Founder of L'Arche, Jean Vanier, has died

Was instrumental in founding L’Arche in Kilmoganny

Kilkenny People


Kilkenny People



Tributes paid to Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche

The founder of L'Arche, Jean Vanier, has passed away today in the Maison Médicale Jeanne Garnier. He was 90 years old.  

Mr Vanier founded L'Arche in 1964 in response to the treatment that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities faced in institutions. He was instrumental in founding L’Arche in Ireland, where its first community was founded in Kilmoganny in 1978. Now there are four communities in Ireland/ Northern Ireland: Kilkenny, Cork, Dublin and Belfast. 

L’Arche now includes more than 150 communities in 38 countries around the globe. L’Arche communities provide homes and workplaces where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers; create inclusive communities of faith and friendship; and transform society through relationships that span social boundaries. 

In addition to his work with L’Arche, Vanier co-founded Faith and Light and inspired the creation of many other organisations. He influenced thousands of people around the world and published some 40 books, including on how people with intellectual disabilities make essential contributions to building a more humane society. 

"Jean has left an extraordinary legacy," said L’Arche International Leader Stephan Posner.

“His community of Trosly, the communities of L'Arche, Faith and Light, many other movements, and countless thousands of people have cherished his words and benefited from his vision.”

Visit to learn more about the life and legacy of Jean Vanier.