Health Board: Upcoming conferences, talks, campaigns and events

Battle of the Stars, a night of music for Aware and CF conference in Carlow

1) National Brain Awareness Week, beginning March 11th, aims to promote awareness and understanding of the brain and brain conditions, as well as the need for investment in services, research and prevention. More information on brain injury rehabilitation on or 01-2804164.

2) Radio presenter Shonagh Lyons is shining a light on Post Natal Depression in a new audio documentary. Her own experience dealing with PND is detailed along with two Wexford mothers.

"We need to open-up our conversations, remove the myths and the stigma", says Shonagh. "There is a huge amount of guilt associated with PND and it's vital that women are given the support they need to overcome it."  The documentary was on Beat 102-103 on Sunday (March 10th) at 10am, and can now be found on

3) Mental health organisation Aware is holding a lecture, Nutrition and Mental Health, at St Patrick's Hospital on March 13th, with performance nutritionist Shane O'Rourke. The Aware lecture series is held on the second Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm in the lecture theatre, Swift Centre, St Patrick's Hospital, James's Street, Dublin 8. Lectures are open to the public and free of charge.


4) Cystic Fibrosis Ireland is holding its annual conference in the Mount Wolseley Hotel, Carlow, on Saturday, March 30th. The event, 2009-2019: A Decade of Progress but Many Challenges Ahead, will be of particular interest to family members, friends and the wider CF community. Among the speakers will be Prof Barry Plant, Cork University Hospital, who will address new CF drug therapies in the pipeline, while Dr Michelle Murray, Mater hospital, will update on transplants and organ donor consent developments. Registration now open at The conference takes place ahead of CFI's annual fundraising flag day, 65 Roses Day, on Friday, April 12th, when people are urged to buy a purple rose for €2 or donate online at

5) Engage 2019 – the 11th International Dementia Conference – will be held in Croke Park, Dublin, April 1st and 2nd. Engaging Dementia (formerly Sonas apc) is a registered charity which provides training and resources for those who care for people with dementia in residential care, day centres, hospitals or the family home. Tickets – €150 (day 1), €125 (day 2), or €250 for both days – are avaible from

6) On Sunday, April 7th, a group of Irish music acts will come together in Dublin's Olympia Theatre for A Night for Aware, a concert in aid of mental health charity Aware. Taking to the stage on the night are Ryan Sheridan, An Emotional Fish, In Tua Nua, The Blizzards, Sack, The Henry Girls, Eibhin Eviston & Dave McGinley, State Lights, Martin Daws, plus special guests. Tickets from or Ticketmaster outlets from €28. You can also phone 0818-719330.

7) An information seminar for women at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and their families, will be held at the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown, Dublin, on Friday, April 5th, 9.30am-4pm. Experts will cover topics such as a patient's journey from screening to surgery; gynaecological surgical options for disease prevention; and strengthening self-care and resilience; and there will a panel discussion and an opportunity to ask questions. See

8) Breast Cancer Ireland's "Battle of the Stars" supported by The Joe Duffy Group, takes place at Dublin's Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road on Saturday, April 13th. Competing will be seven breast cancer survivors. Now in its sixth year, "Battle of the Stars" has become an annual event where performers dance and lip sync in front of an audience of 450 people. RTÉ's Eoghan McDermott will MC and a celebrity judging panel will assess the entertainment value. Tickets are €150 from

9) The Croke Park Stadium Tour has added an Easter twist for families from April 18th-22nd. As well as the usual behind-the-scenes access to the players' lounge, dressing rooms, warm-up area, media centre, etc – as well as the GAA Museum – children follow clues around Europe's third-largest stadium to earn an Easter egg. Children: €11. Adult: €9 (discounts for families). See

10) Cork charity Ag Eisteacht is running a second Able brief intervention training course in Cork this May for practitioners working in health, social care and community settings. Able (Adopt a relational approach, Build, Listen and Empower) training provides a framework and builds skills to help practitioners to engage with, "listen to understand" and empower patients/clients by embedding a relational approach into their practice. The training is approved for CPD purposes by Social Care Ireland, NMBI, IASW, Irish College of General Practitioners, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at RCSI and the Department of Education. The three-day course takes place on May 14th, 28th and 29th at Northridge House Education Centre, Castle Road, Mahon, Cork. Tickets €250-€300, via Eventbrite or 021 453 6556.

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Damian Cullen

Damian Cullen

Damian Cullen is Health & Family Editor of The Irish Times