19 Stories of Social Inclusion - Ireland: Stories of belonging, contributing and connecting




Launch of '19 Stories of Social Inclusion - Ireland: Stories of Belonging, Contributing and Connecting'

The launches will take place at events in Dublin on 8th May and in Tullamore on 29th May. Find out more and register to attend at this link

About '19 Stories of Social Inclusion - Ireland' 

People with intellectual disabilities in Ireland are more likely to be socially excluded than other people. They are more likely to experience poverty, are less likely to be employed and less likely to be living independently in the community than non-disabled people.

However, in spite of this, there are also people with intellectual disabilities taking part in their communities and living ordinary lives all over Ireland.

This research aimed to give an opportunity for people to hear their stories and know that it is possible for people with disabilities to live ordinary lives in the community.

This research is inspired by the '19 Stories of Social Inclusion’ project carried out in Australia. Its approach was to start with the ‘success stories’ and work backwards to find out how people have created socially included lives for themselves.

The reason for 19 stories is because Article 19 of the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities focuses on the right to live independently and the right to be included in the community – rights that are most relevant to social inclusion and people with disabilities.

The Stories

19 people took part in the research - 9 men and 10 women - from cities, towns and villages all over Ireland. All identify as having an intellectual disability. These are their stories of social inclusion. 


Jenny's Story 

Carina's Story

John's Story

Cathy's Story  

Margaret's Story

Claire's Story

Michael's Story 

  Gerard's Story 

  Marian's Story

Brian's Story 

Joe's Story  

Nicole's Story

Maureen's Story 

  Patrick's Story   

Natasha's Story 

Orla and Brendan's Story

Stephen's Story




The Research

What do the stories tell us about social inclusion in Ireland? How can policy support people with intellectual disabilities to live socially included lives in their communities? What does good support look like? Find out more about the research at these links:



The Research Team

A team of three researchers, two with intellectual disabilities carried out the interviews.

Participants chose to tell their stories by video or through images and words.


Tomás Murphy is a graduate of the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Tomás represented the National Institute for Intellectual Disability (now the Trinity Centre) at a conference in Mason University, Washington DC where he participated as part of a panel. He also attended the Nordic Disability Research conference in Iceland. In New York, Tomás gave a presentation to the Ireland Funds about the Certificate in Contemporary Living which he completed in Trinity. Tomás is now working two full days a week in a top Irish Law firm, A & L Goodbody.

Margaret Turley did the Certificate in Contemporary Living in Trinity College Dublin. Margaret graduated from Trinity having won the Margaret McLoughlin award for Student of the Year. Margaret currently works for Ernst and Young

Christine Magee is an assistant researcher on this project and she will be carrying out the interviews with persons with intellectual disabilities who have a positive story to tell about social inclusion. Christine will be working closely with her colleagues Tomas and Margaret to carry out the interviews. Christine will also produce a report on the findings from the interviews. The report will include recommendations for policy changes.

Edurne Garcia is a lecturer at the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin. Edurne does research on the social inclusion of people with disabilities. In her work, she involves people with people with intellectual disabilities. Since 2009, Edurne has been a supporter of the Inclusive Research Network, a group of people with intellectual disabilities and their supporters who conduct research in Ireland. She is providing advice on this project. More information about Edurne here.

Michael Feely is a disability researcher at the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin. Michael is interested in supporting self-advocacy by people with intellectual disabilities. He is providing academic support on this project. More information about Michael here.



*This project is inspired by ’19 Stories of Social Inclusion’ carried out by the Disability Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Belonging Matters and other community partners.