A better world for people living with arthritis today and a world without arthritis tomorrow.



Introduction from the chief executive

Grainne OIn the four decades since Arthritis Ireland was established, the organisation has worked relentlessly to support people with arthritis and to improve their quality of life. That motivation finds renewed expression in this new strategic plan, which puts those living with the condition at the centre of everything we do.

This is an ambitious plan – it has to be. While there have been dramatic improvements in our knowledge and understanding of arthritis, and in how people are diagnosed and treated; there is no shortage of fresh challenges. The reality is that as we live longer, increasing numbers are going to get arthritis; the health system is under immense pressure; health inequalities are taking their toll; while false claims of cures serve to mislead and confuse.

These have not dented our ambition. Instead, we have responded by articulating a plan built around six strategic priorities to achieve our vision of a better world for people living with arthritis today and a world without arthritis tomorrow.

This will not easily be achieved. However, working towards an arthritis-free world is what the one million people living with the disease in Ireland deserve. Our plan signposts the key actions that will move us closer towards the attainment of our vision, as well as a way of working that harnesses the power of collaborative action and partnership. Ultimately, this is going to be a team effort.

Naturally, the best plans are dynamic that take account of shifts in the environment, and that respond to what works and what does not. We will be constantly mindful of this as we implement each of the actions and report on our progress. At each point on the journey, we will ask what does success look like? How does what we’re doing support people living with arthritis, whether they are in Drumcondra or Drumlish, Ballina or Ballineaspaig?

In fact, that very phrase, ‘people living with arthritis’ underlines that arthritis is not just a disease that affects the person with the condition – the ‘patient’, if you like. Instead, there is a much wider circle also living with arthritis – family, work colleagues, team members – anyone who is impacted by this chronic condition. The ripple effect of the disease is much greater, therefore, than those experiencing the pain, fatigue, disruption and destruction of arthritis.

At one of our recent information events, a delegate recorded their experience of the day as ‘Validation. Confirmation. Acceptance.’ That’s very powerful to hear – and it inspires us to go further, to work relentlessly on your behalf, to make this plan a reality and, ultimately, to achieve a world without arthritis.

I hope that you will join us on the journey.

Gráinne O’Leary
Chief executive


We seek to ensure that every person living with arthritis in Ireland is supported to live a full and active life, having access to appropriate health services and treatments. We work to ensure an enhanced quality of life for people living with arthritis, minimising the devastating effects that arthritis can have on lives.


A better world for people living with arthritis today and a world without arthritis tomorrow.


  • We are the first and frequent point of support for people living with arthritis in Ireland.
  • We develop and deliver the services and supports which allow people living with arthritis to lead full and active lives.
  • We listen to our community and advocate solutions to their needs through developing evidence-based policy proposals.
  • We influence the research agenda and promote development of new diagnostics, treatments and supports.


  • We understand the importance of trust and acting with the utmost INTEGRITY. We are responsible, accountable and operate to the highest governing standards.
  • We are committed to TRANSPARENCY and are honest and clear about what we do, what we don’t do and why.
  • Our PERSON-CENTRED approach puts people living with arthritis at the heart of everything we do. Arthritis doesn’t discriminate, so it’s important for us to understand the lived reality of every person affected by this debilitating disease.
  • We strive to be INCLUSIVE and ensure that the voices of those living with arthritis always takes priority.
  • We work in PARTNERSHIP with people living with arthritis, their families, employers, health professionals, service providers and other organisations to achieve the best possible outcomes and greatest impacts.
  • We are INNOVATIVE, forward thinking and dynamic. We are committed to finding smarter ways of doing things to improve quality of care.

Our Impact

Our impact 2019

Download: Arthritis Ireland Strategic Plan 2019-2023

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