Arthritis Ireland Services

On Thursday February 23rd we broadcast an interview with Arthritis Ireland’s Head of Services Gráinne O’Leary. We discussed the numbers of people in Ireland living with arthritis and the different services and supports in place to assist these people.

Gráinne also explained that there are many children and young people living with arthritis of various forms and that it is no longer viewed as simply a condition of wear and tear for older people.

Finally we discussed the ambitious fundraising campaign for this year in association with Dublin’s Q102 to walk the Camino de Santiago later this year.

For information and support about arthritis please contact;

Helpline Phone Number: 1890 252 846

Orla Keane from Alpha 1 Ireland

Living with a debilitating condition is extremely tough in normal circumstances. However when you’ve been taking a life-changing drug for ten years that slows the progression of your condition and then you are threatened with having it taken away too, then finding the strength to fight must be a herculean task.

On Thursday February 9th on Viva Vox on 103.2 Dublin City FM I spoke to a woman whose attitude and strength blew me away. Orla Keane has Alpha 1 deficiency and resulting medical emphysema. She began taking Respreeza as part of a drug trial but when the trial finished she was kept on the drug for compassionate reasons.

Now the drug company want to be paid and the National Centre for Pharmaeconomics haven’t committed to paying for the drug Orla and her fellow Alpha 1 patients have come to rely on. Listen below to her story;

Accessible Public Transport & Free Travel

Stephen Cluskey spoke to me on Thursday’s show about the potential for improving the accessibility of public transport services in Dublin and beyond by the possible introduction of an administration or contribution fee for those with a Free Travel Pass.

Stephen wrote an article in response to a suggestion from Cork TD Jim Daly that €6 from each Free Travel Pass holder would clear Bus Eireann’s debt. Stephen posited that if €24 were charged over a fixed period of possibly 5 years, every bus stop, train station, bus, train etc. could be made accessible to all and be more beneficial than bailing out Bus Eireann.

It was an interesting suggestion that would benefit society as a while, not only those with disabilities, everyone as they age and those with buggies etc. Lots of people disagreed that introducing any charge would be a slippery slope despite the fact this could be ring-fenced for accessibility issues.

Unfortunately we didn’t solve the issue during the show on Thursday but we continued the debate and kept accessibility on people’s lips.

Why not listen to the show below and get involved in the discussion too?

Make Dublin Accessible to All

I spoke to Laura English of Disability Federation Ireland, to address the “Make Dublin Accessible to All” workshop that was taking place on Friday 27th January.

I had originally intended discussing the non-ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD), however at least 5 or 6 of the articles within that convention refer to accessibility.

Laura explained the relationship between the two and that this workshop was the beginning of an initiative to ensure Dublin city is an inclusive space for all. The workshop was a collaboration between the Disability Federation and all people with a vested interest in making the city accessible.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr, is aware of the barriers to full participation in social, economic and cultural life in the city and opened the proceedings. Dublin City Council, for their part, is committed to establishing a ‘Disability Consultation Group’ to move this initiative forward.

Have a listen below to our chat on 103.2 Dublin City FM

If you would like to contribute to the work contact

As always if you want to engage in the conversation directly tweet me @fibrofella