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My latest interview for Trinity News

Want to learn more about my motivations for running in this years Seanad? Have a look at this video below.


It’s Equality, Stupid.

A discussion about the issues of care, disability and inequality in Ireland in 2016 with a performance by the Dublin Theatre of the Deaf and a mini photo exhibition by young people living with disability.

When: Tonight, Tuesday, March 15th (from 6pm-8.30pm).
Where: Filmbase (ground floor), Temple Bar, Dublin 2. (Best access for wheelchaire users from Eustace Street).

Dr. Tom Clonan is hosting a discussion about the crisis facing people living with disabilities Ireland, with a performance by the Dublin Theatre of the Deaf and a mini photo exhibition.

Tom is an academic, journalist and former Irish army captain who also cares for his 14-year-old son Eoghan, one of more than 600,000 people across the country who are living with a disability.

Eoghan suffers from a rare illness that confines him to a wheelchair and impairs his vision. He is a bright, happy teenage boy, who attends secondary school with the help of his assistance dog, Duke. But austerity and inequality have robbed Eoghan of vital services and therapies.

Eoghan is not alone in this country in being disabled not by his illness but a Republic that treats him as less because of his condition.

Speakers will include:
Prof Jim Lucey
(Medical Director of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services)
Joanne Chester (Disability Activist)
• Dr Claire Fallon
(Consultant Geriatrician, Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar)
• Maire Lambertini (Secretary of Irish Fragile X Society)
• Steve Daunt (Author of Newstalk’s Undaunted blog)

Light refreshments will be provided from 6pm and the evening will be rounded off with a Q&A session and a short performance by the Dublin Theatre of the Deaf.

Warm regards ,
Tom Clonan.


Disable Inequality Campaign Launch

Yesterday saw the launch of the Disability Federation of Ireland’s new campaign
‘Disable inequality’

Hi Everybody,

I hope 2016 is good for all of us and our families and friends.

As the 100th anniversary year of the 1916 Rising gets underway, it is a good time to reflect on what kind of Republic we aspire to. What kind of Ireland did our grandparents and great grandparents fight for? Yesterday, I spoke at the launch of the Disability Federation of Ireland’s Disable Inequality campaign, at the Atrium in Trinity College, Dublin.

With 600,000 Irish citizens affected by disability and a further 250,000 acting as carers – two-thirds of whom are women – DFI highlighted the savage cuts to people with disabilities and their families arising from austerity.

In short, cuts to health and carers have plunged hundreds of thousands of Irish citizens – facing disability through no fault of their own – into grinding poverty, isolation and helplessness. DFI has had enough and through the Disable Inequality campaign is calling all of us, every citizen, to action. DFI is asking all of us to make equality for those with disabilities a defining election issue in 2016.

Disable Inequality asks each of us to tell our stories of inequality and injustice, to read the stories of others, and to make disability an election issue as campaigners call to the doors. Together we can end the casual and routine discrimination experienced by people with disabilities and carers on a daily basis.

I’ve told my own story and that of my son Eoghan in the Irish Times this week. For my part, I’ll be fighting to Disable Inequality by running as an Independent candidate for the Seanad, TCD Panel. I would ask you all to spread the word throughout our community – and in particular to any TCD graduates you know – to Vote No. 1 Tom Clonan.

Details on how to register to vote can be found here.

I want to make Ireland the best little country in the world for supporting our brothers and sisters with disabilities. I want to make Ireland #AbleForEquality.


Watch an excerpt below from the Disable Inequality Campaign launch.



When I joined the army in 1989, the first thing I learned was: Leave no one behind.

Decades later, that maxim still holds true. As a father of four, a carer, an educator, a citizen, I believe that solidarity is key to a full and equal recovery for Ireland. As active citizens, we all have a role to play in doing the right thing and leaving no one behind. That is why I’m running for election to the Seanad in 2016.

I live in Booterstown with my family of four children and our Assistance Dog, Duke. As a baby, my 13-year-old son, Eoghan, was diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular disease. Austerity has robbed Eoghan, and thousands of other children and young adults, of basic physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.


Media Articles

Tom Clonan and supporters, Trinity College
Tom Clonan and supporters, Trinity College
Click on the links below to read or listen

Whistleblower who exposed rape in Defence Forces thanked 20 years on
Irish Times 28/11/19

Sunday with Miriam Interview
RTE Radio One

Tom Clonan: ‘My whistleblower journey in the Defence Forces has ended. I am back in from the cold’ Nov 28/11/2019

Tom Clonan: ‘Two years on, my son is still in a wheelchair too small for him’
Irish Times 13/1/2016

Disability federation launches ‘Disable Inequality’ election campaignIrish Times 13/1/2016

Dr Tom Clonan: Confined to a wheelchair that’s too small for him, I can’t look my son in the eye
Irish Independent 13/12/2015

‘My son will never live independently, I fear for his future when I’m dead’ 28/9/2015

Tom Clonan: ‘Ireland is on the brink of a perfect storm in our health services’ 16/11/2015

Tom Clonan on running for election: “I can’t sleep at night – I have to do this” 30/9/2015

The future is possible 8/1/2016

Tom Clonan: ‘I defy the board of the CRC to explain its obscene behaviour to my son’
Irish Times 18/1/2014)

The Journalist – December January 2016
National Union of Journalists 16/12/2015

Sunday with Miriam (mp3)
RTE Radio 1, 6/12/2015