Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hi there!

My name is Janet Ní Shuilleabháin, I also use the name Sharrow  online. I’m currently a Mature Student at DCU and blog about that in the  Unilife section. I am a parent  with two brats, both of whom is on the autistic spectrum. I am a feminist, gamer, geek, inquisitive person. I can be found on twitter as @Sharrow_ie

This blog was once my online scrap book but it, like myslef has evolved over the years, it now Has sections,

For my writing on  social issues check out the  Activism and Agitation.

For my  writings on generally pagan matters, check out The Wanton Witch.

For my writing out all thinks geek, gamer and fandom check out Worlds Beyond Counting.

If you need to contact me via email you can do so here: Ladyshadowsharrow [@] gmail .com


I have done a certain amount of press work over the last 2 years, if you are interested in reading/listening to what I have done have a look here.


Comment Policy

Comments and questions are welcome, abuse is not.

I’ve not been bothered to have one of these explicitly spelt out, but after a few surges of hits to here and a selection of comments which followed all with in the same day and a very narrow time period and the ping backs have showed me were they came from well.
I am putting one in place.

I had expected there to be rational arguments and a civil discourse even with people who have differing opinions and view to my own. I enjoy discussion and debate.

But I won’t ever be publishing comments which denigrate me. If that is all your are aiming for with your comments then you are wasting your time.

DC131 or I am going to be a first year!

22 to years ago when the CAO results came out I was in town with the girls from my year with the new edition of tomorrow’s newspaper, trying to look up the sting of numbers which hopefully was printed with against the course code I wanted. I didn’t see the code and I went home on the last bus to double check again on the kitchen table, I didn’t get what I wanted that year but I did two years later.

But they say 3 times the charm and this morning so much has changed in those 22 years, including how I got my offer. It arrived by text message, saying I had an offer for course code DC 131 and to log in to the CAO site to accept it. DC131 is the Degree in Communication Studies in Dublin City University.

Today I am giddy with excitement, the details and concerns as to how I make it all happen, the grant applications, the child cared ect can all wait for 24 hours while I revel in the idea that I am going to college this Autumn and all going well in a few short years I will graduate.

Most people go to university as a teen, I am going as a mature student. I am really looking forward to it. Just hope I don’t give in the urge to straighten the collars and pull down the shirts of my fellow first years.



No Gods, No Masters (Or Mistresses)

“Genuine equality and human rights is no longer a gendered issue and feminism is not concerned with men’s issues. Either we need a parallel activism that advocates for men’s rights and against the excesses of feminism (and vice versa) or we need a new, syncretic movement for genuine equality that deals with the facts as they genuinely are and with the interplay between the differences, rights, responsibilities and freedoms of both genders and society in general.”

I do think a parallel movement is needed, one which is not about attacking feminists, but about supporting and providing space for men and boys.

A different ‘normal’ coffee with other parents of kids with ASD.

Today I am grateful the time I spent with other parents who have children who are 12 to 15 who have Autism Spectrum Disorders. While our kids were in a skills and social group sessions, under the care of professionals, rather then sit for 90 mins in the reception area, we managed to get away for a coffee and a chat.

All of us, kept our phones out of our bags and on the table, just encase the clinic needed to contact us, or in case our other kids needed us. We shared survival tips, stories of heart ache, frustration, small victories, what we have dealt with. Things which we have had to endure which usually we can’t talk to other parents about as it’s upsetting for them but is just part of our narratives.

It was also reassuring to share the things our kids do and did have in fact in common, things which usually separate them from other kids. “Oh, yours does that, yes mine did that to, or still does it, ” cue story about that issue and how we try not to laugh or roll our eyes, or get angry when we have to deal with it. It really normalises our experience as parents, which is so needed. We are not alone in struggling to manage our teens and trying to teach them to self manage.

One thing which came up, again and again was that, our lives would be easier and that of our children would be less miserable if ‘normal’ kids were not as cruel. We have enough to be dealing with, with out the damage to our children’s self confidence, self esteem and self worth, which comes from their peers. Esp in school environments, which we have to send them to, which they can come to view as not safe places to be in.