Work Links Roscommon (WLR) - Connecting Employers with Employees with disabilities

March 30, 2022

The below article is a contribution to the SFA Newsletter from Work Links Roscommon (WLR) - please contact Mary Guihen for more information.


WLR is trying to harness an underused resource in Roscommon to alleviate the current skills shortage in Ireland. We are proposing to inform employers about the skills, abilities and benefits of employing people with disabilities in their organisations.

What’s the biggest problem facing employers in Ireland today?

Well, according to the Irish Times (25th March 2022, Brian O'Donovan) the answer is a skills shortage.  According to a new report by CIPD Ireland, 85% of employers in Ireland are having to contend with skill shortages.  "This trend is presenting serious challenges that organisations are trying to address in their strategies to attract new employees and retain the talent they have," said Director of CIPD Ireland, Mary Connaughton.

The constant search for new talent is a drain on time, resources and results in a brain drain for organisations. 

How can we in Roscommon LEADER Partnership help alleviate this skills shortage crisis?

We here in Roscommon LEADER Partnership, under the Work Links Roscommon project, have identified a huge opportunity for businesses in hiring those with disabilities.

Yes, we understand that it might be daunting for employers to engage people with disabilities but with our offer of support through information, HR support, training for their existing employees and access to Easy Read documentation these daunting doubts can be elevated.

There are many examples around the county and country of people with disabilities engaging successfully in part-time and full time paid employment.

Employers Toolkit

Mary Gleenson from Gleensons Townhouse and Restaurant in Roscommon town took Aoife on 15 years ago. Aoife joined Gleensons on the wage subsidy scheme. Mary says that Aoife was given responsibilities and she took these very seriously.  Aoife was aware that if she needed extra support or guidance it was available to her.  As Mary said “We in Gleensons have learned as much from Aoife as she from us.  She is an integral part of our staff”.

As for Aoife, she says Gleensons feels like family now. It has changed her life in a positive way, given her confidence and has given her an opportunity to “treat herself a little more”.

What can you do?

If you are an employer, big or small, who is willing to explore the opportunity of engaging with hard working, reliable, and passionate employees than please join us at one of our breakfast meetings (Time, places and dates listed below) or contact Alice at or phone directly at 086 7912561.

  • Athlone Springs Hotel, Monksland, Tuesday 29th March 8.30 am
  • Percy French Hotel, Strokestown, Thursday 31st March 8.30 am
  • Durkin’s Hotel, Ballaghaderreen, Tuesday 5th April 8.30 am
  • Hannon’s Hotel, Roscommon, Thursday 7th April 8.30 am
  • Benny’s Deli, Castlerea, Tuesday 12th April 8.30 am