Down Syndrome Ireland photo exhibition features several Kildare people

In memory of Naas girl, Sheena Walsh

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Down Syndrome Ireland photo exhibition features several Kildare people

Amy Purcell (far right) in her picture showing her volunteer work at Newbridge Family Resource Centre. Picture: Eric Molimard

Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) is celebrating World Down Syndrome Day today by launching a unique photography exhibition, featuring a number of Kildare people, which is aimed at challenging perceptions of Down syndrome in society.

The exhibition, which is being held in memory of Naas girl Sheena Walsh, is being held in the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin city centre and will run until April 30.

Sheena, who was a member of the DSI National Advisory Committee (NAC), passed away in 2016. 

The ‘Who Am I?’ exhibition was devised and curated by members of the charity’s National Advisory Council in collaboration with a professional photographer, Eric Molimard. It is kindly supported by Frank Keane Volkswagen. The NAC comprises of people with Down syndrome from around the country to represent the views of their peers within the organisation.

The role of the NAC is to ensure that people with Down syndrome have a voice within the charity and influence the future development of Down Syndrome Ireland.

A vision of the council is to challenge perceptions of Down syndrome in society. The exhibition – which is two years in the making – presents images and stories of the lives of adults with Down syndrome.

Council Member Daragh Murphy from Newbridge is photographed on the court in the National Basketball Arena in Dublin wearing his basketball kit.

Speaking about the exhibition, he said: “The photo shows me on the spot. I’m focused and strong. I took part in the Special Olympics [representing] Leinster [in] basketball. I won an All-Ireland silver medal.  People are special. People are different. Looking at the photos you see what people have achieved. You see who they are.”

Daragh Murphy appearing on last Friday night's Late Late Show

President of Down Syndrome Ireland Mary Doherty said: “This exhibition is about celebrating our adult community and showcasing the diversity of educational and work engagement, the depth of artistic and sporting skill and active community involvement these adults enjoy and have. We are urging the public to come out and  view this unique photography exhibition.”

Members of the NAC featured on last weekend’s Late Late Show.

Amy Purcell from Newbridge told Ryan Tubridy how she volunteers at the Newbridge Family Resource Centre and her picture shows her in action. She also spoke about her love of working at Pelo Hairdressing with proprietor, Denise and her team. 

The late Sheena Walsh (right) with her mum Mary. Picture: Tony Keane

The team behind the exhbition. Picture: Down Syndrome Ireland website