Call us: (01) 280 4164

Hot off the presses!

We are delighted to tell you about our new STEP AHEAD vocational service for young people affected by brain injury, supported by Pobal’s Ability Programme. STEP AHEAD is a national service with two centres in Cork and Dublin. This practical programme is geared to help more brain injury survivors return to education, training or work. STEP AHEAD also provides essential brain injury information and education for employers, tutors and trainers.

Who can take part?

Our STEP AHEAD programme offers a vocational assessment and work-related support service free-of-charge to individuals with an acquired brain injury and who meet the following criteria:

·         Aged between 18 – 29 years old

·         Have sustained an acquired brain injury

·         In receipt of disability allowance or invalidity pension; or

·         In receipt of illness benefit for more than three months; or

·         Referred by a relevant organisation or service supporting young people with disabilities i.e. Primary Care Teams, HSE Disability Services, Residential or Day Services

Expert service

Led by a senior occupational therapist, our STEP AHEAD service will assess the individual’s work skills, knowledge and experience. The programme provides practical assistance for people with a brain injury who may be struggling to hold on to their existing job or trying to return to education, training, or employment. Two vocational facilitators will also support the development of a Personal Vocational Plan for each participant, outlining person-centred, vocational goals.

Thank you to our funders!

Pobal’s Ability Programme launched in June 2018 to provide supports to over 2,600 young people with disabilities. A great initiative, it is particularly designed to assist in the transition from school to further education, training and employment. The Ability Programme is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s new STEP AHEAD vocational assessment service would not be possible without this funding.

Who to contact:

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland STEP AHEAD Dublin

Call Emer Duffy, Senior Occupational Therapist: 086 603 7353 or email:

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland STEP AHEAD Cork

Call Sinead Stack, Senior Occupational Therapist: 086 603 4633 or email:


While our organisation welcomes the long-awaited launch by the HSE of a new national rehabilitation implementation plan, we cannot stress enough the need for immediate action. We call on the government to start with a focus on community rehabilitation. As many of you know, every year in Ireland an estimated 19,000 people acquire a brain injury caused by stroke, road traffic accidents, brain tumours, falls and assault. But too many of these cases don’t get the rehabilitation they need.

Ongoing, hidden crisis of brain injury

In our view, it is an ongoing hidden crisis that thousands of brain injury survivors are left without the necessary rehabilitation that could help them live more normal lives. Worse still, we are still seeing many young people stuck in hospitals, psychiatric wards or nursing homes after brain injury. This is not good enough.

New HSE plan announced today HSE neuro rehabilitation implementation plan

Today the HSE has announced a new implementation plan. And today, we would like to see the government prioritise investment in community rehabilitation because this will go some way to ensure people with brain injury can move from one service to another in a timely fashion and maximise their potential recovery.

Too many brain injury survivors left without rehabilitation

Our Research and Policy Manager Grainne McGettrick said: “Through our services we see the huge challenges people with brain injury and their families face every day. For these people, the worst has happened – their life is suddenly turned upside down after a stroke or car crash and they are fighting for their lives. But saving their life is just the beginning. For many brain injury survivors, they are left with nothing. We are witness to their difficulties in getting access to the rehabilitation services they need in order to recover and maximise their potential. Not to mention coping with the impact of not being able to work, family members suddenly having to become carers, experience financial stress and broken-down relationships.

“Rehabilitation services for people with brain injury in Ireland are seriously underdeveloped and under-resourced right across the pathway from hospital to home. Ireland is at the bottom of the European table. At a very basic level there are not enough rehab services for the level of demand and the piecemeal, patchy nature of the services has serious life-long consequences for the individual and their family. But positively, where rehabilitation services are provided, we can see how effective they are.”

The benefits of neuro-rehabilitation include:

–         Realising an individual’s potential and improved patient outcomes

–         Significant reduction in care giver burden

–         Lessening of societal costs

–         Lessening unnecessary dependency on health services

Need to fill the gaps in services

Ms McGettrick continued: “The HSE’s new implementation plan for neuro-rehabilitation is vital to improve and fill the gaps that are faced by thousands of families in Ireland in need of rehabilitation and support after brain injury. We very much support all efforts towards a more integrated pathway for brain injury survivors which will in turn, not only benefit individuals in their recovery but it will also reduce delays in discharge and free up hospital beds. However, we now need to move to action and commence implementation. We want leadership from the Department of Health and our politicians.”

How the HSE plan will work

Under the new implementation plan, the HSE approach proposes a national framework of acute, inpatient and specialist community services through:

–          Clear governance structures with identifiable leadership and accountability

–          Development of local implementation teams in local HSE areas

–          Development of neuro-rehabilitation services into a Managed Clinical Rehabilitation Network (MCRN) model

The HSE’s national neuro-rehabilitation implementation plan (2019-2021) also recognises that continued investment in these services will need to be prioritised beyond the 3-year period.

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland is the country’s leading provider of community rehabilitation for those of working age (18-65 years) living with and recovering from an acquired brain injury. At any one time, the national not-for-profit organisation delivers dedicated individual rehabilitation and support to 1,100 brain injury survivors and their families, to rebuild their lives.

For more information see our policy briefing here.



Don’t miss THE Valentine’s event of the season featuring our sensational comedy host Malachy Murray. It’s happening this Saturday 16 Feb in the heart of the country in the Tullamore Court Hotel. Tickets are just a click away !

To give you a taste of what you don’t want to miss – check out the latest hilarious video footage from Malachy Murray, played by FM104’s Terry Fahy, one of Ireland’s favourite impersonators…



Malachy Murray played by FM104's Terry Fahy is to host Acquired Brain Injury Ireland's Valentine's Ball in Tullamore on 16 February 2019Love is in the air in Tull-Amore as roving presenter Malachy Murray (played by local native and FM104’s Terry Fahy) gets ready to don his cravat as Master of Ceremonies at our second annual black tie Valentine’s Ball.

Tipped as the romantic event of the season, we are urging people in the midlands to avoid disappointment and order tickets online today! You don’t want to miss the ‘chance of a glance’ from the smooth-talking, debonair host Malachy Murray.

If you’re in Offaly, you can also get your hands on tickets at Galvin Tullamore, Sally West, the Wooden Hanger or from the team in our Mountbolus centre. Our black-tie ball takes place on Saturday 16 February in the Tullamore Court Hotel to raise vital funds for more neuro-rehabilitation services for brain injury survivors.

Rekindling romance in the midlands

We have a great night in store for our guests and highlights will include a comedy sketch from Malachy Murray, music from The Secrets and guests will also hear from real life brain injury survivor Niamh Cahill from Portlaoise.

Malachy said: “When people ask me what’s more important – food or love. I don’t usually answer because I’m eating. But this Valentine’s Ball in aid of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland has it all – fine food, love, music and with my natural charms on display, you’re sure to be smitten with at least one person on the night. I’ll also be showing what happened when I ventured onto the mean streets of Offaly, a celebrity chef will teach you how to cook the ultimate aphrodisiac and there’s a special address from the President himself, plus much, much more!”

Why do we need to raise money for more services?

Well, the reality is that acquired brain injury is something of a hidden phenomenon. A lot of people don’t realise that as many as 19,000 brain injuries happen in Ireland every year. What’s worse is that brain injuries often happen suddenly, without warning from causes like stroke, road traffic accidents, falls and assaults. That’s 53 people every day – men and women of all ages – acquiring a brain injury that can affect their lives and those of their family for months and years after the initial injury.

Rebuilding lives in the midlands

In Offaly, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s neuro-rehabilitation service based in Mountbolus is working to rebuild the lives of more than 160 brain injury survivors across the midlands in Offaly, Laois, Longford and Westmeath on an ongoing basis.

Our Local Services Manager, Martin Nunan, in Mountbolus said: “We believe every brain injury is unique and we tailor rehabilitation plans for all our brain injury survivors. Ultimately our goal is that our clients won’t need us anymore. By joining our Valentine’s Ball, our guests will not only enjoy an incredible experience, but every donation will help make life better for people with brain injury right here in the midlands and around the country.”

Hurry – get your tickets now!

So hurry up and get your tickets! You don’t want to miss the Valentine’s Ball of the year! Tickets are priced at €60. Order online or call Natasha Quinn in our head office on 01-2804164 to order by phone. If you’re near our centre in Mountbolus why not swing by to collect tickets in person! We look forward to welcoming you to the Tullamore Court Hotel on 16th February 2019 for the black tie drinks reception at 6.30pm.

A ‘tux’ of class

Gentlemen – if you haven’t organised a tuxedo already, fret not because Galvin Tullamore will sort you out. For every €50 tuxedo hired, they will donate €15 to our charity!

Note: Photographs and video will be taken at this event.