In early 2021, Jane Barrett did some research and found the Lawyers with Disabilities Division (the “LDD“) connected to the Law Society of England and Wales. Realising the LDD was in place for over 30 years, she felt there was a place for a similar network in Ireland.

With the help of the Law Society of Ireland, solicitors, trainee solicitors and company secretaries came together via zoom in April 2021 to discuss the possibility of setting up a similar group here. It was agreed at this meeting that to be as inclusive as possible, the network should be established outside the Law Society and welcome all those working in the legal sector, similar to the Outlaw Network.

Jane, with the support of William Fry, co-ordinated the first Steering Committee meeting in May 2021, where the mission statement of the network was agreed.

About Page Image - 3D Illustration of connected spheres. Network Concept.

Our Mission

To promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities within the legal sector.

Our Vision

A more inclusive legal sector.

Our Values

Diversity & Inclusion.

Our Steering Committee.

Jane Barrett Chairperson

Chair: Jane Barrett

William Fry

My name is Jane Barrett. I am an Associate in the Employment & Benefits department, (specialising in pensions and share incentives) in William Fry (“WF”). I went to NUIG (BCL) and TCD (LLM). I trained in WF and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2016 just after qualifying as a solicitor.  I am a member of the WF “Diversifry” Committee, more specifically the sub-committee on “access” which includes access issues for those with disabilities. This focused my mind on what could be done to improve visibility and inclusion for people with disabilities in the firm, but also more broadly in the legal sector. I became aware that there were networks in the U.K. for lawyers with disabilities and had the idea to create a similar network in Ireland. I hope that the disAbility Legal Network will be a valuable network for people with disabilities that work in the legal sector. I have already really enjoyed making connections with the other members of the Steering Committee and look forward to making many more!

Caoimhe Grogan Vice-chairperson

Vice Chair: Caoimhe Grogan

A & L Goodbody

My name is Caoimhe Grogan. I was born with a rare inherited retinal degeneration called Leber Congenital Amaurosis. I have a BCL (International) from University College Cork where I got the amazing opportunity to study in Philadelphia for a year. I am now a trainee solicitor with A&L Goodbody LLP (“ALG”). When I started working at ALG, I joined the Disability Sub-Committee which forms part of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. I have loved collaborating with my colleagues to increase awareness and accessibility across our workplace. I was absolutely delighted when Jane Barrett, our chairperson, set up the disAbility Legal Network in 2021. I am the Vice-chairperson of the committee and am excited to use this platform to achieve greater inclusivity, awareness and accessibility for people with disabilities in the legal profession in Ireland.

Daragh Bogan Secretary

Secretary: Daragh Brogan

Matheson

Daragh Bogan is Matheson’s Impactful Business Programme Manager and coordinates the firm’s D&I, CSR, Environmental Sustainability and Arts projects, initiatives and activities.

Between 2011 and 2019, Daragh was the Chair of RLS-UK, a UK charity which offers advice and support to people living with the neurological disorder / hidden disability of Restless Legs Syndrome (Willis Ekbom Disease). In 2019, he was elected as President of the European Alliance for RLS (EARLS), a non-profit, independent alliance of national patient organisations from across Europe. He is also Secretary of a charity which supports marginalised and disadvantaged communities in Galway.

Committee Members.

  • Aisling Glynn | McMahon & Williams Solicitors
  • Elaine Cahill | Competition & Consumer Protection Commission
  • Annette Costello | retired Chartered Company Secretary ex William Fry

  • Davinia Brennan | Matheson

  • Peggy Hughes | Mason Hayes & Curran
  • Kate McKenna | Frontline Ventures
  • Aoife Farrelly B.L | Bar of Ireland
  • Danielle Curtis | Public Interest Law Alliance
  • Silvia-Maria Crowley B.L | Bar of Ireland
  • Sandra Behan | McCann Fitzgerald
  • Kate O’Donohoe | Arthur Cox
  • Bethany Cotter Fiore | William Fry
  • Louise Wedick | Eversheds Sutherland

Upcoming Events.

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