People with Down Syndrome to Fly the Flag for Inclusion at Croke Park

25 August 2014

A very special team from Down Syndrome Ireland is set to join the minor and senior footballers from Mayo and Kerry for Sunday’s All Ireland semi-final showcase in Croke Park.

As one of the GAA’s chosen charity partners for 2014 Down Syndrome Ireland is set to play a leading role in the Association’s ‘Inclusion Day’ at the hallowed stadium on Sunday, August 23rd.

DSI ambassador Michael Gannon, who has Down syndrome, will act as MC on the big day, ably assisted by Keith Duffy who will represent Autism Action before a team of people with Down syndrome will proudly provide a guard of honour as the teams enter the pitch and present the match balls to the game officials.

Others will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime behind-the-scenes experience by shadowing some of Croke Park’s match-day teams, including the communications and media team, the grounds staff, stewards, and the welcoming team.

Down Syndrome Ireland is to receive a generous cheque for €20,000 from the association. 

This special day is part of the GAA’s on-going commitment to delivering an Association that is open and inclusive to all, and one that ensures everyone can participate in and enjoy Gaelic Games and culture.

It follows on from last weekend’s successful ‘Community and Health’ theme at the Tipperary Cork hurling semi-final.

Pat Clarke CEO of Down Syndrome Ireland said: “We are absolutely delighted and honoured to be chosen as a charity partner for the GAA, an Association which promotes inclusion is worthy of great praise and our members are extremely excited about taking part in the Inclusion Day. DSI is 97pc funded by the generosity of the public and long-term sponsors and these monies will go a long way toward  supporting our 3,000 member families who are based across 25 branches nationwide, in this the largest organisation concerned with the welfare of people with a learning disability in Ireland. “