Gifted Ireland is the national advocacy body for the gifted community in Ireland. Its purpose is to:
- Develop a strong and unified voice of advocacy on behalf of the gifted community in Ireland.
- Raise awareness of the unique social, emotional and academic needs of gifted children and adults.
- Help and support those involved in the care and education of the gifted.
- Help parents find support and advice in their local communities by developing a national Gifted Advocacy and Support (GAS) network.
Gifted Ireland is a voluntary and collaborative project bringing together a great deal of relevant professional experience in the fields of education, psychology, neuroscience and medicine. Combined with first-hand experience as parents and teachers of gifted children, we are well qualified to speak on behalf of the gifted community. Over time, it is our goal that this initiative will develop into an effective resource for both parents and teachers of gifted children in Ireland.
We started out as Karen McCarthy and Catherine Riordan, aka Dazzled and Frazzled of The Irish Gifted Education Blog. In 2009, Karen and Catherine established a support group in Wicklow/South Dublin, called GAS (Gifted Advocacy and Support). Through this, they coordinated several national advocacy efforts.
Their goal has always been to encourage other parents to come together to support each other and to raise awareness of the needs of gifted children within the education system.
In May 2013, with several support groups in various stages of development around the country, they decided it was time to set up a new platform through which to help these groups to grow and develop into an effective network through which parents can support and learn from each other. So began Gifted Ireland. We work closely with Dr Colm O’Reilly and the Irish Centre for Talented Youth (CTYI) and are delighted to have Colm as our Honorary President.
In 2015, Gifted Ireland adopted a constitution and, from that, established an Executive Committee to become an official voluntary organisation.
Dr Colm O’Reilly, PhD: Director of the Irish Centre for Talented Youth (CTYI) at Dublin City University. Colm has worked in the area of gifted education for the last fifteen years and has published articles and presented papers at numerous conferences around the world. He has experience in teacher training for gifted students around Ireland and is responsible for the implementation of many classes and initiatives for gifted children and teachers in Ireland.
Karen McCarthy: Parent of three teenagers. One in junior cycle, one in senior cycle of secondary school and one at third level. Masters in Cognitive Science, UCD. Past Chairman of the (now dissolved) Irish Association for Gifted Children (IAGC).
Catherine Riordan: Parent of two young adults. Past member of the National Executive of the Parents Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools (PACCS) and a director of the National Parents’ Council Post Primary (NPCpp). Catherine is a doctor, specialising in reproductive medicine.
Bernie Duffy: Parent of two boys, one in senior cycle of secondary school and one at university. Member of Mensa.
Michele Pippet: Parent of two boys, one in primary school and one at university. Michele is a counselling psychologist with special interests in giftedness and bullying.
Logo: Thank you to Stuart Scargill, a young graduate of the National College of Art and Design, for designing our lovely logo.