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Passage West and Carrigaline GAA Clubs Unite for Inclusive Communication Initiative

In a heartwarming collaboration, Passage West GAA and Carrigaline GAA clubs have joined forces to launch an innovative and inclusive initiative aimed at fostering accessibility within the clubs. The two harbour-based clubs have taken a significant step towards inclusivity by introducing Picture Communication Symbols (PCS)  Communication Boards to assist individuals with speech difficulties in communicating effectively within the club grounds.

Behind this initiative was Councillor Úna McCarthy, in collaboration with two local donors, spearheaded the supply of the PCS Communication Boards. These boards, tailor-made for GAA clubs by charity Finding Charlie's Voice, are adorned with PCS symbols representing crucial words related to the sport, such as 'sliotar,' 'hurley,' 'handpass,' and 'mark.' The thoughtful inclusion of these symbols ensures that individuals with communication challenges can actively engage in the vibrant GAA environment.

Michael Dalton: Carrigaline GAA Development Committee; Shane Collins: Juvenile Committee; Cllr. Úna McCarthy & Rory Mee: Chairperson, Carrigaline Camogie Club, at the Launch of Communication Boards at Carrigaline GAA Club, 14th January 2024. Photo Siobhán Russell

Cllr. Mc Carthy who grew up in the Passage West area and now lives in Carrigaline where she is involved in coaching Camogie, was delighted to be launching this initiative. At the presentation ceremony held at both clubs, Cllr. McCarthy expressed her enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, "This is a fantastic initiative by the two clubs to become more inclusive and welcoming to those with disabilities. I am very proud to be part of this project and the fantastic work being done by Passage GAA and Carrigaline GAA." She further emphasized her hope to witness similar communication boards accessible at every club in Cork.

The PCS Communication Boards serve as a tangible testament to the power of community collaboration and the profound impact sports clubs can have in fostering inclusivity. By actively addressing the needs of individuals with speech difficulties, Passage West and Carrigaline GAA clubs are setting an inspiring example for other sporting organizations, encouraging them to embrace diversity and create welcoming spaces for all.

In a world that increasingly values inclusivity, the joint efforts of these two harbor GAA clubs send a powerful message - that every individual, regardless of their abilities, should have the opportunity to participate fully in the joy of community sports. Passage West and Carrigaline GAA clubs have not only bridged the gap for those with speech difficulties but have also laid the foundation for a more inclusive sporting culture that extends far beyond the boundaries of the playing field.


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