Newsletter April 2011

Issued on April 11 2011

In Government it is Only Actions that Count

The recent launch of the National Advocacy Service is to be welcomed as an improved and more focused national service, building on the forty plus pilot programmes that preceded it. Speaking at the launch Joan Burton TD, Minister for Social Protection said, “Equality is at the heart of what it means to be a citizen in our democracy. This Government believes that everyone has a right to be free from discrimination and that we all benefit from living in a more equal society.”

While the National Advocacy Service is an important development it is worth remembering that this State recently passed legislation to bring into being a Personal Advocacy Service. This has been put on hold due to the recession. This was heralded as a major plank of the National Disability Strategy.

It will be interesting to see how successful the new National Advocacy Service will be in providing a professional, independent and mainstream representative advocacy service to people with disabilities. DFI anticipates that its member organisations will fully support what it is set up to achieve.

The Government, at a wider level, has made significant commitments to disabled people, and the leaders of both parties have named disability and mental health as their priority social inclusion issue. In opposition, politicians can only say what they would do if in Government, but in Government it is only actions that count. We urgently await the plan to progress the implementation of the National Disability Strategy at a time when disabled people, their families and their organisations, are extremely worried about the availability of services and supports to progress their independence.

John Dolan CEO


Séamus Boland is DFI’s Nomination to Contest the Seanad Election 2011 for the Public Administration Panel

The Board of DFI has recently nominated Séamus Boland to contest the Seanad Election for the Public Administration Panel. Séamus is not a party political candidate, which marks him out from his competitors, but more importantly he is a very able candidate. Séamus has a life long track record of work within the voluntary sector. He worked with a DFI member organisation back in the 90’s, APT, who are involved in promoting the economic and social integration of persons with disabilities. Apart from that he represents a colleague organisation of DFI on the Community and Voluntary Pillar of Social Partnership, where we have seen him operate so effectively over the years.

Séamus has the experience of working on the ground, and in working to effect change at Government and Department levels. He has shown himself as an able advocate for the implementation of the social aspects of the Towards 2016 Agreement of which the National Disability Strategy is an integral part. Séamus has been endorsed by the Board of DFI, and in him we have for the first time a candidate that is not dependent on any political party and, more importantly, who has a strong reputation within Government and Oireachtas circles and with officials across a range of Departments, and the proven capacity and commitment to be effective.

In the past independent candidates have failed to get elected. But things are not the same now amongst the Administration Panel electorate, the new Dáil, outgoing Seanad and the members of all the County and borough Councils. There are more independent members and party representatives that will not be running candidates. The party candidates for the Administrative panel are from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour so other parties will not be “automatically” voting for those candidates. Having studied the list of the electorate, there is every chance that Séamus can be elected, and we in the disability movement have an opportunity to engage with the Oireachtas members and the Local Authority members to put it up to them to back our nominee. Disability is a major, if not the major, social issue in Ireland. So much still needs to be done to make mainstreaming a real day to day experience for disabled people and their families.

DFI is looking for your active support to help get Séamus elected. It is important to act now, and get talking to those whom you know have a vote, or that someone close to you knows. Please let us know if you are prepared to do something to help get Séamus elected.

Séamus Boland’s candidature is also endorsed by

  • The Carers Association
  • Irish Rural Link
  • National Association of Building Co-operatives
  • Social Justice Ireland
  • The Wheel


DFI Welcomes Gorey CIL as a New Member Organisation

Gorey CIL promotes the philosophy and principles of Independent Living for People with Disabilities. Gorey CIL is a grassroots organisation whose main aim is to empower and enable people with disabilities to achieve Independent Living (IL), choice and control over their lives, and full participation as equal citizens in society.

Gorey CIL is one of the partner organisations involved with the South Eastern Advocacy Service (SEAS). SEAS, funded by Comhairle, was formed early in 2006 and is managed by the South Eastern Region Centres for Independent Living (Carlow, Gorey, Wexford, Kilkenny, Waterford and South Tipperary). The service was set up to provide one-to-one advocacy for adults across the South East region, who are either accessing or waiting to access a service from a South East CIL.

For more information please contact or Phone Kenneth Kilduff on 055 84828


DFI Seminar: The Work of Irish Non Profits Knowledge Exchange and How It Will Effect your Organisation

DFI invites you to a Seminar to introduce member organisations to the work of the Irish Non Profits Knowledge Exchange (INKEx) and to introduce resources for fundraising developed by The Irish Charities Tax Research

This event takes place at 10.30am - 12.30pm on Friday 15th April 2011 at DFI Head Office, Fumbally Court, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8. Directions available here:
Patricia Quinn, CEO of INKEx will give us a preview of the database that INKEx has built, to capture all available regulatory data on Ireland’s 8,500 not for profit companies, including most of the members of the DFI. She will talk about the potential of this database to support the data needs of the sector itself as well as policy-makers, donors, grant-makers and regulators. There will be a discussion on how the new INKEx website could enhance the lobbying potential for the community and voluntary sector as a whole, as well as specific sectors such as the disability sector.

Sheila Nordon, CEO of Irish Charities Tax Research, will also present us with information on the resources ICTR has developed to assist charitable organisations with their fundraising function. These resources include toolkits, templates and sample procedures as a support for putting the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising into practice in your organisation (which is part of meeting the requirements of the Charities Act 2009 in relation to fundraising).

Numbers are limited, so if you would like to register to attend, please contact Joan O’Donnell, 01 4250122 or by email: .
Light lunch will be provided after the event.

HR & Employment Law Update

Disability Federation of Ireland, in conjunction with Adare Human Resource Management, has in place a support structure for member Organisations to avail of discounted Human Resource and Employment Law Support Services exclusively for DFI members.

Annual Leave

This time of year is a good time to start planning Annual Leave for the summer months. Planning and booking in annual leave is both the responsibility of the Employer and Employee. The Employer needs to ensure that the Employee is getting adequate rest whilst ensuring cover and continuity of service in the Organisation. The Employee must also consider their opportunities for rest along with ensuring they use their annual leave within the leave year. Many Organisations base their leave request approval on a first come first served basis, so it is important to get the request in sooner rather than later.

Entitlement to Annual leave is set out in the Organisation of Working time Act 1997 and is based on actual hours worked by an Employee. The purpose of Annual leave is to provide rest and recreation for Employees away from work so that they can reconcile their home and work lives. For this reason it is important that annual leave is taken in the year in which it is accrued and also that it is not all taken at once.

When considering an Annual leave request for approval, Employers should have regard for the Employee’s need to reconcile work and any family responsibilities and opportunities for rest and recreation available to the Employee.

For further information on the HR Support Services provided click on the link below:

Coping with the Stress of Redundancy – for Staff and Managers

By Maeve Halpin, Social and Organisational Psychologist

For many people, being made redundant will constitute one of the most stressful events of their lives. The proportion of people on anti-depressants or painkillers increases by about 60% among those affected by redundancy, when compared to the general population. Understanding the emotional impact of redundancy can allow workers to protect themselves when they are faced with the reality of losing their jobs.

Emotional Stages in Redundancy

The experience of redundancy can be compared to that of bereavement, in that it involves significant loss. As with bereaved people, a series of recognisable stages are undergone. First there can be shock, when it is impossible to take in the reality of the situation. Next comes denial - “this isn't happening to me” . When something happens that threatens our sense of ourselves and our world, we tend to minimise it and deny it, in order to retain our sense of what is familiar. Anger may follow, often directed at management. There is a feeling of “Why me? ” When the inevitability of being unemployed begins to dawn, depression can set in. There can be feelings of having failed, and fear of never working again, especially among older workers. Self-esteem may plummet, with feelings of worthlessness and insecurity. High achievers are more likely to blame themselves, rather than market conditions or other external factors, and so are more at risk of this weakened self-concept. Men are also more at risk than women of experiencing negative emotions when made redundant, possibly because men's self-image may be more linked to their job and career. The next stage is the realisation of loss, and thishas many dimensions – the loss of direction, of colleagues, of security, of daily routine, all of the comforts that come from regular work. There can be an experience of stigma – how will I be seen by others? What will my children tell their friends? And of lack of control – will I lose my house? Will my marriage survive?

Challenges for Managers

Implementing salary cuts and redundancies has become the unenviable task of many Community and Voluntary Sector managers, often for the first time in their careers. Funding cutbacks have created a climate of great uncertainty for many organisations, and the longer uncertainty goes on, the more stressful it becomes. Rumours and counter-rumours flourish when there is a dearth of information, so it is important that a clear communications policy is agreed by management. Line managers need to be kept appraised of developments, and an environment of trust and openness nurtured. Every effort should be made to investigate alternatives to redundancies, with options offered to staff when possible.

Stress among those left behind

An unexpected research finding is that staff who retain their jobs while colleagues are made redundant, experience almost the same levels of stress as those let go. There can be “survivor guilt”, i.e. a feeling of guilt that former colleagues are suffering while they still have a job. Remaining staff may feel anger at how the process was handled, fear that they might be next to go, loss of co-workers who were also friends, and increased workload due to staff reductions.

Dealing with Individuals

Redundancy packages may obscure the pain of job loss. Care and empathy is necessary in dealing with staff who are to be notified of redundancy. An external Outplacement Service can be of great benefit to workers who suddenly find themselves on the job market, perhaps for the first time in years. Good communication with the remaining staff is also vital to maintain their confidence in management, their motivation and their focus on the on-going work of the organisation.

Many managers will have little training or experience in handling the emotional upheaval triggered by redundancies. External Supervision provides an opportunity, in a confidential, one-to-one setting, to discuss the personal and professional challenges of implementing job cuts, and to identify effective strategies for maintaining good workplace relations in difficult times.

Maeve Halpin is a practising counsellor and Social and Organisational Psychologist, with many years’ experience in the Community and Voluntary sector, latterly as Chair of the Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups. In conjunction with Maeve, DFI have launched an External Supervision and Support Service for staff and Boards of DFI member groups. More information is available at

Census 2011 - Information on Accessibility, Plain English Guide and Carers 10th April 2011 - Make your Mark

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) in working with other organisations, have put in place some arrangements to assist with accessibility issues and barriers that may exist when individuals are filling out the census form on Sunday 10th April. A helpdesk is available from the 6th April and details will be available on the CSO Census website here:

Accessibility, For people who are blind or have a visual impairment, the CSO have a choice of materials to assist in completing the census form. For people with hearing impairment, please let your enumerator know when they call or contact the census helpdesk (details below).

Plain English Guide, CSO also have developed, in conjunction with the National Adult Literacy Association (NALA), a plain English ‘Step by Step Guide to Filling in the Census 2011 Form which is available to download here:

A large print questionnaire and an audio version of the questionnaire is also available on the CSO website here:


The Carers Association have launched a campaign - "Make Carers Count" to ensure that all Carers answer the information on unpaid work in Question 22 of the census. More information is available on the DFI website here and on the CSO website here

CSO Contact details

Swords Business Campus, Balheary Road, Swords, Co. Dublin.
LoCall : 1890 2011 11: Phone: 353-1-895 1470
Fax: 353-1-895 1399: Email:

Charities Introduce Code to Boost Financial Transparency

This code of practice applies to all fundraising including door-to-door and street collections, telemarketing, direct mail, emergency appeals, internet donations, raffles, church-gate collections and bequests.
The code, which has been developed by the industry’s co-ordinating body, Irish Charities and Tax Research, includes a new complaints and feedback procedure for the public and a monitoring body to ensure compliance. It also includes a “donor’s charter”, which creates a right to know about the causes for which a charity is fundraising and if its fundraisers are employees or third party agents.

“The Irish give more to charities than many of their international counterparts and open and honest fundraising is absolutely crucial to public trust,” said Sheila Nordon, executive director of Irish Charities and Tax Research.
The code of practice is voluntary but the charities body is hopeful that most of the 5,700 charities operating in Ireland will sign up to it. It believes the successful implementation of the statement of guiding principles for fundraising will show the charity sector is capable of self-regulation and pre-empt any need for statutory regulation, which is possible in the 2009 Charities Act.

There are five key elements to the new code of practice:

  • Charities commit themselves to the highest standards of good practice and ensure fundraising activities are respectful, open and legal;
  • A donor charter will be introduced, which provides a “bill of rights” to donors, including their right to know about the causes for which the charity is fundraising, how their donation is being used and if the fundraisers are employees of the organisation or third party agents;
  • A complaints and feedback procedure will be set up to enable people to notify the organisation of their wishes, comments and complaints, with all feedback to be responded to within a specified timeframe;
  • A monitoring group will be established, with a majority of independent members and an independent chairperson to actively monitor compliance with the code;
  • Charities will produce an annual report and a statement of annual accounts, made publicly available every year.

Some of Ireland’s top charities are prepared to adopt the new code.

The Irish Cancer Society, Focus Ireland, the Irish Hospice Foundation and Western Alzheimer’s are leading charities that are also part of the implementation group for the code of practice.
Further information is available by following this link


Seminar: Tendering to the HSE in 2011

Tender Team is holding a seminar on 14th April from 830 until 1pm in the Stillorgan Park Hotel, Dublin 18. The seminar will look at tendering to the HSE and complements the tendering events that DFI held in February. This seminar is aimed at companies who wish to win contracts for supplies and services to the HSE this year.

On 12th January 2011 the HSE announced its 2011 budget for services at €345,500,000 and supplies at €427,000,000. These are currently advertised and procured on .
For more information on this seminar please go to .

Neurodegenerative Diseases Research

The Health Research Board and Science Foundation Ireland are seeking to fund research that will tackle a range of age-related neurodegenerative diseases. This is part of the EU member states, joint programming on neurodegenerative diseases. The closing date for applications is 9 June 2011 and full information is available from the Health Research Board website .


DFI Meeting with HSE

A meeting took place between DFI and Cate Hartigan, Assistant National Director of Disability HSE, and Patricia McLarty, Disability Unit, HSE, in February. As this was our initial meeting, we introduced DFI to Cate and commented on the diversity of organisations under our umbrella, and the work that DFI is currently doing with our organisations and at a national level.

A number of items were discussed afterwards, including Value for Money Review, the local representative’s structures and the signing of SLA’s. We will next meet with Cate in April

The Wheel Responds to the New Programme for Government:

The Programme for Government sets out a very ambitious set of objectives which will have impacts on the work of community and voluntary organisations in the years ahead. The Government acknowledges (on page 57) “ the vital role of the community and voluntary sector working in partnership with local communities, State agencies and local authorities”. There is however no clear vision to:

  • Put voluntary and community activity at the heart of Irish life.
  • Involve Ireland’s 7,900 charities and community and voluntary groups in social dialogue.
  • Deliver a comprehensive strategy to support and enable voluntary activity.

Phil Hogan TD has been appointed as Minister for the Environment and that the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs is to be disbanded, with the Community division being transferred across to the Department of the Environment.

The Programme for Government notes that:

  • Public service is, and must remain, about serving the public, not making a profit. It is about serving the common good.
  • Government is too centralised and unaccountable and there must be a real shift in power from the State to the citizen.
  • Citizens have a basic right to key information on the performance of key services.

Amongst the very large number of wide ranging proposals, Government:

  • Will put resources into the hands of citizens to acquire services that are tailored to better suit their needs and less expensive for the taxpayer.
  • Will open up the delivery of public services to a range of providers where appropriate .
  • Will promote the development of a vibrant and effective social enterprise sector , will instruct agencies to view social enterprises as important stakeholders in rejuvenating local economies.
  • Is committed to a fundamental reorganisation of local governance structures to allow for devolution of much greater decision-making to local people and will give local communities more control over transport and traffic, economic development, educational infrastructure, and local responses to crime and local healthcare needs.
  • Will move many of the functions currently being performed by agencies – such as community employment and enterprise supports – back to local government.
  • Will establish a new model of financing social interventions – called Social Impact Bonds that share audited exchequer savings with charitable and voluntary organizations.

For further information, please contact Ivan Cooper at The Wheel: .


Applications for Social Housing

The Minister for Housing and Planning, Mr. Willie Penrose, TD, announced the making of amended regulations for the assessment of social housing need. The regulations will apply from 1st April, 2011
The Minister explained that until now there have been many different practices in housing authorities in the way applicants for social housing support had their income means tested. There were also very significant variations in the way income was defined. The new regulations will standardise both the income limits and how income is defined.

Under the new arrangements three income threshold bands have been established and housing authorities assigned to a band based on an analysis of the local private rental cost of housing accommodation in each area.
In the new amended regulations Minister Penrose announced an increase of €5,000 in each of the income bands previously envisaged which now range from €25,000 - €35,000.

The new Departmental regulations now guide local authorities when determining if an applicant is eligible to go on the waiting list for social housing, and to assess the nature of that housing need. The regulations take greater note of disability than was the case previously. Income thresholds for eligibility are introduced. For information, contact or click .

New Protocols Regarding Social Housing for People with Disabilities

The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has announced two new protocols between housing and health authorities on facilitating housing services for people with disabilities:

  • Protocol to govern liaison arrangements between housing authorities and the Health Service Executive in relation to the coordination of housing services provided for people with a mental health disability . [Circular SIS 01/2011]
  • Protocol Governing Revenue Funding for Health Service Related Support Costs for projects provided by Approved Housing Bodies for People with a Disability. [Circular SIS 01/2011]

For information, contact

Bachelor of Social Studies in Housing & Community Studies: University College Dublin & Respond! Voluntary Housing Association

The Bachelor of Social Studies in Housing and Community Studies (BSS) is delivered in partnership between Respond Voluntary Housing Association and University College Dublin. The BSS degree is a four-year, part-time programme designed for mature students, (23 years and above) who wish to return to education. It contains three stages of study:

  • Year 1 Certificate. Year 2 Diploma, &Years 3 & 4 honours Degree

The principal aim of the BSS is to provide students with an understanding of the core issues of, the housing sector, community development, social policy and aspects of management. It employs a multi-disciplinary approach to the analysis of these topics, based on participative learning, which promotes academic and professional / personal skills development. This format achieves a career focused pathway to learning. To further the development of a professional pathway, the BSS is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Housing, providing opportunities for work experience and professional development

For further information, please contact Declan Markey or Joanne Richards

Respond!, High Park, Grace Park Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
Email: Website or phone Tel: 0818 357901


Minister Burton Launches National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities

"Equality is at the heart of what it means to be a citizen in our democracy. This Government believes that everyone has the right to be free from discrimination and that we all benefit from living in a more equal society", said the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, as she launched the National Advocacy Service for people with disabilities.

The National Advocacy Service, which will be managed by five Citizens Information Services in five regions across the country, will work with vulnerable people with disabilities in institutions and in the community. It will provide a professional, independent, mainstream representative advocacy service to those people with a disability that require such a service.

Minister Burton continued:

"The national element of the service means that on the ground it will be available on an equal basis to any individual with a disability who needs it; the fact that it is organised in five regions means that it will be accessible with no client too far from an advocate; and the configuration of the service with five dedicated managers employed by the Citizens Information Services and the support of the Citizens Information Board means that it will be a high quality service with consistent standards throughout."

Minister Burton went on to explain:

"A major function of advocacy is to assist these people by providing an independent guide to services and options, someone to assist them at official proceedings and, in some instances, through the move to living in the community. It is particularly important that an independent person is available to them where they are totally dependent on a single service provider. Essentially the service will level the playing field and provide a voice for the more vulnerable of people with disabilities".

Below we set out the five Advocacy regions & phone contact details for each Regional Manager

Region 1

Dublin mainly within the M50 but excluding parts of Blanchardstown and parts of North Dublin

Ben North Manager 086 0218778

Suzy Byrne Senior Advocate
Margaret Tumbleton Senior Advocate
Sarah Campbell Advocate
Sarah L. Campbell Advocate
Jim Comiskey Advocate
Jenny Cullen Advocate
John McCrudden Advocate
Ruth McCullagh Advocate
Tessa Van Keeken Advocate

Region 2

North East: Westmeath, Cavan, Fingal, Louth, Longford, Meath, Monaghan

Louise Loughlin Manager 086 4102083

Louise Dawson Senior Advocate
Andrea Reynolds Advocate
Pauline McKenna Advocate
Mary Chapman Advocate
Catherine Marsh Advocate
Ann Saurin Advocate

Region 3

South East: Offaly, Carlow,, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Wexford, Wicklow

Selina Doyle Manager 086 0409978

Christina Devine Senior Advocate
Rachel Bergin Advocate
Jolene Kelly Advocate
Patty O’Malley Advocate
Gerald McCann Advocate
To be appointed Advocate

Region 4

South West: Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary

Patricia O’Dwyer Manager 086 0223984

Deirdre Lillis Senior Advocate
Gerry Rattigan Senior Advocate
Mary Carroll Advocate
Israel Finnerty Advocate
Grace Moore Advocate
Anna Newman Advocate
Anne-Marie O’Sullivan Advocate

Region 5

West/North West: Leitrim, Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Roscommon

Josephine Keaveney Manager: 086 0201095

Clare O’Neill Senior Advocate
Helen Collins Advocate
Carmel Donovan Advocate
Greg Duff Advocate
Andrea Farrell Advocate
Marion Gallagher Advocate
Martina Kilgallon Advocate
Rebecca Leavy Advocate
Elaine Morris Advocate


Genio Trust Draft Guidelines and Applications 2011

The draft guidelines and applications for the Genio Trust 2011 have been published on the Genio website

This year the Genio Grant application must be completed online at

The application forms will be available for completion in the first week of May 2011 (date TBC) and there will be four weeks to the submission deadline. Draft guidelines and application questions have been issued to allow applicants to prepare in advance for the application process. We are not in a position to accept any applications for funding until the online application process opens.

  • If you would like to be kept informed of details please join our mailing list.
  • For enquiries please contact us by email at

A ‘Frequently asked questions’ section will be available in the coming days on the website
Marlinstown Office Park, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.

Tel: 353 (0)44 9385940 or visit

Age Action Workshops

Age Action is organising a series of workshops for the public in the coming weeks to help raise awareness about elder abuse.

The workshops will take place on April 1st, 4th and 8th at venues in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Athy, Co. Kildare. They aim to raise awareness about what elder abuse is. The warning signs of abuse, the supports available if a person is being abused, and how to access them.

The workshops, which are funded by the HSE, will take place as follows:

Athy: Carlton Abbey Hotel, Athy, Friday, April 1 (1.45pm to 4pm);
Galway: Croi na Gaillimhe Resource Centre, Mills Street, Galway, Monday, April 4 (9.15am to 11.30am);
Cork : Imperial Hotel, South Mall, Cork, Friday, April 8 (1.45pm to 4pm).

For further information or register your place at one of the workshops: Phone 01-4756989; Email or Write to Age Action, 30/31 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2. If writing or emailing, please state which venue you wish to attend.

Tel: 01 4756989 Fax: 01 4756011 Email: Website:

Facebook: Twitter:

Sonas Conference - Dublin - Thursday 26th May, 2011 Theme: Living Well with Dementia: Activity for Meaningful Lives

Venue: Chartered Accountants House, Pearse Street, Dublin 2.
Conference Time: 9am – 5pm. Key speakers and presentation titles:

  • Professor Martin Orrell , Professor of Ageing and Mental Health, Department of Mental Health Sciences, University College London and Chair, Strategy Group for the London Centre for Dementia Care. What do people with dementia want from activities?
  • Sally Knocker ,Director of Communications, NAPA (National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People), UK Activity at the heart of care - a whole team approach
  • Dr Diarmuid O’Shea , Consultant Geriatrician, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, and HSE National Clinical Lead for the Care of the Elderly Programme. Setting the scene - Ageing well, ageing positively
  • Jackie Pool , CEO of Jackie Pool Associates Ltd (JPA) Task, Activity or Occupation – What makes the difference?

Delegate Attendance Fee: €120 per person.
Special Offer : Book three places, get a fourth at half price (Offer applies per nursing home)
To book a place: Contact Sonas aPc. Tel: (01) 260 8138. Email:
Web: Book Online at

Claiming Our Future Ideas - 'Reducing Income Inequality'

Bailey Allen Hall, N.U.I. Galway: Saturday 28th May 2011
Registration from 10.00 am : Event : 11.00 am to 17.30 pm
Entry is Free

Claiming our Future is organising its second national discussion for people to share their ideas on reducing income inequality. At our first event in the RDS last October over 1,000 people voted and identified eight policy priorities (also please see our priorities poster ). One of these was to ‘ Achieve greater income equality and reduce poverty through wage, tax and income policies that support maximum and minimum income thresholds ’. This second creative and participative event in Galway will focus on how we can make this policy goal a reality. In this national event Claiming our Future aim to:

  • Share information, knowledge and perspectives on income inequality and strategies to address this issue.
  • Stimulate and support ongoing work and campaigns across the country to debate this issue and to build support for policies to reduce income inequality.
  • Identify a number of demands that could be made to leverage political engagement with the challenge of income inequality.

The event will involve discussion on what principles could guide our approach to income equality, on the income, tax and welfare policies that could be implemented to reduce income inequality and on what local action can be taken to make progress on this far-reaching issue.

The day will also involve creative breaks and visuals along with some guest performances. Register now to secure your place

Special Olympics Ireland seeking Volunteers

2011 is the European Year of the Volunteer. Special Olympics Ireland would not survive without the tremendous work and dedication of so many volunteers. Mother Teresa put it very well, “Volunteers are unpaid, not because their work is worthless but because it is priceless”.

On Friday, April 15th, Special Olympics Ireland need volunteers. A couple of hours in the morning or afternoon would be a tremendous help. If you are already committed on that day, perhaps you could spread the word and convince a family member or colleague to help us. Special Olympics Ireland is once again embarking on our annual All Ireland Collection Day. We would like our 2011 Collection Day to be the best it can be and with that in mind we are seeking the assistance of an army of volunteers. This year we are aiming to have over 3,000 volunteer collectors out at locations across the 32 counties of Ireland. This is a massive undertaking. You can make a difference.

The event will be very well publicised and everyone who collects for us always gets a fantastic reaction from the general public. The feedback from collectors is always positive. By giving of their time they are helping to change the lives of our amazing athletes.

To sign up or find out more please register at the following link
Alternatively please feel free to contact me directly Matt English, CEO
by email:
Ph: 01 8691645: Fax: 01 8688250

Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT Ireland) Confirm Dates for Spring Road Show

UCIT (Ireland) have confirmed the dates and venues for the Spring element of its Road Show on Social Finance. The events, which are free to attend are being hosted with locally based partners who are supportive of the emergence of Social Enterprise. The dates and venues are as follows:

  • Wednesday 30th March - IDP Offices, Carndonagh, Co. Donegal - 7.00pm
  • Wednesday 6th April - Sligo Leader Partnership Offices, Cleveragh Rd., Sligo - 7.00pm
  • Wednesday 13th April - The Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim - 7.30pm
  • Wednesday 20th April - Breffni Integrated Ltd. Offices, Cavan - 7.00pm

The main purpose of these sessions is to inform those attending how best to prepare their business case to an investor, such as UCIT, whilst also providing an opportunity to engage with our staff on an informal basis. The information will be of particular interest to those responsible for the financial management of groups and, either embarking on new plans or, hoping to consolidate their current financial position. For more information on any of the above contact Donal on 041-6858637

Irish Raynaud's & Scleroderma Society Annual Awareness Conference 2011

Saturday, 16th April
Stillorgan Park Hotel, Stillorgan Road, Dublin
Registration and coffee is at 10.00 and the conference will finish at 4.00pm.
Agenda: Speakers will cover key topics including: Developments in Clinical Care, Management of sores and ulcers, Pain management, Foot care, Living with a chronic condition.

The conference fee is €20 for members and €25 for non-members, to include coffee & tea and lunch. Coeliac and vegetarian meals will also be available. If you have any other dietary requirements, please let us know in advance.

A limited number of bursaries are available for attendance at the conference free of charge, for further information, call: 01818 363 999

To register for the conference, please fill in the registration form in the March newsletter, or register online by going to Products , or Telephone 0818 363 999 (lo-call), or Email


DFI Support Officers

Disability Federation of Ireland is a national support and representation mechanism for voluntary disability sector organisations, covering all areas of disability and disabling conditions. There are currently over 100 voluntary disability organisations in the DFI Membership.

National Office
Fumbally Court Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8
Tel: 01 454 7978 Fax: 01 494 7981 E:

Dublin Mid-Leinster
Anthony Carrick
Dun Laoghaire, Dublin South East, Wicklow (Dublin Office),
Mobile: 086 8206736

Louise McCann
Dublin South City, Dublin South West, Dublin West, Kildare, West Wicklow (Dublin Office)
Mobile: 086 9189750

Jacqueline Grogan
Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath (Dublin Office)
Tel: 01 454 7978 Fax: 01 494 7981 E:

Lillian Buchanan
Support Officer – Policy and Research (Dublin Office)
Tel: 01 424 0127

Dermot O’Donnell
Support Officer – Support for Organisations (Dublin Office)
Tel: 01-4250125

Dublin North-East
Joan O’Donnell
Meath, Louth, Cavan, Monaghan (Dublin Office)
Mobile: 086 3834587

Martin Naughton
Dublin North Central, Dublin North West, Dublin North
Mobile: 086 8207196

Michael Corbett,
Galway, Mayo, Roscommon
C/O DFI, Acres, Newport, Co. Mayo,
Tel: 098 41919,
Mobile: 086 3804750,
Fax: 098 41065,

Marcus Hufsky,
Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal
St. Vincent’s Business Park, Finisklin Road, Sligo
Tel: 071-9150098
Mobile: 086 3811261

Toni Gleeson,
Limerick, North Tipperary, East Limerick, Clare
DFI, The Forge, Croke St. Thurles, Co Tipperary
Mobile: 086 6004526

P.J. Cleere
Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford
DFI, Tinryland, Carlow
Tel: 059 9179431
Mobile: 086 3811064

Alison Ryan
Cork, Kerry
101 North Main Street, Cork
Tel: 021 4271752 Mobile 086 3816323
E: a.ryan@disability-federation .

About DFI

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) is the national support organisation for voluntary disability organisations that provide services to people with diverse disabilities and conditions. DFI works to ensure that Irish society is fully inclusive of people with disabilities so that they can exercise fully their civil, social and human rights.

DFI works to ensure that Irish society is fully inclusive of people with disabilities and disabling conditions, hidden, intellectual, neurological, mental health, physical, and sensory, so that they can exercise fully their civil, social and human rights. In pursuit of this vision, DFI

  • Acts as an advocate for the voluntary disability sector
  • Supports organisations to further enable people with disabilities.

There are over 126 organisations within membership or as associates of DFI. DFI also works with a growing number of organisations and groups around the country that have a significant disability interest, mainly from the statutory and voluntary sectors. DFI provides:

  • Information
  • Training and Support
  • Networking
  • Advocacy and Representation
  • Research and Policy Development
  • Organisation and Management Development

DFI also supports the broader voluntary and disability sector through its representation of the disability strand on the Community and Voluntary Pillar of the Social Partnership process and other fora at regional, national and European levels including the Health Service Executive.

For further information go to

Disability Federation of Ireland, Fumbally Court, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8
Tel: 01-4547978, Fax: 01-4547981
Email: Web: