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RESPECT, the organisation in charge of fundraising for capital projects and research within The Daughters of Charity Disability Support Service, have announced their latest event and we are blown away.

An afternoon of style will take place featuring Irish fashion designer Catriona Hanly in aid of the charity, with an Autumn/Winter 2019 collection on display.

RESPECT supports people by improving their surroundings and allowing them to be more independent, through capital building projects and ground-breaking research initiatives.

The unique fashion showcase is taking place on Friday, October 18 in the Herbert Park Hotel, Ballsbridge from 12.30pm. Mark the date on your calendars, gals; it's set to be brilliant.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by CATRIONA HANLY (@catrionahanly) on

Guests of the event will be treated to an afternoon of fun and fashion with Catriona, who is set to show off her latest collection as well as offering a sneak preview of her Spring/Summer 2020 plans.

Hanly’s fashion collections have made waves at home and abroad, with her stand-out creative designs being worn by global celebrities and personalities including; Madison McKinley, Amanda Byram, Victoria Smurfit, Vogue Williams, Lorraine Keane, Anna Daly and Celia Holman Lee.

The designer's statement jewellery line is available in over 350 boutiques in Ireland, the UK and the US and she has delivered interior projects in leading hotels and private residences worldwide.

RESPECT's services are ultimately about helping people to improve their quality of life and reach their full potential, and Catriona is the perfect person to collaborate with.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by CATRIONA HANLY (@catrionahanly) on

Speaking about the fundraiser, Sister Zoe Killeen, Director of RESPECT, commented,

“We are delighted to join forces with Catriona for this special fashion fundraiser. We are calling on fashion lovers and supporters to join us on October 18th to help raise much-needed funds for RESPECT.” 

Catriona commented on the fundraiser, and expressed her passion to have a role in helping the charity;

“RESPECT is a very worthy cause, so I am really looking forward to hosting this special fashion afternoon to raise funds for the charity."

She added; "All the team at RESPECT work tirelessly to provide support to improve the lives of people living with intellectual disabilities, so I am delighted to play a part in helping them to raise vital funds.” 

Tickets for the fashion fundraiser are priced at €125 each with proceeds going directly to RESPECT’s current building and research projects.

To secure your ticket today contact RESPECT on 01-6856502 or head to their website here.

Feature image: Instagram/@catrionahanly

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Izzy Wheels has teamed up with Barbie to create four-limited edition wheelchair covers to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the global doll brand.

The company was created by Irish sisters Ailbhe and Izzy Keane in order to provide customised wheelchair spoke guards, and has gone from strength to strength since it's origin.

The sisters have said their new collaboration with Barbie is "a dream come true", according to RTE. The doll manufacturer launched a new range featuring dolls with disabilities.

Four UK-based fashion designers and artists created the wheel covers, which are available in sizing for any manual wheelchair and in a special Barbie-scale edition for the Barbie wheelchair doll.

Ailbhe said: "Our mission with Izzy Wheels is to challenge negative associations with wheelchairs and let users celebrate their individuality by personalising their source of independence.

"We want to show the world that wheelchairs can be so much more than a medical device, they can be a piece of artistic self-expression."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@izzywheels) on

Ailbhe added;

"Fashion and fun are at the heart of what we do, and we're thrilled to work with talented designers to pay homage to Barbie in her 60th year and celebrate dolls with even more diversity.

"This is a dream collaboration for us because Izzy and I were huge Barbie fans as little girls."

Izzy was born with Spina Bifida and is paralysed from her waist down, and the company began when Ailbhe designed wheelchair covers for her sister for an NCAD project.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Izzy Wheels (@izzywheels) on

Izzy told RTE that she was over the moon at the idea of little girls and boys with disabilities having a realistic doll to play with;

"Having a Barbie in a wheelchair meant so much to me as a little girl, and I love that a whole new generation of kids with disabilities can play with a Barbie that represents them."

Izzy Wheels has been featured in some of the world's most noteworthy publications, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan and TechCrunch. 

Izzy and Ailbhe were also the first Irish people to be asked to take over Instagram's official account and were named in the Forbes '30 under 30' list of rising entrepreneurs.

The Barbie-inspired wheel covers are available on the Izzy Wheels website, whilst the Barbie with Wheelchair dolls are available from Irish and UK toy stores.

The covers are €139, with Annu Kilpeläinen, Hattie Stewart, Malika Favre and Art School designing the range. "If you can't stand up, stand out!", as the gals themselves say.

Feature image: Izzy Wheels/Instagram/@izzywheels

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A body has been found in the search for missing teenager Nora Quoirin, according to police sources in Malaysia.

Mohammed Yusop told MailOnline:

"I can confirm a body has been found in the Betembum mountains. It is not in an accessible place". He added that forensic examination was needed to determine if the body was male or female.

An officer told the Mirror UK: "We think we have found a body, but we need to confirm it is her. Please be patient. We will let you know as soon as it's confirmed."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Howard Johnson (@howardrjohnson) on

Two forensics vans and more police cars have been seen entering the area, which is now sealed off with police tape.

The discovery was made as the search entered its tenth day in the Malaysian jungle, where Nora was holidaying with her family before she went missing.

The eco-resort in Dusun is around 64km from Kuala Lampur. The 15-year-old was reported missing on August 4 after her father raised the alarm when a downstairs window was wide open.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@howardrjohnson) on

Around 350 people joined the search for Nora, in dense jungle and a river including Indigenous trackers, Interpol, an Garda Siochana and Scotland Yard.

Her mother and father, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, thanked search parties for their efforts:

“To be with us here, it means the world to us. We are so grateful for everything that you are doing for us, everyone who is helping here and not from here."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by H (@hapicat_london) on

The parents of Madeleine McCann, Kate and Gerry, yesterday said that hearing of Nora's case "brings back horrors" of Madeleine's disappearance and sent Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin their prayers.

Our hearts are broken for Nora's parents, who must be going through hell. Any further information on the identification of the body will be updated soon.

Feature image: Twitter/@skynews

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Westlife have landed in a bit of hot water to say the least, after fans with disabilities and elderly concert-goers were told to 'stand or go home' from their gig.

Despite paying up to €180 for a ticket, some fans were physically unable to stand for the sell-out show at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow last night but were forced to leave.

The boy-band were forced to apologise on stage after hundreds of their fans discovered their seating tickets were now invalid. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Westlife (@westlife) on

Frustrated crowds were informed less then an hour before the iconic band were due to begin the show that their tickets were no longer valid, though some fans splashed out on over €1,000 for VIP experiences at the 'Twenty Tour'.

Traffic delays had resulted in vital equipment for creating a stage level seating area failing to turn up at the venue. according to organisers.

The SSE Hydro posted a statement on its Facebook page just before the doors opened to the gig, saying that fans would be forced to stand or ask for a refund.

Image: Facebook

Some groups claimed they were offered alternative seating 'nowhere near' their original choice, while other devoted fans had to travel back to Aberdeen that same night.

One fan, Sophie Campbell, does not attend gigs on a regular basis due to her struggles with asthma, but made an exception to see Westlife with her disabled mother Margo.

Sophie paid for front row tickets was told on arrival to stand. Understandably furious, she claimed to the Irish Mirror that staff refused to give her disabled mother a wheelchair to sit in.

"I don't go to concerts to stand because my asthma is too bad, small enclosed spaces don't work for me. I was told when I got here I could stand or get a full refund. That's all."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Westlife (@westlife) on

She continued;

"I asked for a wheelchair for my disabled mother and was told she can either deal with it and stand or go home and come back to the Hydro tomorrow for a refund, so I've got to drive all way back to Glasgow for a refund."

Another fan, Niki Kane, explained to staff that three of her group of six people suffered from arthritis , sciatica and fibromyalgia, and so needed seating. 

"We were told to either stand or leave and try for a refund but it would not be guaranteed. There didn't seem to be any organisation or concern for the interest for ticket holders."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Westlife (@westlife) on

The band were later forced to apologise to the crowds on behalf of the organisers and crew, and emphasised that transporting production equipment from Belfast to Scotland was the reason for the delays.

Nicky Byrne said: "The options were, at seven o'clock tonight, no show or give them the best show that we could give them, which would mean standing on the floor for you guys.

"Rather than send you all home and postpone for another night we thought we'd just go out and give them a great show. We hope you don't mind. So thank you for being so understanding – we really appreciate that."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Westlife (@westlife) on

A spokesperson for the SSE Hydro said:

"The seating layout for tonight's Westlife show was changed due to unexpected transport delays. For ticketholders who did not wish to or were unable to stand, full refunds are available from the original point of purchase.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused."

Hopefully these fans get their money back in full, it sounded like a distressing experience.

Feature image: Instagram/@shnickyloverwlfanpage

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We all know that girls run the world, because if Beyoncé said it, then by God it must be true.

Online fashion giant PrettyLittleThing have been doing their best to promote female empowerment and body positivity, and now they've majorly stepped up their inclusion game.

The brand have launched #everyBODYinPLT, a campaign to involve absolutely everyone in their clothing lines in honour of International Women's Day.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by PrettyLittleThing.com (@prettylittlething) on

The new collection dropped today, and is set to be a sell-out hit; filled with a range of body types, abilities and ethnicities. We heart.

The clothes have got serious girl boss slogans on them, such as "Girl, you got this", "Girl Gang", "GRL PWR" and "Go Girl." All the things we need to hear when we're feelin' down in the dumps, despite our female badass-ery.

Better yet, the company are celebrating womankind by donating all proceeds to WAGGGS, the world's only movement for every girl and any girl. They believe that each of them deserves to be the best they can be.

WAGGGS represent 10 million girls in 150 countries, helping them to develop their leadership skills and empowering them to use their important voice for change in their communities and countries.

We support their ideal that all girls are valued, and have a place in this world.

Lauren Rose, Lauren Mahon, Mari Malek, Yasmin Jay, Giuliana Farfalla, Danielle Candray and Madison Lawson model the garments for the brand's cause, and look absolutely stunning while they're at it.

International Women's Day falls on March 8 every year, and works to promote issues around the globe for women that need progress and change.

Cheers to building up your fellow gal-pals; fly that flag for female friendships and sisterhoods for life.

Check out the #everyBODYinPLT collection online now, and pledge your allegiance to inclusive clothing.

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Barbie has just gotten WAY more inclusive, after creating dolls who are more representative of the real women and young children who play with her.

The company Mattel are making strides since they first opened in 1959 with bleach blonde Barbie with high-heels and ridiculous body proportions.

The brand are making new additions to the range which feature Barbies who use wheelchairs and with prosthetic legs. 

Barbie has been given high-achiever careers as a vet, computer engineer and doctor, as well as featuring dolls who are diverse, more curvacious and black.

Two new dolls with disabilities will be added to it's Fashionista line on February 11, with the company articulating that it hopes the collection will broaden definitions of beauty.

“As a brand, we can elevate the conversation around physical disabilities by including them into our fashion doll line to further showcase a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion,” the company said in a statement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@dollsonwheels) on

Mattel’s vice president of Barbie Design, Kim Culmone, explained the latest additions were a response to phenomenal consumer demand.

"We’re going to be introducing a doll in a wheelchair and a doll representing physical disabilities. She has a prosthetic limb," Culmone told Teen Vogue

"There will be additional body sizes — a Barbie with a smaller bust and less-defined waist. A wheelchair or doll in a wheelchair was one of the most requested items through our consumer … hotline. It's important to us to listen to our consumers."

Customers are still requesting Barbies with more impairments or disabilities, such as Down's Syndrome or blindness (hence the service dog).

Culmone also stated that the company worked with a team at UCLA and with 12-year-old Jordan Reeves, who has a prosthetic arm, to make the brand new dolls as realistic as possible. 

Reeves suggested that the prosthetic limb should be removable, giving the company one of their “first big ahas”, according to Culmone. "That’s not necessarily something we would have realised how important it would be to someone living with this experience."

Feature image: Teen Vogue

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One 18-year-old beauty vlogger is teaching us not to judge a book by its cover.

Michaela Davert has a rare genetic disorder called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which is a condition that makes her bones very fragile and fracture easily.

As a result of this, she is just over two feet tall and uses a wheelchair to get around and has an assistance dog named Chloe.

However, Michaela's size hasn't stopped her achieving her dreams of pursuing a career in beauty

With her Instagram page and her YouTube channel, she is breaking the stigma in the beauty industry for women with disabilities. She shares her make- up tutorials and reviews with her 30,000 YouTube followers.

She is also very open to talking about her condition and has several videos discussing it. She keeps her followers up to date with her surgeries and how she is recovering from them. 

In a recent interview, Michaela discussed being different and how she doesn't let it define her.

"I find it strange that people say that we look different, and it's because we are different, in reality we're all different," she surmises.

She says that she has had people call her ugly but that she doesn't care because she is now happy and comfortable in herself and how she naturally looks.

She wants to share her message with girls around the world and inspire them to see themselves as beautiful.

Michaela proves that when it comes to achieving your goals, size really doesn't matter!

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Brendan O’Connor spoke so eloquently about his daughter Mary, who has Down’s syndrome, last night that it is not surprising huge support was been shown towards the star.

That was the best item on #LateLateShow tonight. Bravo for speaking out for Mary & all kids with special needs Brendan O Connor

— Barbara Scully (@barbarascully) May 13, 2016

Talking on last night’s The Late Late Show, Brendan said Ireland’s lack of support for those with disabilities now will cause us to consider this time as an “inhumane culture” in two decades.

Opening up to Ryan Tubridy, the comedian honestly said that when he found out about his daughter’s disability he thought their lives were “ruined”.

“The reality is, and it’s terribly upsetting, the reality is that people like my daughter are, it’s all very well that we look at them, and go ‘aren’t they great’ but as a society the way we treat them is appalling,” he said.

“We will look back on how we treat these children now and we will go that was an inhumane culture we lived in.”

Watching #latelate on +1. Fair play Brendan O'Connor for calling out the shocking extent to which children are being let down by the system.

— Ciaran O'Rourke (@doalty) May 13, 2016

Adding that he feels lucky to be living in Dublin where services are nearby, he said he feels for those around the country who have to travel for help. 

“If you knew the struggle that mothers [go through], there is a lot of extra work involved there, there is a lot of pain involved there as well," he said.

“To lump on top of that then for these women, and it is mainly women, you do nothing to help them, to help the kids have some coping skills in life. There is nothing. There is less and less out there all the time. Talk to any parent.”

Brendan O' Connor killed it on the #LateLateShow . Such an important conversation

— Louise O' Neill (@oneilllo) May 13, 2016

 

Excellent job Brendan O'Connor. Direct and real description of being a parent of a child with #downsyndrome #latelate

— Rónán Johnston (@Ronan_Johnston) May 13, 2016

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