Contact Details

For questions on Safeguarding/Code of Ethics or Medical Services
Peter O'Brien
 Tel: +353 (0) 1 869 1657

Cáit Donnelly
Health & Wellbeing Coordinator
Tel: +353 (0) 1 869 1618 

Code of Ethics and Good Practice


The Code of Ethics and Good Practice document is designed to help everyone to understand how we work together to protect and serve all our members, athletes, coaches, volunteers, family, staff members and anyone who works with our athletes. The document has been written in line with the requirements defined in the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in Ireland (2000).

Reporting Concerns

Any concerns or incidents in relation to Safeguarding/Code of Ethics and Good Practice is everyone's responsibility. Any concerns should be dealt with confidentially and following the correct support structure.

It is not your responsibility to investigate or validate a concern you may have but you must pass it to the appropriate person within the Special Olympics Ireland support structure. 

Regional Athlete Protection Officer Contact number  
0818 313 045


Special Olympics Ireland Code of Ethics outlines the fundamental principles and addresses issues relating to the roles and responsibilities of all people involved in the Special Olympics programme.  It aims to promote best practice and to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all.  

The Volunteer Guidebook provides each volunteer with information regarding their responsibility. It outlines the types of abuse and the relevant reporting structures within Special Olympics Ireland.

The Athlete Guidebook provides information for athletes regarding their responsibilities, the types of abuse and what to do and who to speak with if they have a concern.  

Addendum's and guidelines to Code of Ethics and Good Practice are also available in the following areas:

In the event of a concern or allegation in the area of Safeguarding/Code of Ethics and Good Practice, everyone is responsible to report it within the Athlete Protection Support Structures.


To learn more about your role,your rights and responsibilities it is recommended that you attend training. Training is available for both athletes and volunteers in Safeguarding/Code of Ethics.

It is highly recommended by Sports NI and Sport Ireland that every volunteer attends basic awareness training in Safeguarding/Code of Ethics and Good practice. This workshop gives volunteers a greater insight into their, rights and responsibilities while working with young people and vulnerable adults in sport. It is mandatory for certain roles within the organisation.

These courses can be accessed through the Local Sports Partnerships (Sport Ireland) or Sport NI Development Offices. Alternatively you can contact Special Olympics Ireland Regional Offices who may be able to link with a tutor to deliver training to your club.

Participants must be 18 years of age and certificate of attendance is awarded. Certificate number and/or date of attendance at the workshop should be given to update the volunteer's records on our database. 

There is a Code of Ethics and Good Practice workshop also available for athletes. This workshop has been specifically developed for athletes with an intellectual disability and is delivered by a group of specifically trained Special Olympics Ireland volunteer tutors.

This training has been developed from the Special Olympics Ireland Code of Ethics and Good Practice handbook and provides athletes with information about:
  • Athlete rights
  • Athlete responsibilities
  • Information on how athletes can safeguard themselves and others can promote safeguarding within the organisation.
  • Who to speak to if there is a concern or any issue of poor practice or alleged abuse.
The interactive workshop can be delivered to groups of athletes over a number of sessions to maximize their learning experience. This workshop is mandatory for any athlete on Team Ireland and highly recommended for all athletes.

The athletes receive an easy read booklet and certificate of attendance is also awarded.
Contact your Regional Development Officer for more information.

Useful websites

For more information regarding Code of Ethics and Good Practice contact:

Susan Kavanagh
Safeguarding and Disability Officer
or call +353 1 869 1625

OM August 2016