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Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland

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Update: Change of Venue for Family Day 2014!

Posted on March 27th, 2014

June 21, 2014

Family Day 2014 will be on Saturday, 21st June, in the  Lilliput Adventure Centre, Mullingar, County Westmeath. There will be something for all ages and of course lots of fun for everybody, so be sure to mark the date in your calendar. Check back here on our website nearer the date for further details and booking information.

See you there!

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RUN YOUR SOCKS OFF!

Posted on March 27th, 2014


Flora Women's Mini-marathonThe Flora Women’s 10k Mini-marathon is on Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd June 2014. As ever, we need YOUR help. Sponsorship cards and T-shirts can be arranged by contacting Anne Gilsenan at 087 131 9803, or by email at clapai.treasurer@gmail.com

Anne requires name, home address, email address, home number, mobile number and number of cards and t-shirts required.

You must register separately for the event see  www.florawomensminimarathon.ie for details and online booking form. Closing Date: 18th April 2014, or when maximum number of entries is reached.

Age Limit: Participants must be at least 14 on Mini Marathon Day.

This year we are delighted to announce that we have signed up with MYCHARITY.IE to make fundraising for CLAPAI even easier. Why not search for cleft on mycharity.ie and set up your own page for capturing sponsorship.

Not able to participate yourself?  Why not check out Gillian Mahon’s bid to do the Iron Man challenge in Austria - the tast involves a 3.8km swim in a lake, a 180km cycle followed by a 42km run (full marathon). Its an unbelievable undertaking for CLAPAI and its all on mycharity.ie, click the donate button to show your support.

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2013 Annual General Meeting Notice

Posted on November 24th, 2013

December 10, 2013
8:15 pmto10:00 pm

Notice is hereby given of the 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland, to be held on Tuesday, 10th December, at 8.15pm,  at Bewleys Hotel, Newlands Cross, Dublin.

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Christmas is Coming… Get Your Cards Now!

Posted on November 18th, 2013


Christmas cards

10 Euro per pack of 10 cards (includes postage),
or
20 Euro per pack of 25 cards (includes postage).

These striking cards not only help raise funds for CLAPAI but also promote awareness of Cleft Lip and Palate.

Right: Click to view larger image

Order enquiries: email clapai.treasurer@gmail.com or phone 087 1319803

Payment can be made by cheque, bank draft or postal order (payable to “Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland”) and sent to:
Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland.
C/o 36 Woodlands Avenue,
Dun Laoghaire,
County Dublin,
Ireland

Order now to ensure prompt delivery!

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Moving on from Cleft team in Temple Street

Posted on October 28th, 2013


Professor Tríona Sweeney began her career in the Children’s University Hospital (CUH), Temple Street, Dublin, over 35 years ago and throughout that time has made a major contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the area of cleft-related speech problems. She is an internationally recognised author of many academic papers, and most recently contributed a book chapter to ‘Cleft Palate Speech’ along with other prominent figures in the field of cleft. She has lectured in both Trinity College Dublin and the University of Limerick, supervising the research of many MSc students as well as inspiring young therapists to follow in her footsteps and work in the area of cleft. Whilst she is an academic, she is first and foremost a talented and mindful clinician, committed to attaining the best outcome for her patients. Triona has had a long association with the Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland since its early days, ever aware of the importance of working in partnership with families. The voice of the patient is consistently at the heart of her work and her energy, dynamism and vision, inspire all those who work alongside her.

L-R: Mr. Michael Earley, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Triona Sweeney, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist and Professor Brendan Drumm, then CEO of the HSE. (18th March, 2008)

Above: L-R: Mr. Michael Earley, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Triona Sweeney, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist and Professor Brendan Drumm, CEO of the HSE. Dublin Cleft Conference, 18th March, 2008. Read the rest of this entry »

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Disney’s The Lone Ranger - Shame on You

Posted on July 26th, 2013


The Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland (CLAPAI) would advise parents to be prepared for the forthcoming release of the Disney movie “The Lone Ranger”, due out on the 9th August, certificate12a.

Disney describes the villain of the movie (Cavendish) as “a ruthless outlaw whose terribly scarred face is a perfect reflection of the bottomless pit that passes for his soul”.

The scar is recognisable as a scar resulting from a cleft lip. There is no doubt that this is what the movie sets out to do.  Joel Harlow, the film’s makeup artist, says “William Fichtner, who plays Butch Cavendish required, not only silicone prosthetics, but also a dental prosthetic to force his lip into a cleft” (read the interview). William Fichner the actor says, when asked about acting under the make up, “You know,  I have the prosthetic broken nose, the whole cleft lip…”

The association of evil with a facial birth defect is hard to take.  It will be shocking for older children and adults who happen to see the movie on its release. Younger children will come across the character through Lego, the toy manufacturer having brought out a range of toys to accompany the movie, a range that includes the character Cavendish complete with cleft lip.

To be clear, the problem is not that a movie character has a cleft or that Lego have duplicated the cleft.  The problem is the deliberate association of a cleft with evil.

It is also difficult to reconcile the effort that the makeup artists went to in order to duplicate a cleft, and the upset they have caused, with the lifetime of dedicated work that medical specialists put in to ever improving cleft surgical outcomes in order to give children born with cleft a better chance in life.

Unfortunately, with household names like Disney and Lego, the impact of the Lone Ranger’s depiction of cleft is not likely to go away.  Generations to come will have to deal with this movie.

ADVICE FOR PARENTS

First - it may be that your child or their friends will not make the connection between the person on screen and cleft lip – so do not panic.

On the other hand - they may make the connection themselves so be prepared to answer their questions and give them some assurance. Try to provide an answer that they can use themselves if their friends ask questions.

There is a chance that their school pals will make a connection even if your child does not.  It may lead them to question your child about their scar or it may lead them to think that your child should be the ‘baddie’ in whatever the current schoolyard games are.  Even if you have not discussed the Lone Ranger movie with your child, it might be time to have a general discussion and quietly arm your child with simple answers that they can use in the playground.  It might be worth advising other adults, such as parents of friends and teachers, to be on the lookout for any issues.

For teenagers, once warned, they may choose not to go to the movie.  On the other hand when the movie is brought out on DVD, as it inevitable will be, they may inadvertently end up at someone’s house stuck watching a movie that makes them uncomfortable.  A discussion now about how to handle that type of situation might help. Maybe broaden the conversation as to how the media in general treats people with facial difference. It could well help with perspective and help your teenager feel that they are not alone.
See Changing Faces “Face Equality on Film“.

Further reading:

Disney - The Character Butch Cavendish.
The Lone Ranger - character with facial scarring Changing Faces (UK Support Group).
Disney’s The Lone Ranger and the Portrayal of Cleft Lip (CLAPA UK).

Media Responses:

Disney’s Lone Ranger criticised by disability campaigners (The Telegraph).
Disney’s Lone Ranger sparks anger as birth defect is used to make villain Butch Cavendish ‘look more evil’ (The Independent)
The Lone Ranger hit by protest over cleft lip (The Guardian)
Parents of children with cleft lip rue The Lone Ranger movie (The Star)

Issued by Georgina Wade, Committee member and Chairperson, CLAPAI

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Contact

Tel. 087 1319803
E-mail: info@cleft.ie

Note: We are listed with 11850 and 11890 directory enquiries, but not 11811 (Eircom do not list mobile numbers)

5 Key Facts

1. We are an entirely voluntary run organisation.
2. We receive no government funding.
3. There are no paid staff, full-time or part-time.
4. We have been a limited company for over 30 years.
5. Copies of our accounts are available on the CRO web site.

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