American Chamber has excellent access to Irish and European public policy networks, opinion leaders and leading media commentators. Through participation in Working Groups and contributions to submissions for Government, the Chamber keeps Irish decision makers focussed on the factors contributing to the continued attractiveness of Ireland as a location for foreign direct investment. More about the Chamber

Events Calendar

< Back Print Email a Friend

About Special Olympics Ireland


About Special Olympics Ireland

Special Olympics Ireland provides sport training and competition opportunities for adults and children with intellectual disabilities based on the philosophy that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports.

There are more than 42,000 adults and children with an intellectual disability on the island of Ireland, with approximately 11,000 (26%) of them participating in over 400 community based Special Olympics clubs in Ireland. Our programmes are supported by a network of over 25,000 volunteers.

Special Olympics Ireland gives people with an intellectual disability a real opportunity to achieve in life, through a range of sporting, social and community based activities which generates enormous health, educational and social inclusion benefits. Apart from the obvious benefits of leading a more active and healthy lifestyle, involvement in Special Olympics gives people with an intellectual disability the confidence and skills to be the best they can be.

Special Olympics Ireland's mission statement is: "To provide year round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sport for children and adults with an intellectual disability, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community."

Special Olympics changes lives. It's about fun, friendships and team spirit, it's about a feeling of belonging, and it's about working together.

Special Olympics Ireland currently offer 14 sports (13 Summer & 1 Winter) plus a Motor Activities Training Programme. Within the sports programme, we provide training and information on coaching, competition development, women in sport and much more.

We work closely with the National Governing Bodies for sport to ensure we provide quality sports coaching and competition for our athletes.

Our sports:

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Aquatics
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Bocce
  • Bowling
  • Equestrian
  • Floorball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Kayaking
  • Pitch & Putt
  • Table Tennis
  • Motor Activity training Program

Our Programmes:

  • Volunteerism
  • Athlete Leadership Programme
  • Schools Outreach
  • Health Athlete
  • Health Promotion
  • Family Support

All Ireland collection Day

Special Olympics annual All Ireland Collection Day is our biggest yearly fundraiser.

3000 collectors man over 500 locations across the island of Ireland from 7am - 7pm, as many roads, streets, bus & train stations and shopping centre as possible are covered on the day of the collection. This event continues to strengthen mainly due to repeat collectors and companies giving their staff a couple hours off to collect at locations near them.

The Collection Day is a really fun day and always receives a great response from the general public.  We have been lucky enough to receive support from Dublin Bus, Bus Eireann, Irish Rail and eircom to mention but a few of our partners.  These companies assist us in many ways, giving us permission to collect on their premises, allowing us to use their money counting facilities, providing us with vans and drivers and of course encouraging their staff to either host a coffee morning or go out and collect on the day.

As well as companies many of our athletes, volunteers and family members get behind the day and engage the general public with stories of how Special Olympics has enhanced their lives.

For the last 2 years an entertainment element has been introduced into the days activities, buskers, choirs, circus performers all give their time for free and entertain both the general public and our collectors for the duration of the day.  In 2011, over 100 acts got involved and made the Collection Day not only a fantastic fundraiser but also an important awareness day for the organisation.

Special Olympics All Ireland Collection Day will take place on Friday April 27, 2012. We are currently seeking support from companies to collect on the day either in the workplace or by managing a collection point locally.

For further information contact: Mark Hughes on 01-8691634 or email

Please click here for more info on Special Olympics Ireland.

Calendar of events:

Collection Day: This is Special Olympics Ireland's annual island-wide bucket collection. It usually takes place in April each year. For 2012, the Collection Day date has been confirmed as Friday 27th April 2012. If you wish to volunteer a few hours of your time on the day please contact your Regional Fundraising Co-ordinator.

Tiburon Mile - Sunday 9th Sept 2012: Are you up to the challenge of swimming one mile in the San Francisco Bay? If so, the Tiburon Mile is one of the most competitive and prestigious open water swims in the world. Participants swim one nautical mile from San Francisco Bay's Angel Island to the shores of Downtown Tiburon.

For more information on these events please contact the Fundraising department in Special Olympics Ireland on Tel: 01 8691653.