All posts by Suzanne


You may have seen the hashtag #StopHidingISL popping up on your media feed of late.

It’s a grassroots campaign asking RTE to show the national anthem in ISL in full at the All Ireland football final next Sunday, September 2nd.

This came about because RTE chose only to show a few seconds of the historic first public performance of Amhran na bhFiann at the hurling final on August 19th, despite the hype and media attention that the event got in advance of the match.

There was huge disappointment and frustration in the Deaf community as a result of that decision to effectively exclude ISL from our screens at this prestigious event, which was also a momentous occasion for the Community.

This was compounded by the RTE coverage of the Pope’s visit to Ireland. Again ISL was seen from time to time, in the distance, but not in a way that was meaningful or useful for Deaf ISL users.

The Stop Hiding ISL movement came about when a few individuals decided to become vocal about the issue on social media. A few more fell in along the way. And so together with the support of the Deaf community around the country and internationally, and the Irish Deaf Society, the Stop Hiding ISL campaign has gathered speed.

There is a petition, currently with over 5,000 names. And four protest planned for tomorrow (August 30th 2018) in Cork, Dublin, Waterford and Limerick. There is still time to sign the petition (it will close tomorrow mid afternoon).

See #StopHidingISL to keep up date with the campaign.

See below for the Irish Deaf Society’s open letter about the issue.

Thanks for your support!

ISL open letter to RTE

Old Deaf community page (before ISL Act)!

Update: The Irish Sign Language Act 2017 was signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins on 24th December 2017.

The Recognition of Irish Sign Language Bill for the Deaf Community Bill, 2016

This Bill is making its way through the Seanad at present. It is sponsored by Fianna Fáil, but has cross-party support.

It is expected that the Bill will pass the fourth stage this month (October 2017). Once it has completed all five stages in the Seanad, the Bill must go through another five stages in the Dáil in order to become law.

The Irish Deaf Society has been campaigning since the 1980s for ISL (Irish Sign Language) to be recognised as an official language of the state.

Back in 1988 Irish MEP Eileen Lemass put forward a EU resolution that all member states recognise their own sign language/s. Since then many countries have done just that (including Iceland, Finland, UK (which recognises in ISL in Northern Ireland), Spain, Malta, etc.), but not Ireland.

Please support the IDS campaign for ISL recognition, and the Bill, by contacting your local public representative – senator and/or TD – and telling them that ISL is important to you.


CISLI statement on passing of ISL Bill

The Council of Irish Sign Language Interpreters want to echo the congratulations and good wishes that have been seen over the last few days as the Recognition of Irish Sign Language for the Deaf Community Bill approaches the final stages in the Dáil and Seanad before passing into law.

via Press Release – CISLI welcomes the imminent passing of the Recognition of Irish Sign Language Bill into law — CISLI – the Council of Irish Sign Language Interpreters

ISL Recognition Bill to become law

The Recognition of Irish Sign Language for the Deaf Community Bill 2016 is due to pass through all stages of the Dáil today, 14th December 2017, and become enshrined in law as the Irish Sign Language for the Deaf Community Act.

The new law will place a clear responsibilities on government funded bodies to provide access to Deaf service users through Irish Sign Language (ISL).

This is a historic day for the Deaf community.

It is also a big step for Ireland as a whole, challenging us to ensure that Deaf citizens participate in society on an equal footing to their hearing peers.

This has been a long journey for the Deaf community that began in the 1980s when FF MEP Eileen Lemass tabled an EU resolution that all member states recognise their national sign languages.

Since that time many EU and non EU countries have done just that, but Ireland has lagged behind.

Finally things are about to change for members of the Irish Deaf community. We are all looking forward to this new era which, hopefully, will bring great improvements in access to all aspects of Irish life, including (but not limited to!) the justice system, healthcare and education.

Booking an interpreter: DSP, Intreo, MABS, CIC, NAS

Many thanks to KDRC for their work with Dept. of Social Protection (DSP) on a new interpreting policy.

To watch this information in ISL, click on the links below:

When requested, Dept. of Social Protection will provide interpreters for appointments and meetings, such as with your Community Welfare Officer (CWO), Intreo (FAS) appointments and at social welfare appointments.

DSP staff can book an interpreter for you by placing a request on the DSP intranet (STOR).

When requested, interpreters can also be booked for the following DSP services:

The Citizens Information Board has an Access Officer who can be contacted at You can also show this information to the staff at your local CIC, MABS and NAS office.

For more information about interpreting/translation and other access facilities provided by DSP click here.

Update: Requesting an Interpreter for SW/DSP

Update from KDRC

The Dept. of Social Protection has updated its website recently with information in Irish Sign Language (ISL). To view the new page go to:

The Dept. of Social Protection also has information on its website about Irish Sign Language (ISL) Interpreting access for customers meeting with staff. To view this information, go to:–Interpretive-and-Sign-Language%C2%A0Services.aspx

These new developments are part of the DSP’s Customer Charter Action Plan 2013-2015.

The plan covers
·125 Social Welfare local and branch offices
·84 former FÁS Offices
·Community Welfare Services Offices
·The General Register Office (GRO)
·The Social Welfare Appeals Office
·The Pensions Board
·The Office of the Pensions Ombudsman
·The Social Welfare Tribunal

A number of statutory agencies operate under the aegis of the Department including:
·Citizen’s Information Board
·MABS- Money Advice Budgeting Service
·The National Advocacy Service