“So good were the interviews by Anne Daly and so eloquent the interviewees that this Esperanza production made the viewers as angry as the parents.”

John Boland, The Irish Independent

“...is a moving study of the struggles faced by these parents to get
even the most basic help.”

The Sunday Tribune

“...its great strength was the honesty of the parents.”

The Irish Times


Duration: 53:25 minutes

The late Ger South featured prominently in this documentary and was a legendary campaigner on behalf of children with severe learning difficulties. Ger was a driving force within the Limerick Parents & Friends – a parents support group – with whom we made this film. Indeed, his huge personal commitment and that of the other parents involved, helped to show in a powerful and compelling way how they must become campaigners on behalf of their very vulnerable children to get the services they need. An activist role it must be emphasized that is all the harder to sustain given that these parents often have to provide round the clock care for their children with special needs at home because suitable public services are not provided for them.

This award-winning documentary was broadcast and secured a number of favorable reviews. However, it was also used extensively to promote better public understanding of the considerable challenges and real hardship experienced by parents and families when they cannot access appropriate services for their children with severe learning difficulties. Campaigning to secure the right services for their child was part of life of almost every parent we met making this film. While there have been some significant improvements in services since this documentary was made thanks to the extraordinary commitment of the late Ger South and others, the impact of the current regime of cutbacks is once again placing a very severe burden on some parents with children with special needs.

WHEN HAPPINESS IS A PLACE FOR YOUR CHILD won Ireland’s National Television Broadcasting Award in 1996