Health Board: Upcoming conferences, talks, campaigns and events

A Halloween bonfire in Co Dublin last year. This year, community groups are offered flower bulbs to plant in gratitude for preventing bonfire damage. Photograph: Dave Meehan

A Halloween bonfire in Co Dublin last year. This year, community groups are offered flower bulbs to plant in gratitude for preventing bonfire damage. Photograph: Dave Meehan


1) People with disabilities have bodies that function differently from the socially “normal” body. “Towards a Consideration of All Bodies” is a platform for artists with disabilities to engage and examine this proposition through interdisciplinary performance. Artists Hugh O’Donnell, Mairéad Folan and Phil Kenny will perform a piece responding to their experience of interactions with their families, people on the street, in public spaces and work and when accessing services and buildings. This will be held in The Lab, 1 Foley Street, Dublin 1, on Wednesday, November 7th, at 1.30pm. Tickets in advance on from

2) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), more commonly known as bronchitis or emphysema, is a chronic lung condition whose primary symptoms are breathlessness, persistent cough and regular chest infections. Patients, carers and family members can attend a free conference on COPD in the Royal College of Physicians, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, on Thursday, November 15th. Experts will focus on future treatments while parallel workshops will show people how they can look after themselves better. See also or call 086 041 5128. To speak to a respiratory nurse specialist, call the COPD National Advice-line on Freefone 1800 83 21 46 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

3) South Dublin County Council is one of the local authorities encouraging people to organise alternative events to the traditional Halloween bonfires. “Bulbs not Bonfires” is a scheme in which community groups are given flower bulbs to plant in their areas as a reward for preventing bonfire damage to open spaces in their communities. Free passes to Ballymount Civic Amenity Centre are also given to encourage recycling. Speaking about Halloween, South Dublin County Council mayor Cllr Mark Ward says: “Halloween is about having fun but we must also remember the hazards associated with the celebrations. We can all work together to make it a safer time for everyone by not contributing to illegal bonfires which are an unnecessary burden on our busy emergency services, An Garda Síochána and council staff. A huge amount of money is spent every year on cleaning up after these bonfires; this money could go a long way towards making positive changes in our communities.”

4) Construction Safety Week runs from October 22nd- 26th. Organised by the Construction Safety Partnership Advisory Committee, the aim is to reduce accidents on working sites by promoting health and safety standards. Contractors are encouraged to organise safety talks and raise awareness of health and safety on building sites. See also

5) The Irish Hospice Foundation is hosting a morning seminar, Planning For the Future: Conversations & Challenges, at the Alex Hotel on Wednesday, October 24th. Speakers on the day include Disability Law Researcher Dr Fiona Morrissey, Prof David Smith (Associate Professor of Healthcare Ethics at RCSI) and Caoimhe Gleeson (National Specialist in Accessibility/National Programme Lead- Assisted Decision Making, HSE). Fee is €50. For full programme and how to book, visit

6) The theme of this year’s World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day (WSBHD) on Thursday, October 25th is Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (SBH) throughout Life – tell us your story  (#mysbhlife). As older people with SBH are the first generation to reach their 50s and 60s, more awareness is needed to improve their lives. In Ireland, around 40 babies are born each year with spina bifida, and about one in 1,000 babies are born with hydrocephalus. Spina bifida is the most common neural tube defect which causes incomplete development of the spinal cord. It causes significant mobility issues, continence problems, pressure sores, and social challenges of isolation and loneliness. Hydrocephalus results when too much cerebrospinal fluid builds pressure in the brain. This is usually relieved by a shunt (a rubber tube) which is fitted internally to drain the fluid away into the stomach or sometime the heart. Common issues arising from hydrocephalus include intellectual difficulties, behavioural problems and memory issues. See also