Central Bank Launches BankAbility Network

BankAbility Network

Thursday 28 September 2017 saw the launch of the BankAbility Network at a special inaugural event held in our Dockland Campus. The new network will support and enable staff impacted by disability and promote disability awareness among all those working at the Central Bank.

BankAbility is also designed to ensure that persons with a disability are afforded an equal opportunity to progress and develop within the organisation.

Keynote speaker for the launch was Sinéad Kane, who made history earlier this year by becoming the first visually-impaired athlete to complete the World Marathon Challenge of running seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Sinéad, who has just 5% vision, gave Central Bank staff an inspiring account of the challenges she faced growing up and how she has overcome them.

“All throughout my life I’ve had to stand up for my rights and fight for them," she said. "What I’ve learned is that you have to get out of your comfort zone and show personal leadership.”

Sinead recalled how she was bullied as a child for her disability and described being told that she would never be able to study law because it was a reading-based subject. She has since gone on to become Ireland’s first registered blind solicitor, a certified mediator and a PhD researcher saying she chooses to be “visionary not blind.”

Sinead’s message for employers is that hiring people with disabilities is “a smart thing to do”. “When you have a disability you have to be adaptable and be able to think outside the box. People who have a disability think differently, are very driven and extremely hardworking,” she said.

Ed Sibley, Deputy Governor, Prudential Regulation of the Central Bank also spoke at the launch where he highlighted the importance of a diverse and inclusive workplace. “It is important that we promote a culture where all employees can achieve their full potential; where we focus first and foremost on their talents, qualifications and abilities - with their disability being a mere side issue,” he said.

Universal Design Award

The launch of BankAbility allowed us to mark the achievement of our new building on North Wall Quay winning an award for Best Universal Design from the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. The award recognises the Central Bank for making accessibility a key consideration in the building's design and construction.

Commenting on the award, Deputy Governor Sibley paid tribute to the collaboration between the architects of the building Henry J. Lyons, independent accessibility consultants O’Herlihy Access Consultancy and the Central Bank’s Environmental, Health and Safety Manager Liam McMunn, who is also Access Officer.

Gerry Quinn, Chief Operating Officer of the Central Bank is pictured here receiving the award from Gerald Craddock, Chief Officer of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design who sponsored the category.

Also pictured are Liam McMunn, Collette Burns of Henry J. Lyons Architects and Eoin O'Herlihy of O'Herlihy Access Consultancy. Not pictured are Maurice Johnson & Partners, Access Consultants on the North Wall Quay building design team.

RIAI award