The National Federation of Arch Clubs, Ireland

About National Federation of Arch Clubs

In 1976 a group of parents and friends came together to form a club in order to provide a social outlet for people with special needs in their local community.

Since then, various community groups around the country have also addressed the need for social inclusion for all and have formed their own Arch Club.

With Clubs meeting every week under the umbrella of The National Federation of Arch Clubs,  a registered charity (CHY 7031), we aim to enhance and enrich the lives of people with special needs and their families.



The National Federation has at present 50 community-based social-inclusion-for-all Arch Clubs, with up to 2,000 club members and nearly 1,000 volunteers. Up to 3,000 associated persons are involved nationwide – including parents, siblings, friends, drivers (bus, minibus, ambulance, car), professionals, social workers, community developers and committee members.

We have been in existence for 35 years and are a registered charity - CHY 7031

We fund our activities through a mixture of small donations, a Department of Children and Youth Affairs grant, fund-raising and membership fees.


We provide insurance for our members, volunteers and workers. As much as our budget dictates, we provide training on:

  • child protection

  • health and safety

  • challenging behaviour

  • first-aid

As much as our budget dictates, we hold information road-shows for community groups in regional areas where an Arch Club is needed.



As much as our budget dictates, we provide assistance to community groups setting up an Arch Club including:

  • Free affiliation, which includes insurance

  • Opening grant

  • Free promotional posters & brochures

  • Notepaper

  • Helpline. As much as our budget dictates, we provide policy documents

  • Health and Safety

  • Child / vulnerable adult protection

  • Insurance

  • Handbook

In addition, we circulate information on:

  • Fundraising

  • Grant applications

  • Social welfare entitlements

  • Tax relief for carers

  • Changes in legislation

  • Data protection

  • Garda vetting


Our quarterly newsletter “Archbeat”, has a circulation of up to 3,000.

We hold an Annual Party / Dance Competition and a Junior Day.

Our Jim Morgan Cup is awarded to the winning club each year, together with a cheque for €500.

We have two staff members in head office.

Latest News & Announcements 2018


Soon Arch Clubs throughout Ireland will be promoting and encouraging their members to take up the Gaisce – Presidents Award Clubs Challenge, where the members get involved in a local charity or community group, develop new or existing skills, become more active and discover the great outdoors on a team outdoor journey.

At the launch of this partnership this week (Tuesday 19th July 2017) in the Phoenix Park Dublin where three of Arch Club members who will start their challenge in the coming weeks, Niamh Cooke, Conor Caffrey and Stephen Brown and we wish them the best of luck and to all the arch club members throughout the country who we hope will take up the challenge and participate in the Gaisce Awards




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