Representatives of Irish Stammering Association visited Áras an Uachtaráin

Representatives of Irish Stammering Association visited Áras an Uachtaráin on Tuesday 1st December to meet with President Michael D. Higgins.

ISA Chairman Michael Ryan said, “It was an honour to meet with President Higgins and talk about the work of the Irish Stammering Association.  We were made most welcome by the President and his staff on ISA’s first visit to Áras an Uachtaráin.  We were pleased to be able to share the experiences of people who stammer and the work that ISA carries out to support them.  This invitation underlines the importance that all voices in our society can have a place to be listened to.”

President Michael D. Higgins (seated centre) with Michael Ryan ISA Chair (seated left) and representatives of Irish Stammering Association

President Higgins addressed the group with the following words:

You are all most welcome here today to Áras an Uachtaráin.

I am very grateful to have this valuable opportunity to both commend you for  the important work of the Irish Stammering Association, and to learn more about the issues facing citizens living with a stammer.

This year you marked the 21st anniversary since you were first established. During those twenty one years, the Association has admirably honored your mission to “ provide  a nationally recognised voice for people affected by stammering. “

You have made remarkable strides in raising public awareness of stammering. For example, last month saw Ireland’s eighth National Stammering Awareness Day; a day which brought together an impressive array of expertise to discuss the theme of Education, Cooperation, and Communication.

Throughout the year your work in encouraging self-help groups including Skype groups for teens who stammer, and phone groups for men and women is invaluable, allowing people from all over the country to avail of your important service.

I was also deeply impressed to learn of the camps you organise, including your very successful drama camp, ensuring that the lives of young people  with stammers will not be impoverished by lack of opportunities, or lack of outlets for creative expression.

There can be no doubt that the stigma surrounding those with stammers has reduced significantly in recent years. Today there is greater understanding of the issue and a greatly increased ability to hear beyond the stammer, and to appreciate the important and equal voice of all members of our society.

Parents whose small children stammer are no longer advised to simply ignore the issue, in the hopes that it will ‘go away’.  Those who stammer themselves are less likely to find themselves subjected to the insensitivity that once marked a general ignorance about the condition.

This is all very positive, and the Irish Stammering Association can claim considerable credit for the many encouraging developments we have witnessed in this area.

I am deeply aware, however, that while the landscape has improved for those who stammer, there is still considerable work to be done if real equality is to be achieved for those living with this distressing challenge.

We know, for instance, that early intervention is key to helping the five per cent of children in Ireland who stammer.  But sadly, such intervention can be dependent on which part of the country you live in, with waiting lengths varying and lasting up to a year and a half in some instances.

The lack of availability of services for adults who stammer is an issue of which I am very aware, and is one which must concern any society who wishes to be founded on equality and respect for all. In this regard I must commend your Association for the non therapy support you provide through, for example, your women’s leadership programme which enables the development of a positive self image and recognition of leadership qualities.

There can be no doubt that despite the strides that have been made in creating a more positive environment for citizens living with a stammer, challenges still remain.

It is most helpful to meet with you all today and to learn more about those challenges as we strive to create a society in which all our citizens can flourish and participate and make their individual and important contributions.

So may I thank you for coming here today and for the vital work you do.


Presentation Skills course for young people who stammer

Presentation Skills course for young people who stammer

Irish Stammering Association is running a Presentation Skills course for young people who stammer from ages 12 to 18 in Dublin. It will be run in cooperation with the Gaiety School of Acting and will use drama to help them to find the skills to be more confident about speaking in front of a group e.g. answering a question in class or making a presentation.

The course is run over 2 days Sat 21st Nov and Sat 5th Dec from 11am to 2.30pm each day.

Cost is €20 for the 2 days. Financial assistance available.

Contact for more information.

International Stuttering Awareness Day – Budget 2016 response

October 22nd is International Stuttering Awareness Day.  The Irish Stammering Association (ISA) welcomes last week’s Budget 2016 announcement by Minister Howlin that funding will be made available for children’s speech and language therapy services.

Around 5% of children will stammer; a condition characterized by sound repetitions, prolongations and blocks in its early stages. Some children will recover from stammering but around 1% of adults continue to stammer.  Stammering can lead to avoidance of speaking situations, embarrassment, frustration and people not fulfilling their potential; whatever their age.


Commenting on the Budget announcement ISA Chairperson Michael Ryan said: “While we welcome increased investment into speech and language therapy services, we note that waiting lists for both assessment and treatment have been problematic around the country for many years. Funding reductions and recruitment embargos have far reaching consequences. Delays in access to services for children who stammer reduce their chances of recovery. Services for adults who stammer are limited or non-existent in many areas; research shows that adults who are supported can contribute more positively to society and to the economy.”

“Irish Stammering Association calls for investment in services to support people who stammer throughout their lives. Services in the early years of stammering offer the best chance of recovery. However, it is also important to offer services for those who are older, to give them the best possible support to their education and employment, allowing them to contribute fully to society,” said Mr Ryan.


This year’s theme for International Stuttering Awareness Day is ‘Spread the Word – Education, Cooperation, Communication’.  By working together we can reduce the isolation associated with stuttering and see people who stammer playing a positive role.  Irish Stammering Association will continue to monitor services for children and adults who stutter over the coming months to ensure that those who find it difficult to speak up are still listened to.

National Stammering Awareness Day Schedule 2015

This year’s National Stammering Awareness Day (NSAD) will take place in the Hilton Kilmainham Hotel, Dublin on Saturday 17th October.

The 2015 National Stammering Awareness Day will be in its 9th year and once again it is being kindly sponsored by ‘Speak Soon Communications’ with additional assistance from Irish Stammering Association.  Irish McGuire Programme also provide financial support to the event.

Spread the Word – Education, Cooperation, Communication is this year’s theme. This is a great opportunity for all who are interested in stammering to attend and get involved.  Family & friends are very welcome.  It’s free to attend.

ISA breakout sessions take place for for children (11 a.m.), parents at (1 p.m.) and teens at (2.40 p.m.)
The full schedule is as follows;

10:00 a.m. Welcome – Michael O’Shea & Jonathon Linklater
10:05 a.m. Icebreaker
10:15 a.m. Deirdre McCabe (Person who stutters)
10:30 a.m. Timmy Hammersley (Person who stutters)
10:45 a.m. Ciara Gleeson (Speech and Language Therapist)

11:00 a.m. Tea & coffee break

11:15 a.m. Keynote: Michael Ryan (Chairman, Irish Stammering Association)
11:45 a.m. Cathy Cooling (Person who stutters)
12:00 p.m. Anthony Fowler (Person who stutters)
12:15 p.m. Dominic Sutton (Person who stutters)
12:30 p.m. Keynote: Alan Badmington (Person who stutters)
1:00 p.m. Lunch

2:00 p.m. Ian Hickey (Person who stutters)
2:20 p.m. Keynote: Veronica Lynch (Person who stutters)
2:50 p.m. Keynote: Ciarán Kenny (Speech and Language Therapist)
3:15 p.m. Michael Donnelly (Person who stutters)
3:30 p.m. Jamie Googan (Person who stutters)
3:45 p.m. Keynote: Pamela Mertz (Person who stutters)
4:15 p.m. Open mic
4:25 p.m. Closing comments – Michael O’Shea & Jonathon Linklater
4:30 p.m. Close
Parallel sessions

11:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Breakout room 2: ISAYiT! drama group facilitated by Gaiety School of Acting
1:00 p.m. – 1.45 p.m.
Main Room: ISA Parent Support Network meeting (all parents welcome)
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Breakout room 2 McGuire Programme information session

2:40 p.m. – 3:25 p.m.
Breakout room 2: ISA teenager session

All talks in main room unless otherwise stated

Walk and Talk Summer 2015

This will be a social gathering and will provide an opportunity for those who stammer, their family and friends, or those with an interest in stammering to Walk and Talk as they take in the stunning views of the Howth Coastal Path. As the group will walk for between 2-3 hours, it is not suitable for children under the age of 10. Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult.

How do I take part?

Please express your interest in this event before the 13th of September 2015 by contacting

What should I bring?

Please ensure to bring: Walking boots, raingear, snack and fluids.

Please contact for further details.



April Newsletter

In the April 2015 edition of the Irish Stammering Association’s Newsletter, some of our contributors’ names were not credited for the articles they wrote.  ISA wishes to convey its sincere apologies to these writers.  All contributions to ISA’s newsletters are greatly appreciated.  It is our hope that these authors will continue to support ISA through sharing their research and insights into stammering.  In this way ISA can keep its members informed and updated on new studies and experiences of stuttering in Ireland and further afield.  An updated version of our newsletter is now available on our website.  The articles and their authors’ names are listed below:
Chairman’s Address- written by Veronica Lynch, outgoing ISA Chairperson and continuing ISAYiT! coordinator.
“A Broad Overview of Stuttering and The Growing Up in Ireland Longitudinal Study:  Encouraging results regarding prevalence of and academic achievement”.  written by:  Kathleen McTiernan and Margaret M. Leahy, Trinity College Dublin. 
Best wishes,
Irish Stammering Association

ISA visits the Houses of the Oireachtas

CHDmHBaXIAA3XU6Irish Stammering Association Chair Michael Ryan and Development Manager Jonathon Linklater visited the Houses of the Oireachtas on Tuesday 9th June.

Michael and Jonathon followed up with public representatives to call for continued funding of Irish Stammering Association’s work to support people who stammer.

The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government recently announced bridging funding for ISA until June 2016 under the Scheme to Support National Organisations; further funding is unclear.

ISA is the only charitable organisation working in Ireland on behalf of people who stutter.  ISA provides support and information to people who stutter, their families and friends, and professionals who work with stuttering.

Without sustainable funding, ISA services will be under threat.  ISA offers support groups around the country as well as telephone networks for parents, men and women who stutter.  ISA operates ISAYiT! drama groups and young ISA social events for young people who stutter as well as a Skype group for teenagers. Events such as Walk and Talk and Caint gan Eagla Conference Day give people an opportunity to come together to reduce isolation often caused by stuttering.

You can help!  Talk to your local TD or Senator about how stammering has affected you or someone who you know.  Send them an email or a letter; you can find your representatives’ contact details to by clicking here 

ISAYiT! Summer drama camps 2015

10am to 2pm

6th to 10th July

Temple Bar, Dublin 2


summer drama camps for young people who stammer!

Led by the Gaiety School of Acting,

provides a place for young people who stammer

from age 8 to 17 to try acting and stagecraft.

There will be plenty of fun, games and activities

during the week and new friends to be made.


The cost for the week is €100 per child to attend

which is part funded by HSE / National Lottery grant.

Financial assistance with fee is available.

Text or call 086 0736328 for

more information or to book a place.

ISAYiT! summer drama camps 2015