DFI Annual Report 2021

Issued on June 9 2022

A Letter from our Chairperson

Headshot of man smiling - Fran Brennan

Notwithstanding the ongoing Covid pandemic, DFI achieved a great deal in 2021. One milestone was the completion of our four year strategic plan. This plan’s external facing priority areas are advocacy on full implementation of the UNCRPD, representation for the Federation’s organisations and supporting self-advocacy of people with disabilities. These are supported by three internal priorities, engaging with the Federation’s organisations, effective communications and re-configured corporate processes for implementing this plan. Fundamentally this plan is about the Federation’s organisations working collaboratively to ensure the equal participation of people with disabilities in society.


Several key publications last year reflected on DFI’s on-going work. The Ombudsman’s Wasted Lives Report built upon DFI’s initiative in highlighting the inappropriate placement of people with disabilities in nursing homes. The Indecon report on the cost of disability, illustrated why so many disabled people are at risk of poverty, a key issue for DFI. The Dept. of Health’s Disability Capacity Review demonstrated the urgent need for significant investment in services for people with disabilities while DFI also contributed extensively to the Housing Strategy for Disabled People” which was published in early 2022.

DFI has continued to push for the full implementation of the UNCRPD through the Oireachtas Disability Group and participates in the work of the Dialogue Forum set up to look at the relationship between voluntary organisations and health related statutory organisations.

The year also saw the departure of two key staff members, Clare Cronin and Joanne McCarthy. We wish them both well in their new endeavours. Joanne has been central to all of the Federation’s policy and advocacy work over many years.

Finally, I would like to thank my fellow Directors, our committee representatives and the staff for their dedication and hard work on behalf of the Federation.

Fran Brennan