On the 1 January 2019 the Ostomy Association of Ireland will come into existence. During 2018 IA Ireland – Ileostomy Association Ireland engaged in extensive consultation of its membership. In August 2018 over 600 Survey / Questionnaires were sent out to people on our database who had a stoma or internal pouch asking them to complete and return the Survey / Questionnaire. This was a major undertaking which was made possible by an educational grant from United Drug who are the largest distributor of Ostomy products in Ireland. The Survey/Questionnaire was divided into 6 sections

Section 1 General Questions on members medical history.

Section 2 Quality of Life.

Section 3 General Well Being of Ostomates.

Section 4 Health Insurance and Travel.

Section 5 Ostomy Companies / Pharmacies.

Section 6 IA Ireland and its Future.

The purpose of the Survey / Questionnaire was to ascertain what IA Ireland meant to its members and to consider the future of the organisation and its relationship with IA – Ileostomy Association & Internal Pouch Group UK. IA Ireland had become a Member Organisation of IA on the 30 May 1964 which at that time was known as the Ileostomy Association of Great Britain and Ireland. It changed its name to Southern Ireland and again changed to become known as IA Ireland.

Ireland has a population of 4.75 million compared to the United Kingdom’s population of 65 million.

IA Ireland were very proud to have a membership of 592 members the largest MO in IA UK in 2017.

IA decided in 2017 that they were rebranding and restructuring the organisation. IA only represents people who have an Ileostomy or Internal Pouch. In the UK there are 3 National Organisations representing all people with a Stoma – Colostomy, Ileostomy and Urostomy and people with an Internal Pouch. This was not the position in the Republic of Ireland. Under the restructuring MO’s were asked to choose from three options

–1. Become a Branch Member

2. Become Independent and agree to sign an Affiliation Agreement and adopt a common Constitution,

3. Become Totally Independent of IA

IA Ireland members voted in the Survey / Questionnaire to become a Totally Independent all Ireland organisation representing all people with a Stoma and Internal Pouch. On the 20 October 2018 the results of the Survey Questionnairewere presented to members at the Autumn Meeting held in DUBLIN. Members voted by 75% for option 3 to become Totally Independent of IA and represent all Ostomates living in Ireland. On Sunday 9th December 2018 the new Name, Logo and Constitution were ratified. From I January 2019 IA Ireland will become The Ostomy Association of Ireland. Charitable status will be confirmed by the CRA – Charities Regulatory Authority in Ireland early in 2019.

It is hoped that after 54 years as an MO of IA we will continue to maintain a close working relationship with IA and establish a working relationship with both the Colostomy and Urostomy associations in the UK. The Ostomy Association of Ireland will now seek to become members of the European Ostomy Association and the InternationalOstomy Association. In January 2018 IA Ireland became members of the WHEEL who are an umbrella organisation for the Voluntary and Charitable Sector in Ireland.

The Ostomy Association of Ireland will seek in Partnership with Medical Professionals in the HSE – Health Service Executive and with the Ostomy Companies present in Ireland who provide invaluable support throughout Ireland in General hospitals and provide a community service for Ostomates, to improve the Quality of Life of all Ostomates livingin Ireland and enable Ostomates through a

Partnership of Service – To Live Life to the Full with a Stoma or Internal Pouch

For additional Information contact
:Mark Sheehy, Secretary, Ostomy Association of Ireland, 6 Marian Place, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, R35 KD78 , Republic of Ireland. Telephone 00 353 57 9360447 or Mobile 00 353 87 3843412 or Email marksheehy47@gmail.com

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