Young people with Down Syndrome in Donegal have been busy preparing for an important day today – as World Down Syndrome Day is marked all around the globe.
21st March is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012.
In Donegal, members of the Donegal Down Syndrome Association have been opened up a conversation about DS in a unique way. They have conducted thoughtful interviews with prominent people in the community to talk about each other’s lives.
Michael Gallagher talks movies with Century Cinemas owner Mark Doherty and asks a very important question – what type of popcorn does Mark prefer?
Jemma Jordan challenges Donegal captain Michael Murphy with tough questions about his GAA life and training.
John-Patrick chats business with Brian Gallagher, owner of Station House Hotel, to uncover the history of the iconic Letterkenny location. John-Patrick also shares his plans for WDSD, which involve dressing smartly for the occasion – a great plan!
Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty is interviewed by Daniel O’Reilly, who puts interesting questions about politics, work and football. Daniel and Pearse get on so well that he gets a special invite to Dail Eireann.
Sinead McDevitt meets Gabrielle McMonagle of Gabrielle’s Diary to find out about her glamorous work life and to ask her about shopping and beauty.
David Crawford has an in-depth talk with Thomas Pringle TD about his work, his favourite music and sport teams and his family life.
Gina Grant of the Donegal Down Syndrome Association talked to Donegal Daily about the importance of celebrating World Down Syndrome Day: “It’s a great way to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.
“The most common reason people have Down syndromes they have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome which is why the 21st of the 3rd was chosen,” Gina said.
The interviews represent great achievements for DDS members, Gina adds: “Our members went out and about in Donegal raising awareness of themselves they were all nervous (some more than others). I’m massively chuffed, the strength they show me every day is unreal.”
Donegal Down Syndrome Association has around 160 families registered with them. They provide speech and language therapy free to all their members plus swimming lessons, music lessons, yoga, dance and much more.
The association is about supporting members with Down Syndrome and their families to have as much independence as possible, while encouraging our communities/schools and businesses to be fully inclusive.
The association members will be having a big party this weekend too! You can visit www.facebook.com/DonegalDownSyndrome for more information and updates from the group.
Elsewhere in Donegal, people are rocking odd socks as a colourful way of getting the conversation going about Down Syndrome.
People in local schools and businesses are proudly flaunting their mismatched socks to raise awareness about the disorder which affects approximately seven thousand people in Ireland today.
By wearing mismatched socks, they are celebrating the things that make everyone unique, as well as raising funds for Down Syndrome Ireland.
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