I have been given this space to wish all of you, members and staff of ILMI a happy Christmas and a safe passage into 2023.
This year now ending, is doing so with a greater sense of us being back in control of our lives and released from the multiple restrictions of Covid19 during the years 2019 to 2021. Let us hope that sense of release will continue into 2023 and bear fruit for ILMI in being able to arrange for physical meetings of members and staff. We have thrived in the use of zoom and online meetings, but it would be nice to again experience the interplay of small-talk and random ideas that surround formal meetings. That chit-chat is useful in testing and spawning new initiatives. I know I have missed those times which had to be set aside for too many years now.
I can feel proud, as your chairperson, in noting that we have grown closer, this year as an ILMI family of members. We have taken time to learn from one another’s experience in 2022 as we will always do when sharing experiences of living with disability. We were offered up a fine fare of zoom opportunities to engage on a growing range of topics, subjects, learning and entertainment by Damien and the ILMI staff team whom I want to thank on your and my own behalf. Not alone did we discuss and grow in our awareness of the potentials in policies to be released through the UNCRPD, but we were able in 2022 to make presentations on ILMI policies to The Disability Matters Committee of The Oirreachtas and on another two occasions when we met with deputies and senators in Leinster House.
I want also to thank my co-directors, without whose advice, assistance and support I could not have discharged my humble duties as chair which I see as a role of encouraging others to believe in oneself and to grow while combining the strength of individuals into that collective force for change which is ILMI.
In concluding this brief message, I share my desire for more direct action in 2023 in pursuit of our withheld rights. I see us having gone round and round the same points of discussion and emphasis in rights that are stalled in discussions, reviews, and reports leading to another circular passage of time in being pacified in the illusion that to be consulted means that policy makers and others in positions of power are really hearing what we want heard and are demonstrating their listening to us in policies facilitating our rights to greater inclusion in its multiple forms.
Des Kenny, ILMI Chairperson.