History of DSI

Deaf Sports Ireland (DSI) is the National Governing Body for Deaf sports in all 32 counties of Ireland.

DSI was founded in 1968, under the name of the Irish Deaf Sports Association. The organisation was established following the British Athletic Championships in Coventry, England in 1968. It was here that a group of young Deaf people met to discuss the possibility of creating a national Deaf sports organisation in Ireland. Those involved were: Larry Coogan, Christy Foran, Kevin Lynch, Andrew O’Grady and Sean Kelly with James Woulfe joining later on.

A provisional committee was formed on the 2nd of September, 1968 and they applied to become a member of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD). At this time, ICSD ws known as CISS. After this, IDSA took part in the CISS Congress at Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1969 with Larry Coogan and Christy Foran being the first Irish Deaf delegates there.

Deaf Sports Ireland is affiliated with the ICSD, the Irish Sports Council (ISC), the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and the European Deaf Sports Organisation (EDSO). Some sports organisations are also affiliated with DSI, such as: the Irish Deaf Bowling Club and the Irish Deaf Golf Union

There is a great sporting record to date; Since 1975 the Irish Deaf Swimming Team alone have secured 59 Gold, 46 Silver and 36 Bronze medals in European & World Championships as well as the Deaflympics.Other recent sports achievements include the Irish Women’s Futsal Team competing in the European Deaf Futsal Championships in Bulgaria, November 2014, the Men’s Futsal team competing in the European Futsal Qualifier, hosted by DSI, here in Dublin and the Men’s Football Team drawing 1-1 with France and beating Norway 10-4 on home soil in summer 2014, securing them a place in the 2015 European Deaf Football Championships. DSI’s Committee Secretary was also part of a group known as the Irish Deaf Chanel Swimmers, who took on the monumental challenge of swimming from Dover to Calais in 2014.

In 2012, DSI moved to Deaf Village Ireland, a new state-of-the-art complex offering sporting, educational and religious facilities. Numerous Deaf Organisations have offices within Deaf Village Ireland and there is a regular influx of both Deaf and hearing people. DVI is bi-lingual.