Disability Awareness Day - IWA, August 2007

The Irish Wheelchair Association (www.iwa.ie)

Siege of Awareness

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Kilkenny 26th August 2007

The Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) held its symbolic awareness parade highlighting access barriers for people with disabilities.

The sun shone on IWA 'Siege of Awareness' Parade held in Kilkenny City on Sunday 26th August. A parade of nearly 500 people turned out to raise access awareness for people with disabilities in the community. Members' staff and volunteers from all over the country came dressed in a variety of costumes and props that added colour and fun to the day. The parade stormed through the streets of Kilkenny led by the Southern Brigade Pipe Band, Killeshin Pipe Band and Tayto the horse.

The parade halted at Kilkenny Court House to be greeted by Mayor Marie Fitzpatrick and local councillors, who officially declared the 'Siege of Awareness' day open. The opening ceremony saw SPIRIT youth members break down symbolic barriers of steps and narrow doors to the lively accompaniment of the Kilkenny Gospel Choir.

The Parade continued to draw crowds as they forged on up the streets to Kilkenny Castle Park where there was free live entertainment for the day.

Kathleen McLoughlin CEO acknowledged the great support received from the people of Kilkenny City, OPW, Irish Defence Forces, Kilkenny Fire and Rescue Service and Sponsors towards this IWA event and spoke of her hope that the day's 'Siege of Awareness' will help to continue to break down barriers. The 'Siege of Awareness, castle events were then launched by John Mc Guinness TD Minister of State for Trade and Commerce.

There was live entertainment throughout the day and evening with Scuba Dice topping the bill for the live music with other up and coming local bands. The crowds were thrilled by the Army's "Black Knights" spectacular parachute jump from an Augusta Georgia Helicopter.
People remarked at the end of the day how the IWA 'Siege of Awareness' event not only captured people's attention but also involved everyone in day of celebration and fun.

A word of thanks to every single person who participated and supported in making the event a day to remember.

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