Our Surgical Journey, 11th April 2024

The Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland are pleased to host an informal evening with key members of the cleft team. Admission is free but attendees must register in advance. Search Eventbrite for cleft or  Click Here

Thursday 11th April 2024 in the Ashling Hotel Dublin 8
The doors will be open at 7:00, tea & coffee on arrival.

Our Surgical Journey, 7:30

  • Dr. Catherine de Blacam, Plastic surgeon
  • Mr. Tim McSwiney, Orthodontist
  • Prof. Gerry Kearns, Maxillofacial surgeon 

Meeting Close & Tea & Coffee, 9:15

There will be an opportunity to continue that talk with Tea & Coffee afterwards. 

Annual General Meeting (AGM) with Guest Speaker Gary Elbert

The Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland AGM will take place as follows. Admission is free but attendees must register in advance. Search Eventbrite for cleft or  Click Here

Thursday 30th November 2023 in the Clayton Hotel, Liffey Valley, Dublin.
The doors will be open at 7:00, tea & coffee on arrival.

Opening Address & AGM, 7:30

  • Opening address
  • Company AGM
  • CLAPAI update
  • A.O.B.

Guest Speaker Gary Elbert, 8:00

“Visible Difference, Let’s start a conversation”

We are delighted to introduce the extraordinary Gary Elbert as our guest speaker this year. As heard on the Ryan Tubridy radio show, Gary was born with cleft lip and palate, has used his personal journey to conduct highly topical research on “Visible Difference” in NUIG, . Gary will be discussing his personal journey, his research and the impact of visible difference in community.

You can hear Gary’s earlier interview with Ryan Turbridy by clicking on the link below or by searching for Gary Elbert on the RTE web site. Click Here

In addition to his day job & his research, Gary is a formidable athlete. He is one of only 20 Irish people to complete the Spartathalon Ultra Marathon. The race takes place every September starting in Athens and finishing in Sparta, 245km or 157 miles distance. All funds raised were donated to CLAPAI (2022). Search for Spartathalon of follow the link to learn more. Click Here

Meeting Close & Tea & Coffee, 9:15

There will be an opportunity to talk more informally afterwards with a Tea & Coffee.

Family Activity Day 2023 – Castlecomer Discovery Park Re-visited

The Cleft Lip & Palate Association of Ireland is delighted to announce this year we are returning to Castlecomer Discover Park in Kilkenny.  

The Discovery Park has everything from an Elf Village to Ireland’s longest Zip Line. We have activities planned for all ages. If you are not feeling adventurous walking around the park or sitting on the benches will be enjoyable in itself. Check it out … www.discoverpark.ie

It is a time for families & grown ups affected by cleft, to enjoy activities together, to chat over tea & coffee, to enjoy the annual raffle and above all to have fun.

Reserve your spot on Eventbrite by clicking the link below or searching for Cleft on Eventbrite Eventbrite Family Activity Day 2023 – Castlecomer

How can I get to the event?

Motor transport – The Discover Park is located immediately outside the town of Castlecomer on the Dublin side of the N78. It is easily accessible from the M9 and M7 motorways. The Park is approx. 25 min. drive from Kilkenny city and 70 mins. from Newlands Cross flyover.

Google says Limerick – 1hr 26 mins , Cork City – 1hr 53 mins, Navan 1hr 35mins and Galway 2hrs 20 mins

What can I bring into the event?

Bring sunblock, raincoats, the usual for Irish weather. The activities are outdoor and range from play ground & strolling, to kayaking & high ropes. Wear sturdy footwear & clothes to have fun in.

Bring a picnic.  We have use of a good sized room beside the entrance to the Park. Weather allowing we can eat outdoors on benches. Indoors is a good option if we need it too. There is a full café at the entrance to the Park if anybody forgets anything.

The Discovery Park is reasonably buggy friendly. There are pathways to all the activities. Most of the activities for smaller children are close to the entrance.

Who can I bring into the event?

Please bring your child (or yourself if you are grown up), brothers & sisters also. If your child would prefer to bring a best friend instead, that is okay too. We love to see Grandparents. If you are an adult and want to bring some friends, or indeed your own children please do. The Discovery Park has something for everybody.

How much does the event cost ?

The Family Day is an important part of the work of the Cleft Lip and Palate Association.  The event is  subsidised by donations & fundraising from families. We are suggesting a €20 per family contribution towards the costs but if the contribution is putting ‘petrol in the tank’ in order to get here that is fine too.

We run a raffle also which is always fun. Bring some cash for the tickets. As contactless payments have become a thing, we are trying out ‘Sum Up’ this year. Let’s see how that works out! If you can help out with prizes please let us know info@cleft.ie or bring along on the day

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Text 087 131 9803 or 

Email info@cleft.ie 

Check www.cleft.ie for updates

Also check Cleft Lip & Palate Association of Ireland on Facebook








8th March 2023, Cleft Surgeries for Adolescents & Young Adults

Book Here – Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley, Wed 8th March 2023, 7:30pm 

Click on link below or search Eventbrite for CLAPAI 2023


About the evening

The evening offers adolescents and young adults the opportunity to ask members of the Cleft Team questions about upcoming surgeries. It is also an opportunity to share experiences with people of a similar age that are going through cleft treatment.

This is the first time that CLAPAI have put together an event aimed at this group of people. We hope you will benefit from the evening and that you will help us to get things right on the night.


The evening is being lead by Professor Gerry Kearns, Dublin Cleft Centre with surgeons Dr. Kate Farrell and Dr. Kumura Ekanayake. The topics being covered are below

  • Teeth Removal
  • Bone Graft
  • Jaw Alignment

There will be opportunities to ask questions. The team have asked that you send them in advance if you can so that they can prepare their answers. Email info@cleft.ie.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Kearns for making himself available for the evening and to thank the Cleft Teams in Ireland that work so hard on our behalf.

Tea & Coffee and Meeting

There will be an opportunity to talk more informally afterwards with a Tea & Coffee.  


What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

The Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley is well serviced by public transport and has parking. Please see hotel website for directions.  www.claytonhotelliffeyvalley.com

What can I bring into the event?

Bring yourself & a friend if you wish 

How much does the event cost ?

Admission is free, donations are welcome but really more important to see you

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Text 087 131 9803 or 

Email info@cleft.ie 


CLAPAI Family Day 2022, Sat 18th June, Castlecomer Discovery Park

Dear Friends 

CLAPAI – Family Day 2022 – Castlecomer Discovery Park

We’re  going to Kilkenny for our  Family Activity Day, and we’d love to see you there. Join us for Cleft Lip and Palate Association Family Day 2022, June 18, 2022 at 9:30 AM. Activities for everyone from Elf Trails to Zip Lines, walks through the forest, and strolls by the lake. 

This is a chance for young people, grown ups and families affected by cleft to meet, chat & have some fun.  The event is subsidised by donations and fund raising.  

Register soon because so we can let Castlecomer Discovery Park know that you are coming – the link is above. 

We hope you’re able to join us!


CLAPAI Photo Booklet – Invite Tue 15th Feb

We are inviting families affected by cleft to an informal discussion on creating a Photo Booklet for CLAPAI.  Discussions are at an early stage.  We have set up a Zoom forum with agenda as follows 

  • Open 8:00
  • Some thoughts from the Committee 8:05
  • Open forum 8:20
  • Next Steps 8:45
  • Close 9:00

FAQs for the Meeting

How can I get the link to the event?

Book an Zoom ticket on Eventbrite. After you register you will receive an email confirmation that has the Zoom link. Click on the link to join the meeting. The meeting will open at 7:50 to allow people time to connect before hand.


How can I ask a question?

Questions can be sent in advance to info@cleft.ie or by raising a hand via Zoom.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Text 087 131 9803 or 

Email info@cleft.ie 

Check www.cleft.ie for updates

Also check Cleft Lip & Palate Association of Ireland on Facebook

Invite from Children’s Hospital Ireland – Family Forum 14th December

We have received an invite to join a family forum being hosted by Children’s Health Ireland. They are particularly interested in families who have been in a children’s hospital in the last three years. It would be good for families with cleft if some families could be involved. The link to register is attached.  If you can join let us know how you get on   http://childrenshealthireland.ie/chi-family-forum/.


CLAPAI Information Evening & AGM 2021

Thursday 18th November 2021, 8pm

Guest Speaker Professor Gerry Kearns, consultant maxillofacial surgeon at St James’s Hospital.

The meeting will open at 7:50 to allow people to connect.

  • Opening address & AGM 8:00

Guest Speaker Professor Kearns

  • Alveolar Bone Grafting 8:15
  • Orthgnatic (Jaw) Surgery 8:45
  • Family Day & 40 Year Celebration News 9:15
  • Meeting Close 9:30

Tea & Coffee (in your own home) & Chat & 40 years

Book your Zoom Ticket on Eventbrite


International Launch of Speech@Home

29 September 2021 – 3 available time 9.00, 13.00 and 18.00

Speech at Home is the brainchild of Dr Triona McSweeney and Dr Debbie Sell. For the past number of years they have passionately followed their dream to make Speech Language Therapy more accessible to families affected by cleft. As co-funders of the early research, the Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland are delighted to see Speech@Home reach this very important milestone.

The launch features a 30-minute free webinar which will be run at three different times during the day – 9am, 1pm and 6pm. Register at https://speechathome.eventbrite.ie

Speech@Home is an evidence-based online speech therapy resource for speech and language therapists and parents to support children with speech disorders related to cleft palate or other similar-sounding speech disorders. It has interactive Parent Training, a unique Therapy Programme Builder and many automated Resources.

There are 2 courses for parents: 

  • A short 2 hour introductory course to SpeechatHome. This may be particularly appropriate if you have a young child or your child is on a waiting list for therapy. Or you are already having therapy and you want to know a little bit more about the process.
  • An in depth training course for parents who want to take a more direct role in delivering therapy with their child under the supervision of a therapist, which may also be suitable for parents who are having difficulty accessing regular therapy.

This  30 minute launch webinar will show you a bit more about Speech@Home. You will also see an example of the Therapy programme that the therapist will give you and examples of the resources which you need to do the therapy activities.

Hear directly from a speech and language therapist, a teaching assistant and a parent who will tell you about their experience in using Speech@Home

To find out more about Speech at Home for parents click https://speechathome.org/for-parents/

We would welcome a good show of strength for the remarkable work undertaken by Dr Sweeney & Dr Sell. To book your place on the course click on the Eventbrite https://speechathome.eventbrite.ie

Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland, Celebrating 40 Years, 2021

Parents Talking, Parents Supporting

We’re hosting a new event, and we’d love to see you there. Join us for Informal Zoom Evening for Parents (Limited), May 27, 2021 at 20:00.

Register soon because space is limited.

We hope you’re able to join us!

Parents Talking, Parents Supporting

Open with introductions at 8pm, technology skills allowing we will use Zoom Break Out rooms to split into areas of special interest

  • Social Transitions
  • Surgeries
  • Speech
  • Dental

A member of the committee will stay with each group. After some chat we will gather again to share our thoughts.

No organised tea & coffee to finish I am afraid but you can definitely have your own cuppa in hand as we bring the session to a close at 9pm

Eventbrite Link