Health Board: upcoming conferences, talks, campaigns and events

An introduction to tai chi and health checks for over-55s take place this week

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are hosting an event called "Syria Crisis: Frontline Emergency Room" at The Royal Irish Academy, on Dawson Street, Dublin at 6.30pm on Thursday (May 10th). Dr Javid Abdelmoneim will be talking about his work in Raqqa, Northern Syria providing emergency healthcare at MSF’s trauma stabilisation unit. This is a free event but places are limited so please RSVP to 01 660 3337 or email

1) An over-55s open day will be held in the Central Library, ILAC Shopping Centre, Dublin 1st on Wednesday (May 9th) from 1pm-4.30pm. Activities include health checks, balance and mindfulness sessions, and talks on health and wellness. The new health route for the North Inner City & East Wall will also be launched at the event.

2) Interested in trying out Tai Chi? There's a free introduction to the principles and practices of Tai Chi Qigong, Qigong Mediation and the Dayan Qigong  (Wild Goose) System on Thursday (May 10th) at 7pm in Christ Church Parish Hall, Park Road, Dún Laoghaire (next to People's Park). Advanced booking advised on Tel: 01 2806101 or

3) Free screenings of the striking documentary about myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), Unrest, will take place in Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Sligo on May 12th, which is International ME/CFS Awareness Day. The screenings (at 2.30pm) will be at the Carlton Hotel, near Dublin Airport; the Connacht Hotel, Old Dublin Road, Co Galway; the Great National South Court Hotel, Raheen, Co Limerick; and the Sligo Southern Hotel. See and On May 10th, ME Advocates Ireland (MEAI) will host a second Dublin #MillionsMissing event in front of Leinster House, from 11.30am until 2.30pm, to raise awareness of the condition and highlight the lack of appropriate medical and support services.

4) Ron Suskind, awarding-winning journalist and author of Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism will be the keynote speaker at a conference on autism in the Croke Park Conference Centre on Monday, May 14th. Organised by Inspire, Cork Autism Association and the Irish Society for Autism, talks will focus on the movement for inclusion of people with autism, current barriers and future plans. More details on or Tel: 042 9385736.


5) Coeliac Awareness Week runs from May 14th-20th. Coeliac disease is a lifelong digestive condition based on an intolerance to gluten, a protein in wheat, barley, rye and oats. Symptoms vary hugely, but include diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Mary Twohig, chairperson of the Coeliac Society of Ireland, says, "if a person is diagnosed, the chances of one of their first blood relatives having the disease increases to one in 10. A diagnosis of coeliac disease can be a difficult life adjustment, so this year, we'll be sharing helpful tips and tricks on how to cater for people with coeliac disease at home and when eating out." See also and on Twitter #CoeliacWeek18.

6) University of Limerick researchers are seeking people aged 50-plus in counties Clare and Limerick to join a study on exercise programmes. The Move For Life study will give the participants the chance to take part in walking, cycling or general exercise programmes for eight-12 weeks. To sign up or attend one of the induction evenings, see

Sylvia Thompson

Sylvia Thompson

Sylvia Thompson, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about health, heritage and the environment