Sharing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities

About Us

 
 Sharing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities

L'Arche is a group of over 149 worldwide communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together in community.

L'Arche fosters an environment to celebrate the unique value of each and every person in those communities and recognizes our need of one another.

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Working together to foster a more human society

There are so many ways you can help L'Arche continue our work with vulnerable people across Ireland. From becoming an assistant, to volunteering at events, to donating directly or even just following us on Facebook. Every little helps! L'Arche is more than a charity, it's a community and we want you to join us.

Join the movement

 

149 communities in 37 countries

At an international level, L’Arche works to provide support for people with developmental disabilities so that they take their rightful place in our societies. As an international organization, the Federation seeks to promote diversity and solidarity across geographical and psychological borders.

Creating a World where everyone belongs

 

 

 

 

Across Ireland/ Northern Ireland and around the world, L’Arche creates communities of friendship and belonging. In L’Arche, people with and without intellectual disabilities live, work, learn, and grow together. L’Arche demonstrates that when persons with intellectual disabilities take their place at the table, they contribute to a more just, compassionate, and vibrant world for all.

 L’Arche started in Trosly, France as response to the segregation and institutional care of people who had an Intellectual disability at that time.

L’Arche Ireland now consists of its original foundation in Kilkenny (1978), then Cork (1985), Dublin (1994), and Belfast (2001).

All within our communities, people with and without intellectual disabilities, strive to grow in competence. This enables us to fulfil our daily tasks well, and play a role as citizens in the world

It is a place where many people begin by looking out for others, and end up finally finding themselves.

Welcome to L’Arche Ireland! Cead Mile Failte.

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149 communities 20 projects

in 39 countries

February, 22 2020

Statement from L'Arche Ireland and Northern Ireland

Dear friends,

Today we are greatly saddened and shocked with the news from L'Arche International following an inquiry into Pere Thomas and Jean Vanier.

We are shocked by these discoveries and unreservedly condemn these actions,  which  are  in total contradiction with the values Jean claimed and are incompatible with the  basic rules of respect and integrity of persons, and contrary to the fundamental principles on which L’Arche is based.

We want to pay tribute to the women who gave us their testimony and our thoughts very much remains with them. This inquiry is being taken with the utmost seriousness by our international organisation to better understand its history and improved all safeguarding procedures and policies.  We will be working with them to implement any recommendations that arise from the process.  

This in no way reflects the ethos or operations, current or historical of L’Arche in Ireland/ Northern Ireland or in any part of the L’Arche International.  Our utmost priority is the safety and welfare of all our community members and we will support them through this news. L’Arche has undertaken a thorough review of well-established and recognised safeguarding policies and procedures across Ireland / Northern Ireland. We remain fully focused on our mission to ensure all community members realise their full potential.

If anyone has any concerns about this news please contact: Mairead Boland Brabazon 086 8924965

L'Arche Ireland and Northern Ireland

February, 22 2020

L’Arche International announces findings of Independent Inquiry

Today, the leaders of L’Arche International sent a letter to the Federation of L’Arche Communities, which operates in 38 countries worldwide, publishing the results of an inquiry that had commissioned from an independent organization. The inquiry included testimony implicating its founder, Jean Vanier, and his historical link to Father Thomas Philippe, who he thought of as his spiritual father. 

The investigation was carried out by GCPS, an independent U.K. consultancy which specializes in improving procedures for the prevention and reporting of abuse. In addition, L'Arche International established an Independent Oversight Committee made up of two former senior civil servants in France, to assess the integrity and reliability of the inquiry’s process and findings. 

The inquiry received credible and consistent testimonies from six adult women without disabilities, covering the period from 1970 to 2005. The women each report that Jean Vanier initiated sexual relations with them, usually in the context of spiritual accompaniment.  Although they had no prior knowledge of each other’s experiences, these women reported similar facts associated with highly unusual spiritual or mystical explanations used to justify these behaviors. The relationships were found to be manipulative and emotionally abusive, and had a significant negative impact on their personal lives and subsequent relationships. These actions are indicative of a deep psychological and spiritual hold Jean Vanier had on these women and confirm his own adoption of some of Father Thomas Philippe’s deviant theories and practices.

The inquiry made no suggestion that Jean Vanier had inappropriate relationships with people with intellectual disabilities. These actions are indicative of a deep psychological and spiritual hold Jean Vanier had on these women and reveal his own adoption of some of Father Thomas Philippe’s deviant theories and practices which he continued over a very long period of time.

The inquiry found no suggestion that Jean Vanier had inappropriate relationships with people with intellectual disabilities.

The Leaders of L’Arche International, Stephan Posner and Stacy Cates Carney wrote in a letter to the federation of L’Arche today:

“We are shocked by these discoveries and unreservedly condemn these actions, which are in total contradiction with the values Jean Vanier claimed and are incompatible with the basic rules of respect and integrity of persons, and contrary to the fundamental principles on which L’Arche is based.

We recognize the courage and suffering of these women, and of those who may remain silent. We also want to express our gratitude to the women who, a few years ago, broke the silence about Father Thomas Philippe and thus helped others to speak out about the undue burden of shame and pain. Because these events took place in the context of L’Arche and some were brought about by our founder; to all of you, we ask forgiveness”.

 L’Arche is committed to making sure that its 154 communities across the world are places of safety and growth for all its members, with and without disabilities.

Across the Federation, L’Arche is undertaking a thorough and independent evaluation of safeguarding & wellbeing policies and procedures. In addition to the safeguarding and wellbeing regulations, already existing throughout its federation, L’Arche International has created a commission, composed in part of people from outside its organization, to allow all its members to speak out and to follow-up on any reports in complete confidentiality.

 

The letter from international officials and the findings of the investigation will be made available shortly at https: www.larche.org

What is the impact of our work?

Take a look at these videos and get a better understanding of our purpose, our efforts and our communities.
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L'Arche Ireland (registered name) is a charitable organization legally structured as a company limited by guarantee, not having a share capital, registered in Dublin, Ireland - Registered No. 77821. Registered Office - C/O Anne Brady McQuillan, Iveagh Court, Harcourt Road, Dublin 2. Revenue Charity No. CHY 7979 - Charities Regulatory Authority No. 20018856.  L’Arche Ireland operates in the Republic of Ireland, having three communities in Dublin, Cork and Kilkenny.  L’Arche Belfast (Northern Ireland Company no. NI 40702) operates in Northern Ireland and has one community in Belfast.  L'Arche Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC105755. Its website is www.larchebelfast.org.uk.  L’Arche Ireland and L’Arche Belfast are part of an International Federation of L’Arche Communities whose registered office is in France.  Its website is www.larche.org.