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Autism Friendly Town

Clonakilty Autism Friendly Town

Clonakilty is Ireland’s First Autism Friendly town in Ireland.  In order to acquire this designation Clonakilty had to go through a robust accreditation process. It had to engage and train 25% of businesses and voluntary organisations, train 50% of public services, 50% of school communities, 50% of healthcare professionals, 3 employers and reach and engage 25% of the town’s population and develop a three-year Autism Friendly town plan. See Town Plan

Video:- Ireland's First Autism Town

To date 212 organisations have been accredited with more organisations in the process of also being designated Autism Friendly Champions.

What makes Clonakilty Autism Friendly?

The Autism Friendly organisations in Clonakilty are accredited “Autism Friendly Champions”.  These organisations will display a sticker on the entrance of their premises to sign post they are champions. They will also display the Service Dog Friendly sticker to signal that they welcome service dogs on their premises.

The Autism Friendly Champions have done the following to receive their accreditation:
•    Followed autism friendly staff training
•    Developed a social story to help prepare the visit to the organisation - Video:- Clonakilty GAA
•    Are service dog friendly
•    A sensory activity specific to that organisation for example, host a weekly quiet time, make available a Relaxation Box for customers or dedicated quiet space 
•    Committed to working with the Clonakilty Autism Friendly Town Committee on the implementation of the three-year town plan

Full list of Autism Friendly Champions in Clonakilty here



Autism Friendly Town Committee  

The Autism Friendly Town in Partnership with AsIam and Middletown Research Centre for Autism is comprised of the following Members: 

  • Catriona Scally,  Eugene Scally, Eoghan Scally  – Scally’s SuperValu 
  • Ger McCarthy – Clonakilty GAA Club
  • Elaine McCarthy
  • Eoin Hurley –  Clonakilty Rugby Club
  • Catherine O'Connor – TidyTowns 
  • Patricia O'Leary- My Canine Companion
  • Elaine McGoldrick – Autistic Community 
  • Dearbhail Gildea  - Autism West Cork
  • Julie Dorel - Supervalu


We stayed in Clonakilty for 4 nights and loved it. So much to do. Beautiful beaches. Lovely pubs and such friendly people! Can't wait to come back!

Denise Lemmon Brown

A charming, yet cosmopolitan little gem, set in a stunningly beautiful part of the Emerals Isle. Great food, friendly people with immense sense of civic responsibility. Do not miss the music scene.

Jim Shine

I love Clonakility! Whenever we visit the Cork area we can't resit a stop off! Great Cafes & Restaurants. Very Pretty Town, bustling with life and Activity!!!!

Mary Sheridan Galway

A great town vibrant and pretty. Always plenty to do. Always clean and with the most friendly people. A must visit for both visitors to Ireland and native Irish. Great pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Michael McKenna

The most vibrant small town in Ireland. Always something happening. Great food, great atmosphere, lovely people.

Alison Wickham

We found Clonakilty to be one of if not the friendliest place we've ever visited. The people of "Clon " treated us like we had lived there our whole lives.They welcomed us into their lives like we were family.

Mitch Eveleth Iowa, USA

Great town ."The people are Splendid" to use a quote of the towns most Famous famous residence Michael Collins. The food and choice of food is excellent, the layout of the town with it meanderingĀ streets creates an intimacy with this place.

Michael McManus

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