GALLERY: Ablefest at Causey Farm a major success
INCLUSIVE Arts and music festival
Some 3,000 from across the country descended on Causey Farm, Fordstown, for the third Ablefest, a festival for people with additional needs, disabilities and their families.
Buses arrived from Donegal, Clare, Sligo, Wexford, and across the midlands, with performances from various artists, some of whom are wheelchair users, have Downs syndrome, autism, additional needs and visual impairments.
Entertainment includeddrumming workshops, stilt walkers, willows art shed, ceilí shed, DJ shed, Barn Door studios dancing, Bluestack Foundation Choir from Donegal, Walkeleles and a host of other performances from people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
Ablefest was adapted from a festival in the UK by Shay Casserly, Kevin Farrell, Roisin Clarke, Aiveen Cully and the entire Murtagh family together with members of Causey Farm staff and a multi-displinary team with experience in events, social media, education, therapy, design and art, to be Irelands first inclusive music and arts Festival.
Committee member Roisin Clarke describes the festival as a chance for people with additional needs and their families to experience a care free, fun, inclusive festival full of smiles, dancing, singing and kind people.
"The feeling post event can only be described as overwhelming happiness. Its heartwarming for us organisers to have the privilege to produce such and event and give people with additional needs, their families, our volunteers and anyone else involved the chance to experience this festival. It's a certain type of magic."
Acessaloo mobile toileting unit fitted with adult size changing beds have been attending the festival since 2018, providing a vital service.
"Having Accesoloo mobile toileting on site means that children or adults who need these services can come to our festival, knowing the toilets will have hoists and beds and a comfortable space to change, this means they don't have to limit their time away from home," says Roisin.
"The festival is based on kindness. People helping people. Our committee is fully voluntary and a lot of our performers give their time for free to make it such a special day"