Glenua & Friends
Winter Lecture 2016/17 Series
The Road to The Rio Paralympics
The Story of The Irish Sailing Sonar Team
Thursday 3 November 2016
Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club Ringsend
Entry €5 (in aid of Safetynet)
In 2013 Austin O’Carroll was offered the chance of a place with John Twomey and Ian Costelloe on the Irish Sailing Sonar team which was seeking to qualify for the Rio Paralympics. In this illustrated talk, Austin will focus on how they forged a team together, followed by a hectic qualifying campaign and finally their experiences of the Paralympic Finals. While involved in this campaign, there was a huge influx of people into homelessness. This meant the medical charity Safetynet, founded by Austin, had to rapidly expand the range of services for homeless people. He will describe how they dealt with this crisis, while running the Paralympic campaign.
Austin’s journey to Rio began in Bere Island in 1982 with a Glenans sailing course. Undaunted by the physical challenges, he was a dinghy instructor by 1984. He is now a GP in Inner City Dublin with a deep interest in Health Inequalities. In recognition of his work with marginalized groups, he was presented with the Irish Healthcare Person of the year 2015 award and granted an honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. He started eight specialized primary care services for homeless people and founded Safetynet, the umbrella organization for specialized-services for homeless people in Dublin and Cork. Safetynet has been innovative in the delivery of healthcare to homeless people including rough sleepers; provision of substance misuse treatment to homeless people. He is also involved in a variety of educational programmes dealing in health inequality and disability.