Advocacy Conference 2013

On Tuesday 14th May ’13 in the Park Hotel Dungarvan, Carriglea Cáirde Services hosted a conference entitled “Sharing Our Journeys”. The conference was organised by a committee of Nicola Carroll, Eileen Hayes, Joanne O’Dea, Valerie Power, Noelle Morley and Helena Hassett.

The conference was opened by Micheál Cosgrave, Mayor of Dungarvan; Billy Kyne, Mayor of Co. Waterford; Niamh Kelleher, independent advocate for Co. Waterford; Vincent O’Flynn, Carriglea Cáirde Services; and Sr. Mary Fitzgerald, Sisters of the Bon Sauveur Carriglea.

Guest speakers on the day were Brian Hayes & Adrian Noonan from Seasamh, Kilkenny;  Marie Wolfe, Martin Dooher, Christina Burke & Padraig McDonagh from Brothers of Charity Services, Galway;  Joanne O’Dea, David Bourke, Michael Foley, John Kirwan, Michael Horgan, Tommy Keniry, Cearuil Meehan, Eileen Hayes & Nicola Carroll from Carriglea Cáirde Services; Paul Alford from Inclusion Ireland; and Emily Maher from Co-Action Cork. Topics covered were living independently; community involvement; advocating for people’s rights & participation in society; further education; employment and travel.

A key theme of the day was advocacy with this message – “In unity is strength. We want our voices to be heard. We want to make decisions about our lives. We want to be advocates for our friends who are not able to do it for themselves. We want ordinary lives.”

The conference was attended by service users from Carriglea Cáirde Services along with their families & friends and service users from a number of other local services. Local elected representatives and people from integrated community projects in Ard Scoil na nDeise, St. Augustine’s College, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Deise Day Care also attended.

The organising committee would like to sincerely thank all those who attended and helped in any way to make the day the great success that it was.