Remembering our friend Joan Moore

After the sad passing of Joan Moore, who volunteered her time so generously to Down Syndrome Ireland for many years, here’s a lovely tribute written by past president of DSI and friend Clare Leonard. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joan’s family and friends at this sad time.

May she Rest in Peace.

It was with great regret that those of us in Down Syndrome Ireland heard last week of the death of Joan Moore at the age of 89.  For very many years she was on the National Executive of D.S.I. and the editor of the thrice-yearly magazine only retiring from that voluntary post at the age of 82.  For those of us whose children were born before the age of the internet and on-line forums, Joan was a fount of wisdom and practical advice on so many aspects of our children’s lives. 

Her own daughter, Emily, the youngest of seven children was born at a time when many people still kept their children with Down syndrome hidden away at home.  Joan was determined this was not for Emily and that she would be treated the same as her siblings;  with much fighting on Joan’s part this was achieved and she went through mainstream school and then attended college in Carrick on Suir for two years followed by three years at  Computec in Kilkenny, in both cases living locally and travelling home independently by bus at weekends.

But Joan not only a fought for Emily, she was also tireless in the work she did for so many families, in particular in Tipperary and indeed in the whole of Munster and beyond.  She organised a toy library for children with disabilities in her area, she and her husband Arthur were instrumental in setting up the Moorehaven Centre in Tipperary Town which is still flourishing and she started her editorial career with a Munster newsletter before moving on to the national one.

We wrote at the time of her retirement that Joan was a firm believer in support for families by families which is the foundation of the organisation that is Down Syndrome Ireland.  She believed that having walked the road, parents who have gone before will have acquired knowledge and tips that prove invaluable to new parents as well as understanding the pain, sorrow, and joy associated with bringing up a child with Down syndrome.  I know what a fantastic help she was to me when my son was born and the compassion, support and information she gave me; not to mention descending at intervals to make certain that we were doing our very best to help our baby.

Joan, my son would not be where he is today without you.  You did amazing work for so many years. 

May you Rest in Peace