Meet Mr. James Cawley, the newly appointed Chair of EAPN Ireland

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My name is James Cawley and I am the newly appointed Chairperson of EAPN. I’m honoured to take on this position and to work with an extremely supportive board and a hardworking and talented staff team.

I am a proud Disabled man from Drumlish in rural Co. Longford where I live with my wife Ally. Professionally, I work as Policy Officer with Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) a national Disabled Person’s Organisation (DPO) as defined under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which is led by and for Disabled people. I went to University through the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) and graduated with a BA in Business and Geography and a Professional Masters of Education at Maynooth University. In addition, I completed a Certificate course in Leading Transformative education.  Previous to my role with ILMI, I was a secondary school teacher and have done research on disability issues on a National and European level. I also have co – facilitated on the Disability studies course at Maynooth University. I am leader of my own Personal Assistance service (PAS) which allows me to live independently and live a very active life of choice, dignity and respect.

In January of this year, I was appointed by Minister Anne Rabbitte to the Disability Stakeholder Group (DSG). I am a committed, driven and active human rights and equality activist, and I enjoy working collaboratively to remove barriers to participation in all aspects of life for people who experience inequality including poverty. I really enjoy building allies and meeting new people and fostering relationships!

As Chair of EAPN, I want to highlight the fact that disabled people are far more likely to live in consistent poverty than the overall population. Ireland also has one of the lowest rates of employment for Disabled people in the EU, as has been highlighted by the EU semester report for Ireland, and disabled people have higher living costs of between €9000-€12000 per year as shown in the cost of disability report published by the Department of Social Protection.  I’m really looking forward to working towards the EAPN Ireland mission ‘To put the eradication of poverty at the top of the Irish and European policy agenda and empower groups working to end poverty to understand and influence policy-making.’

 

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