No limits for fairytale heroes

No limits for fairytale heroes

St Joseph’s College, Lucan, is a CEIST school founded by the Presentation Sisters situated in South County Dublin. We are an all girls voluntary Catholic school with approximately 800 students. We are fortunate to have a very successful Transition Year programme which is co-ordinated by Ms Bligh.

As well as the usual school subjects we also experience an additional layer of new subjects not taught in Junior Cycle. They change from year to year but typically include non-European languages; first aid; personal grooming; media; crafts; film production; sign language.

Another part of the TY programme is a Pastoral Placement Programme. This involves students caring in the community. Students arrange a placement with a voluntary organisations such as the St Vincent De Paul or the Simon Community and spend each Wednesday assisting them and their services to the community. One of our teachers acts as a mentor and liaises with each student in a supportive capacity.

During our Transition Year we also take part in the Student Enterprise Awards and Young Social Innovators. As part of those initiatives our group, No Limits emerged. We are a group of four Transition Year students from St Joseph’s College. Our names are Aoife Dardis, Katie Grogan, Caoimhe Currie and Sarah Robinson. We write fairytale books which features the main character having a disability or special needs.

We came up with the idea from personal experience as two of the members, Aoife and Katie, have family with a disability. Aoife’s cousin, Niamh, suffers from severe epilepsy, while Katie’s dad, Colm, has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair.


Aoife explains: “We saw a post on social media saying there was never a Disney princess with a shaved head so that children with shaved heads, perhaps from medication or an illness, can feel beautiful and special…we researched this and found that not only was there no Disney princess but there were no fairy tales about people with a disability or special needs at all.

“We feel so passionate about the idea of equality in this area and thought that if you teach this acceptance from a young age, it will help with inclusion and equality. Our group’s aim is to improve the underrepresentation of people with disabilities and special needs in children’s literature.

Our books to date include Wonder Wheels (about a superhero who is in a wheelchair) and Anna’s Amazing Aura (about a mermaid with epilepsy). We are currently in the process of writing a third book which will feature twins with Down Syndrome, a prince and a princess.

The cost of our books is €7.00 with 20% of the price going to two charities: the Irish Wheelchair Association and Epilepsy Ireland. Again, 20% of our new book will be going to Down Syndrome Ireland when the book is released.

No Limits won the South Dublin Student Enterprise Regional Final and went on to represent the region in the National Final in Croke Park on May 3. We also competed in the final 17 competitors in the Griffith College National Final back in March.

No Limits then won the YSI Make Our World Fair And Just Challenge Award. Out of 456 projects 53 qualified for the YSI Final. We were only one of 11 groups to receive an award. The three main awards of Bronze, Silver & Gold were presented to various schools all over Ireland. Tullamore College was awarded bronze for Think Safety, Farm Safely on farm safety. The Silver Award went to ourselves, No Limits! Students from Largy College, Clones, Co. Monaghan took the top prize for their project, titled Mend a Mind, on the subject of mental health.

As part of the judging process we had to make a three-minute presentation on or chosen project which was then followed by questions from six judges.

While we initially started our project out of personal experience and passion for the topic, we have been very successful in a number of competitions. It is always a bonus to achieve success in these events but it is more important that an increased awareness has been created around the idea of disability, inclusion and equality. For example as a result of our various achievements in competitions we were interviewed on TV3’s Saturday AM. We gifted the two presenters with copies of our books.


No Limits can be reached on their Facebook page (No Limits), Instagram and Snapchat pages (nolimits164), Twitter page (nolimits1234), email ( or on their website (