Launch of SAFE(R)SPACE research at Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

6 Dec 2019
Molly Potter and PC Stephanie Rose (from left)

ISS21, in conjunction with the School of Applied Social Studies, hosted a one day event at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission in Dublin entitled ‘Re-imagining SAFE(R)SPACE: disability, hostility and the meaning of community safety’. The event witnessed the launch of the two year, Irish Research Council-funded study, Disability and the Creation of Safe(r) Space, which has been exploring how issues of hostility and un/safety impact on the everyday lives and geographies of people with disabilities in Ireland, including the places and spaces that they use. The study has found that issues of un/safety often restrict people with disabilities’ access to different spaces, and that many people experience different forms of hostility in their everyday lives.

Based around the findings of the research, the event brought together a range of speakers including people with disabilities and disability organisations, international academics, and An Garda Siochana to explore what we mean by community safety in the context of disability, and how we might promote the idea of safer spaces. Speakers included the research authors, Dr. Claire Edwards and Nicola Maxwell, Suzy Byrne (disability activist and Regional Manager with the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities), Dr. Andrew Power (University of Southampton), Superintendent Kevin Daly (Garda Bureau of Community Engagement), and Molly Potter and PC Stephanie Rose from I Am Me Scotland and Police Scotland, which works to tackle disability hate crime in Scotland. Other participants on the discussion panel included Peter Kearns from Independent Living Movement Ireland, Josephine Henry from Dublin City Community Coop, and Dr. Aideen Hartney from the National Disability Authority.

Discussions on the day highlighted the limited nature of awareness of disability within understandings of community safety, the importance of self-advocacy amongst people with disabilities in making issues of un/safety visible, and what future hate crime legislation might mean for people with disabilities in Ireland.

To access the SAFE(R)SPACE report, please go to:

For more details about the event, or the project, please contact the project PI, Dr. Claire Edwards:

Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

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