About us

Inclusion Ireland has been working as part of the disability rights movement in Ireland for over 60 years as a “civil society“ organisation.

Inclusion Ireland was established at a time where advocacy in Ireland was only getting started. From the beginning, the organisation connected people with intellectual disabilities and their families to networks of support, supported people through giving information and worked alongside people with intellectual disabilities and their families for their right to live as equal citizens.

Our vision

Our vision is an inclusive Ireland where people with an intellectual disability are supported to live and participate as an equal member within the community.

Our purpose

We work towards the full inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities by supporting people to have their voices heard and advocating for rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Our values

Respect is about valuing the life of every person with an intellectual disability. It is also about respecting different people’s opinions and ways of living.

Inclusion is about people with intellectual disabilities taking part in all parts of Irish life. We believe that it’s a better world when we are all in it together. We don’t think that people with intellectual disabilities should be separate.

Equality is about a fairer society where disabled people have equal rights. We work towards a time when every person with an intellectual disability is treated fairly and has the same rights as every other citizen.

Voice is about people with an intellectual disability having their say and being heard in Irish society. This includes people who communicate in different ways.

Choice is about supporting and respecting people with an intellectual disability to live lives that they want to live, with the support they need.

How we are run

Inclusion Ireland complies with the Governance Code for Charity Organisations as set out by the Charity Regulator in Ireland.

Inclusion Ireland has a CEO and Board of Directors who make sure that we work in accordance with our values and strategic plan.

What we do

• We are a campaigning organisation; we work for changes in laws and policy.

• We provide an accessible information and signposting service for people with intellectual disabilities and family members. This means when people call or email us, look at our website or come to our talks, we help them with information about their rights.

• We support other organisations to become more accessible and inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities.

• We hold the state to account for its progress with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

• We support people with intellectual disabilities to become self-advocates.

• We are at the table wherever people talk about the rights of people with intellectual disabilities and work to influence thinking.


The United Nations Convention on The Rights of Persons With Disabilities

The UNCRPD says that all persons with disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Read more

Our Team

  • Derval McDonagh
    Derval McDonagh

    Chief Executive Officer

Our Board of Directors

Ashley Sands

is the Chair of the Board of Directors. Ashley’s son has an intellectual disability and she has a keen interest in access to housing for people with disabilities. She was appointed as a director in November 2020. Ashley works in Human Resources and has extensive experience of Human Resource Management, systems, people management, learning and development, compliance with various regulators and legislation.

Briana Fitzsimons

is a mixed race (Afro-Latina/German Jew) woman of colour who immigrated to Ireland in 2017. Briana is interested in both International Development and Education, Training and Research as sectors. Briana worked as a special education teacher for 12 years and is now the Managing Director / Director of Education of Black and Irish, an organisation that is dedicated to celebrating and bringing awareness to the lives and experiences of black and mixed-race people in Ireland.

David  Fraughan

joined the Inclusion Ireland Board in 2018. David is a self-advocate and the Munster representative of the Steering Committee of the National Platform of Self-Advocates.

Glenn Shanley

was appointed as a director of Inclusion Ireland in November 2020. He is married with three young boys and is the Head of Corporate Banking in Ulster Bank. He is on the management team of the Commercial Banking Division of Ulster Bank has responsibility for all commercial customers.

John Moore

was appointed as a director in November 2020. He is company secretary of Inclusion Ireland and is the parent of a person with intellectual disabilities. He has 20 years company director experience in advertising, marketing, communications, digital and brand.

Marian McNamara

is a Senior Executive with extensive experience across financial services with specific skills in Private and Corporate Banking and Insolvency.

Martin Rowan

was appointed as a director in November 2020. He was Chairperson of the self-advocacy subcommittee of the Board of Inclusion 2016-2019, and has been co-chair of the Carmona self-advocacy group and was also a member of two other self-advocacy groups.

Rona Bowe

is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. She has over 25 years of leadership experience in Operations and Finance. Rona is extremely passionate about Diversity & Inclusion and was very active in this space in Microsoft, founding the Families Employee Resource Group in Ireland in 2018 and appointed as the D&I Site Lead in 2022.

Sarah Jane Lavin

joined the board of Inclusion Ireland in 2018. Sarah Jane is a self-advocate and a member of Inclusion Ireland’s Self-Advocacy Sub-Committee.

Siobhán Bryan

has been a board member since November 2020. She is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Muiríosa Foundation, a service for people with intellectual disabilities in the Midlands.

Tomás Murphy

has experience of working with Inclusion Ireland on three research projects where he has earned a Certificate in Research. He is a former ambassador for the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disability and works for A& L Goodbody where he sits on the Disability Committee.