Muscular Dystrophy Ireland (MDI) has announced the appointment of John Bennett from Cashel as its Chief Executive Officer.
The national charity for people with muscular dystrophy and their families, MDI services include information and advice, family support, respite support, youth activities, transport, assistive equipment, and medical research programmes.
Mr Bennett will be responsible for leading MDI through its next exciting period of growth and development.
He has worked in the disability sector for more than 20 years, both at home and overseas: in Ireland with University College Dublin, the Central Remedial Clinic, and the Tipperary Centre for Independent Living; in the United States of America with Temple University; and, most recently, in Botswana, with IncludeDIS, a company he founded which provides educational and disability consultancy services to the public sector and non-profit disability organisations.
He says of his appointment - "Having had the privilege of working with the previous CEO, Joe T Mooney, who sadly passed away last September, I am all too conscious of the huge void left behind.
“As someone who has worked in the disability area for over two decades, I am all too aware of the barriers that people with disabilities face in accessing essential services, equipment and care, in being able to pursue their education, take up a job or to live independently.
“ I am passionate about the inclusion and equal participation of everyone in our society.
“Above all, I am confident that working together with members, their families and staff, we will overcome these obstacles and that we will prevail. There can be no other outcome."
Muscular dystrophy is a potentially life-limiting, muscle-wasting condition which, along with allied neuromuscular conditions, impacts upon physical strength and mobility.
It affects men and women of all ages, with varying degrees of severity. Some forms arise at birth or in childhood, while others may not manifest themselves until later in life. Many people with muscular dystrophy and similar conditions require the use of a walking aid and/or wheelchair and rely on assistive support in their daily lives. While as yet there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, there have been considerable advances with treatments and therapies enhancing the quality of life of people with the condition.