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Promoting Health in Older Age, Dublin, 13 March 2015

The European Parliament Information Office in Dublin, together with Active Retirement Ireland, Age & Opportunity and The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, will hold an information and discussion session on "Promoting Health in Older Age on Friday 13 March 2015.  Speakers will include MEPs Lynn Boylan and Nessa Childers .This is an excellent opportunity to consider and learn about what health and well-being means in older age  and the European initiatives in this area.    



9.30 am:  Registration

10.00 am:  Welcome: Francis Jacobs, Head of European Parliament Office in Ireland

10:05 am:  Maurice O'Connell, Chairperson

10.10 am:  Juergen Schetflein, European Commission, DG SANCO: "European Initiatives"

10.25 am:  Questions

10.40 am:  Ciaran McKinney, Age & Opportunity:  "The Irish Perspective"

10.50 am:  Tina Leonard, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland: "Making dementia a European priority"

11.00 am:  Susan Shaw, Active Retirement Ireland: "What is Healthy Ageing?"

11.10 am:  Dr. Elizabeth Weathers PhD, Bsc, PCCTL, RGN, Coordinator of the CARTS Project

11.20 am:  Response from MEPs Nessa Childers and Lynn Boylan

11.35 am:  Discussion open to the floor

12.10 pm:  Close


The event takes place on Friday 13th March from 9:30 am-12:00 pm at Parliament's offices, 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.




Maurice O'Connell, Chairperson

Maurice is co-founder of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland and was Chairman of the Board for 10 years. Maruice was CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland for 14 years  until 2013 and retired as Chairman of Alzheimer Europe in 2010 following a six year term. He also served on the Board of Disability Federation Ireland as Chairman and a board member of NAI (Neurological Alliance Ireland). Maurice has a Masters in Psychology and has extensive experience in the voluntary and community sector and third level education.


Ciaran McKinney, Age & Opportunity

Ciarán McKinney is Head of Arts & Culture at Age & Opportunity. For the past five years he has been involved in a number of European projects in partnership with Age Platform Europe, including the ‘Active Senior Citizens for Europe ‘initiative with Susan Shaw from Active Retirement Ireland.

“I believe that Ireland is a much more inclusive and exciting country since we joined Europe, with improvements in the rights of women, older people, LGBT people, people with disabilities and other sections of society”


Tina Leonard, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland

Tina Leonard is Head of Advocacy & Public Affairs at the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. An experienced advocate of fifteen years plus, Tina has most recently worked as a consumer journalist, author, media commentator and communications consultant. Prior to that Tina was Director of Ireland’s European Consumer Centre for nine years.  Since joining the Alzheimer Society of Ireland Tina has worked on the development of communications, advocacy and public affairs programmes.


Susan Shaw, Active Retirement Ireland

Sue Shaw has 20 years’ experience working in the community and voluntary sector with both regional and national organisations advocating for the rights of people. Sue has a firm belief and interest in acting with people rather than for people, using a community development approach. Sue’s work is to encourage and develop the advocacy and leadership role of local ARAs by supporting them to strengthen their voice and engage locally and nationally and within Europe with decision-makers on the issues affecting older people. Sue represents Active Retirement Ireland on several national forums and with Age Platform Europe on the issue based Task Force working groups.


Dr. Elizabeth Weathers

Dr. Elizabeth Weathers currently works as Research Support Officer in the Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation, University College Cork, which is directed by Professor William Molloy. As part of this role, Elizabeth has experience in grant writing and grant submission at national and European (Horizon 2020) level. She is currently co-ordinating a research project that implements a screening, assessment and early intervention programme for community-dwelling older adults. Elizabeth also lectures part-time in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, UCC. She teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate level on spirituality, care of the older adult, research methods, and palliative care. Furthermore, she supervises final year undergraduate research projects as well as MSc Nursing students. Elizabeth also works intermittently as a Night Nurse with the Irish Cancer Society. She has an array of peer-reviewed international journal and conference publications. Other qualifications held by Elizabeth include an Accreditation in Logotherapy and Existential Analysis from the Viktor Frankl Institute of Ireland, a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning from UCC, and she is a trained facilitator of the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Final Journeys Program.