Love and Courage

Ann Marie Flanagan - Disability Rights Champion

March 30, 2024 Ruairí McKiernan
Love and Courage
Ann Marie Flanagan - Disability Rights Champion
Show Notes

Ann Marie Flanagan is a disabled human rights activist from County Clare in the west of Ireland. Growing up in a tight-knit, supportive community, she says attitudes towards her physical impairment were generally inclusive. However, that changed when Ann Marie hit the age of 12 and entered secondary school. She says the environment was hostile and exclusionary. 

Despite the challenges, she went on to flourish, completing an IT degree and getting involved in student activism. She has also completed a Master's in partnership studies and public administration and an advanced diploma in human services management. She has trained as a family systems and person-centred therapist and is completing a Master's in international and comparative disability law and policy at Galway University. 

Ann Marie is known for her work in co-founding Disabled People of Clare. Her activism and interests have taken her all over the world, including spending time in Ethiopia at the Centre for Independent Living. She is very much tuned into the importance of politics to create change, having run for local elections twice and been nominated as a candidate for the Irish senate, the Seanad, in 2020. 

Recently, she has been focused on leading research, co-writing, and editing the publication "We Are Human Too," alongside spearheading the "Equality Not Care" referendum campaign. Ann Marie is married to Derek and is a proud mother to 12-year-old Robert. She’s also a former self-described ‘wild child’ who has enjoyed her fair share of raves and parties, and while she works hard, she believes passionately in enjoying life too. 

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