Talent Support in Ireland
In Ireland there is only one formal organisation which provides targeted services to gifted and talented children. This is the Centre for Talented Youth Ireland based in Dublin City University, Dublin. The Director is Dr. Colm O’Reilly. http://www.dcu.ie/ctyi/index.shtml
There used to exist a national advocacy organisation however, this was dissolved in 2009. There are some individuals who are active in advocacy on a personal basis. Some of their current initiatives are as
Peter Lydon has founded Gifted and Talented Ireland to act as a catalyst to enable a cohesive approach to increasing the awareness of the needs of gifted and talented children in education. He has set up a new website at www.giftedandtalented.ie the aim of which is to provide targeted support for teachers of gifted children. The site contains a register for advocates of gifted children in Ireland. At present in Ireland there is no formal training for teachers in the area of gifted and talented education. Peter has 16 years experience as a qualified teacher working for CTYI and has decided to use his expertise to develop advocacy on behalf of gifted and talented children. He has established a Twitter forum at #gtie to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas on promoting the welfare of gifted and talented children. Chat take place on Sunday at 9.00pm (GMT) and there is international as well as national input to this. He has also established TEACH Ireland – Teachers of Exceptionally Able Children Ireland – which will develop into the association for teachers of gifted and talented children. Peter has also been a catalyst behind Ireland’s first National Gifted Education Awareness Day on April 8th 2011. This date was chosen specifically to complement the first EU TalentDay on April 9th. Several events are already in the process of being organised to mark both days. Peter has advocated a World Gifted Awareness Day and is interested in building links between Irish and international organisations interested in promoting such a day.
Dr. Catherine Riordan and Karen McCarthy have established a Gifted Advocacy Group in Wicklow/South Dublin, Ireland to support parents and have an excellent blog at http://www.dazzledandfrazzled.com/ which they use to advocate on behalf of gifted and talented children. Catherine and Karen have also been instrumental in delivering Ireland’s first National Gifted Education Awareness Day and have established a Facebook page (EU Talent Day) as a one-stop-shop of events in Ireland on April 8th and 9th.
Margaret Keane operates www.giftedkids.ie, and excellent and comprehensive support site on gifted and talented matters.
Leslie Graves is a member of the executive of the World Council of Gifted and Talented Children and she keeps a personal site with reviews of gifted and talented issues at http://innreach.wordpress.com/. She contributes to SEN lectures in University College Dublin, NUI.
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) has issued guidelines for teaching ‘exceptionally able’ children and it has run some pilot course however, awareness of the needs of gifted children in second level schools is poor to non-existent.
In the primary sector, commercial organisations such as www.icepe.eu provide CPD courses for teachers and consequently awareness in better in this sector.