ILMI eBulletin February 17th 2023

ILMI Logo Independent Living Movement Ireland. Freedom Rights Empowerment
Pobal launch Guide for Inclusive Community Engagement in Local Planning and Decision Making
Photo shows a copy of the document - A Guide for Inclusive Community Engagement in Local Planning and Decision Making

Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development, Integration and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD launched the Pobal Guide for Inclusive Engagement in Local Planning and Decision Making  in the offices of IHREC at the start of February.

The guide was developed to support Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) to ensure that marginalised and disadvantaged communities have opportunities to engage and participate in local planning and decision-making. ILMI was approached to write a section of the guide, “How to create an inclusive environment for disabled people” and the role of Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs). The guide outlines nine main principles LCDCs need to use when carrying out local planning and making decisions but more importantly the guide shows some practical examples of how to put these principles into practice.

The guide should be used by DPOs and local community groups to ensure that the collective voice of marginalised communities are to the fore when designing and implementing systems and policies locally to build a more inclusive Ireland. Minister O’Brien said that there is an onus on policy makers to ask what barriers re preventing people from being included but that real inclusion makes for better policy.

Strategies for Change Update
Zoom screenshot of group

All SFC graduates came together last night to reconnect after the Xmas. The group as a whole shared the wealth of talent that each individual brings and looked at how ILMI can support them to actively engage in collective change using a grass roots approach, their lived experience and their learning from the SFC course.

Disability Equality Workshop
Photo shows a group of people standing.

On Wednesday, 15 February ILMI’s Peter Kearns & Paula Soraghan had a Disability Equality workshop with workers from Ablevision Ireland. Ablevision Ireland is a media training and Production Company focussed on working with people with the impairment label of intellectual disability.

It was a fantastic workshop with lots of engagement and is extremely important for building relationships with people in establishing local DPOs. Genuine engagement with DPOs and disabled people in the arts sector is absolutely vital and highlights the importance of disability arts and culture.

Participants found the workshop to be thought provoking, exciting and great craic!

For more information, please contact or

Committee on Disability Matters: Disability proofing and data
Screenshot of Jacqui Brown Chair of the DPO Network (also IHREC Commissioner and part of the ILMI Board)

Data is tricky to get, in how it’s collected and which box it’s squeezed into, but it’s crucial to understanding the barriers we currently face and to plan for a better future. The data we collect shows us whose experiences we value as a society. There are so many people who do not identify as disabled people but whose impairment label affects their day-to-day life. There are people who have an impairment who are disabled by the world around them but their label puts them in the wrong box of data catchment, or is simply not counted at all. To get a true representation of disability in Ireland today in order to plan for the future or tackle a barrier the methodology of data collection must be disability proofed with the UNCRPD and Equality at its heart.

The DPO Network members each hold consultations in our own time, we make the submissions, and all this is in line with the UNCRPD but it would be great to see it not only utilised and taken on board but actually supported in core funding. The research and data created is rich in depth and authenticity, because we have the trust of disabled people, because we are disabled people, because we understand how diverse we are and how being disabled affects all aspects of our lives. As activists, we are often left asking ourselves the question is our insight taken on board? Is important because it motivates us, it is capacity building in our members to know that our hard sought inputs are actually put into action. Is what the collective goal is.

Representatives from The Central Statistics Office, Cormac Halpin, Census Outputs Division, Kieran Culhane, Statistical System Coordination Unit & Fiona O’Riordan, Social Data Collection division
Representatives from DPO Network, Jacqui Browne , Chair & Grace Murphy, member, Amy Hassett, member & Nem Kearns, member
Representatives from Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), Sinéad Gibney, Chief Commissioner & Dr Iris Elliot, Head of Policy and Research
Full Statement of the DPO Network is here
Link to video is here

Ireland should enshrine economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights in its Constitution, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has said in a new report.

ESC rights — such as the right to food, housing, social assistance and medical care — relate to fundamental aspects of human life which are necessary for people to live and thrive in society.

Explicit constitutional protection would ensure that ESC rights are taken seriously as core rights concerns, and not treated as lesser than other rights protections

Link to report

The Road that Rises
Photo shows the cover of the book with text that reads “The Road that Rises, by Dermot Hayes” and features an image of a winding country road.

The memoir of well-known activist and Corofin native, Dermot Hayes, is set for publication shortly. Dermot has been a bastion for equality and rights for many years and was on the ILMI Board.

‘The Road That Rises – a memoir by Dermot Hayes, a boy from Kells’ will lift the lid on a life of campaigning and community action that has challenged establishment thinking over seven decades.

During this time, he has founded, co-founded and headed organisations to represent, campaign and progress rights for people with disabilities and this ongoing struggle remains a central part of his life.

Dermot is advising that The Road that Rises will be launched in St. Patrick’s Hall in Corofin in March 4th at 6pm with a great evening of celebration planned to which all are invited.

All of us here in ILMI would like to wish Dermot every success with this launch and we look forward to a hooly in Clare and a copy of this unmissable book.

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