ILMI eBulletin November 5th 2021

As always if you want to know more about any of these articles or ILMI’s work in general then do get in touch. You can reach us at

ILMI Tribute to James Brosnan

IMAGE: picture of James Brosnan

ILMI members will be saddened to hear the passing of our friend and comrade, James Brosnan, who passed away on Thursday 4th November in the company of his family and friends. James would have been 47 later this month and had been actively involved in the disability rights Movement for the last 30 years in PWDI, CIL, GDIL and ILMI.

James was born in Cork but his family moved to Dublin so that he could access services such as the CRC. He went to primary school in the CRC but his mother insisted he attend mainstream education in Mt Temple Secondary school. He completed his leaving cert and attended Maynooth but as there was no way to assess his academic needs he left and went to DCU. He later attended DCU and received a first class honours degree in Communications. When in DCU, James challenged the DCU staff on their teaching and assessment methods.

When James’ father passed away at the age of 17, Martin Naughton met with James and his mother and brought him into the Independent Living Movement in 1994. James embraced the philosophy of independent living and it was at the core of his life. His mother was always supportive of James’ right to autonomy in his life.

James was actively involved in PWDI and GDIL, where he worked on the CE scheme. James had a love of sports and keep fit. He frequently challenged medical professionals to maintain control over this life. He was a huge sports fan, particularly of his beloved Liverpool FC.

James later moved from an extension of the family home in Castleknock to his own home in Kilbarrack where he lived for the last 16 years. Being part of the local community was at the very essence of James’ practice of Independent Living. Later in his life he took up art classes locally in Kilbarrack. He was also a poet and some of his poetry will be recited at his funeral.

Over the last two years James’ health had deteriorated but true to his beliefs in independent living, he worked with his close friend Eileen Daly to maintain control of his life. James will be fondly remembered by all members of the Disability Rights Movement as a passionate activist, whose infectious energy frequently lifted spirits. His smile and energy outside protests outside the Dáil kept morale high at all times.

Rest in Power, James.

Details of James’ funeral are online here

The Big Imposter

“Forgive me reader, for I have sinned: it has now been four months since my last blog. I was browsing through it today and decided that I need to make more of an effort to post more often. But I have been writing, I promise. In fact, I decided that I needed to give my novel another chance, after leaving it on the back-burner for the last three years while I got distracted by various projects and courses. I did the Certificate in Disability Studies in 2019 with the view of trying to get another job in the disability sector, and all I have got from that so far is further confirmation that I want to be a full-time writer. Lucrative? Not in the slightest, but I love it. I’ve been doing it for seven years now, with no-one prodding me to write. I’ve gone out of my way to prove that the statement “working on my own initiative” on my CV is true, that’s for sure. And when I look back on my writing career as a whole, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, how many people I’ve reached and how many opportunities I’ve been given, from Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) in particular (a big thank you once again).

Yet, when the opportunity came to push myself a bit further, I was reluctant. In June, ILMI joined forces with Skein Press and The Stinging Fly, offering a bursary to an emerging disabled writer. I eyed the advertisement with relish, but dismissed it initially. It wasn’t a good time: our house was being renovated and we were living twenty minutes away in Mountmellick, and we were coordinating the renovation as well as trying to keep Alison’s routine normal. The whole ordeal was so overwhelming that I had to step back from activism before I burned out. Suffice to say, it was a busy time, and when I threw the first ten pages of what I would usually term “my excuse for a novel” into the ring, the last thing I expected was to get an email two weeks later to say I’d won.

Reader, I felt euphoric. It was the middle of the July heatwave, and I brought Alison for an ice-cream so chocolatey and stodgy that we needed full showers afterwards; the pack of baby wipes didn’t cut it. I was so proud of myself. I had done it: everything I’d written since 2015 had been leading up to that moment.

But the next morning, ……”  Read the entire article here from Sarah Fitzgerald 

A screen shot from thursday morning’s ILMI delivery of the first Disability Equality Training session with the Community Development Mental Health Network by Onside Co Ordinator Peter Kearns with technical support from ONSIDE Community Navigator Clive Lowry.

ILMI are active members of the Community Development Mental Health Network and part of the training hosted by Peter is to bring a collective social-model approach to emotional distress, mental health and madness to inform the networks’ understanding of the UNCRPD what the different models of disability are, and using a more rights based approach to emotional distress and mental health.
The next training session takes place on:
Friday, 12th November 10:00AM-1:00PM

The Community Development Mental Health Network is resourced by Community Work Ireland

ONSIDE update

IMAGE: Screenshot of new Onside Cohort

The ONSIDE team were delighted to welcome the new Cohort of ONSIDE participants to our Social Inclusion workshop on Thursday, 4th November. The workshop provided a fantastic opportunity for participants learn about the important work of ILMI. Huge thanks to Patrick Flanagan (ILMI CREATE Coordinator) and Emma O’Neill (Peer Researcher, Disability Action) for their very informative presentations. Wishing all the new ONSIDE participants all the very best as they take part in our Digital IT and Social Inclusion Workshops over the next six weeks!

If you would like to find out more about ONSIDE or perhaps take part, email for Cavan for Donegal for Louth Sligo &  Leitrim and Monaghan

YES programme

ILMI was delighted to have Tracey McArdle, from Youth Work Ireland (YWI) back to deliver the final workshop last Monday evening with our youth collective via zoom! The YES programme kick-started four weeks ago exploring sex, sexual health, sexual identity, sexual orientation and healthy relationships. The YES programme series was delivered in an informal way to allow participants to get to know each other and understand the contents of the YES programme series.   The group agreed upon the terms of their contract, which set the scene for group behaviour during the series of workshops.  Sessions throughout explored boundaries and what consent means and participants discussed the language around communicating their consent and non-consent.  The importance of respecting personal choices was central to the sessions. Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) were delighted to work in partnership with Youth Work Ireland (YWI) with hosting this short series of YES programme workshops.  The European Wide YES programme initiative is the first time that a Disabled Person’s Organisation, led by disabled people and informed by a human right’s-based social model of disability, facilitated the Yes programme for young disabled participants in Ireland.

ILMI really welcomed this collaboration with Youth Work Ireland because as we know from our UNCRPD consultations lots of disabled people have been excluded or absent from this conversation especially when members highlighted this in relation to articles 6 (Disabled Women and young girls), article 7 (Disabled Children and young people) and article 24 (education) of the UNCRPD. A big ILMI thank you to Tracey and to Youth Work Ireland.

NTA update

Here is a link, to the public consultation on the NTA’s Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan,  Connecting Ireland – National Transport. Please note that alternative formats of the information will be available shortly on line

Also a link, to the Bus Connects Cork public consultation give details of the proposals and online information event.

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