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 2017


Laois Arch Club is a very vibrant active club which caters for between 70-80 members at our monthly disco in The Heritage Hotel Portlaoise. Every year we bring a group of approximately 40 of our members for a weekend away and we also bring some of our members on a day trip.

This year our day trip was to Dublin Zoo. The excitement was catching as we headed off in June and we all had a wonderful day exploring all the different areas and seeing all the animals in the zoo.

The high light of the day was definitely when we went to have lunch in the restaurant and some of our members spotted Gerry Creighton, Operations Manager, who appears on The Zoo TV Series on RTE. They couldn’t believe when he joined our table and chatted to us all about his work.....


This is Gerry with Melissa, his No 1 Fan!        

The rest of the group quickly stepped in to have their photo with Gerry too.


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