponder a controversial question: Should disabled babies be euthanised within their first months of life? Experience the clash of ideologies as Liz Carr and Mat Fraser, internationally acclaimed disabled actors, bring this debate to life with humour, personal insight, and verbatim text.

Accessible Performances:
– ISL-Interpreted
– Open Captions
– Wheelchair Accessible

Cast & Credits:
Produced in association with Magic Pill Productions, Mermaid Arts Centre, and Independent Living Movement Ireland.

Origins & Development:
Originally developed with the support of The Abbey Theatre [Engine Room], Town Hall Theatre [Patron Donation Award], and National Theatre [London].
Get your tickets now for an exhilarating theatre experience that will challenge your perceptions and ignite meaningful conversations. Don’t miss this opportunity to witness theatre that transcends boundaries and leaves a lasting impact. All info on this link

IMAGE: Half Wheelchair half throne with a crown casually thrown over the top

Casting Call-Out! Disabled actor sought for #NoMagicPill stage play. Are you a disabled actor with an interest in making an impact on mainstream Irish theatre – or have you always wanted to act, but never had the opportunity? Male actors with physical impairments (30+) are invited to audition to play the lead character, Martin, in #NoMagicPill inspired by the life of wheelchair-user Martin Naughton. Written by Christian O’Reilly, directed by Raymond Keane with Peter Kearns dramaturg it will tour to 4 venues in Ireland 7-23 Nov. This will be a high-profile professional production. Those auditioning will ideally have some theatre experience, but the producers are also very open to considering candidates who believe they have performance ability. First produced in 2022, and winner of the Audience Choice Award at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards,

is a ground-breaking production & will begin rehearsals in October. In casting disabled actors, the team would like to continue to challenge the traditional stereotype within Irish drama of depicting disabled people as either objects of pity or inspiration. #NoMagicPill aims to bring a fresh conversation and disability aesthetic to Irish theatre. Anyone who wishes to be considered to audition should send their CV, or a letter outlining their experience to date, to The deadline for expressions of interest is Thursday, May 23rd. Selected candidates will be invited to attend an audition on Wednesday 5 June at the Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) office, Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7.

Why not explore the wealth of resources available to you on our website: from our strategic plan to our  invaluable SFC resources and our policy documents and submissions. At our core, we’re a cross-impairment disabled person’s organisation dedicated to tackling the topics that matter most. Let’s continue our journey toward inclusivity and empowerment together!  If you want to know more or sign up and get involved in our work please email






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