ALONE/IGS Summer Symposium - Speakers


Colette Bennett. Research and Policy Analyst, Social Justice Ireland. Exploring Housing Options for Older People

Colette Bennett is a Research and Policy Analyst with Social Justice Ireland.  She joined the organisation in 2018 having spent almost a decade engaged with social policy and advocacy work on behalf of a large debt organisation and in a volunteer capacity with organisations such as the Simon Community, FLAC and An Síol.  Colette has made presentations and submissions on many social justice topics including cost rental financing, public participation, insolvency, and consumer protection regulation and was chosen to represent Ireland on an EU Special Mission to Cyprus to support the Insolvency Service of Cyprus to implement their insolvency solutions for low-income debtors.  Colette is a member of the Irish Social Policy Association (ISPA).

Karl Duff, Department of Health. Living Well in the Community

Karl Duff is a senior manager with the Department of Health where his programme of work includes the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (also known as Fair Deal) and the National Positive Ageing Strategy.  In this role Karl provides performance and budgetary oversight on the Fair Deal Scheme which supports on average 23,000 people in long term care within a budget of almost €1 billion per annum. Coupled with this Karl is responsible for the continued implementation of the 2013 National Positive Ageing Strategy across all of Government and the older people’s sector as a whole.

Since entering the Department of Health in 2017, Karl has sought to reinvigorate the approach behind positive ageing in Ireland. This work has seen the forging of strong relationships across the voluntary sector and within the Health Services. Karl has, to date, carved a reputation for solution focused engagement, evidence utilisation and action based on sound policy.

In October 2018, Karl led out on a National Positive Ageing Stakeholder forum which brought service suppliers, users and policy makers together to identify priority areas of work to support healthy and active ageing in Ireland.

Karl also represents Ireland at key European and global institutions playing an active role on the UN’s Working Group on Ageing.

Prof. Graham Hughes, Consultant Geriatrician, Consultant Geriatrician and Associate Professor in Clinical Medicine, UCD

Graham Hughes has been a consultant in the UK & Ireland with special interest in movement disorders since 2007 and was appointed as a Consultant Physician in Geriatric & General Medicine in St. Vincent’s University Hospital in 2009. He has particular interests in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and integration of older people’s care across service interfaces. Graham is a member of the European Parkinson’s Disease Association Expert Review Panel and a board director with the Irish Parkinson’s advocacy group Move4Parkinsons. 

Dr. Siobhán Kennelly, Consultant Geriatrician, Connolly Hospital. Driving Improvements for Older People in Ireland

Siobhán Kennelly is consultant geriatrician in Connolly Hospital & CHO9 and honorary clinical senior lecturer, RCSI.  Her clinical and research interests include the care of older patients in community settings including residential care, the development of integrated ambulatory care pathways in older person’s services, the role of intensive case management in the care of older patients with complex needs and end of life care. As project lead for the Genio- awarded Connolly Integrated Dementia Pathways Programme she has developed dementia services that support the needs of people living with dementia across primary and secondary care services and is clinical lead for the Connolly Hospital Memory Assessment and Support service. She was appointed National Clinical Advisor and Group Care Lead in the Social Care Division in the HSE 2015 – 2018 and within that role has been clinical lead on the Integrated Care Programme for Older Persons (ICPOP). 

Prof. Brian Lawlor, Consultant Psychiatrist, St. James's Hospital. Loneliness and Brain Health 

Brian Lawlor is Deputy Executive Director of GBHI, Program Director for the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health training program at GBHI and Conolly Norman Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at Trinity College, Dublin.  He trained in internal medicine in Ireland and in Psychiatry in the United States, completing a residency at University of Florida at Gainesville and a fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health at Bethesda before taking up the position of Chief of Psychogeriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. He returned to Dublin in 1991 to establish the Memory Clinic at St. James’s Hospital, where he also developed a comprehensive old age psychiatry service. His research interests are in early detection and diagnosis of dementia, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease and the study of depression and loneliness in older people. He is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in Alzheimer’s disease and has published extensively in the field of dementia and geriatric psychiatry. 

Seán Moynihan. Chief Executive Officer, Alone. Linking Health and Community Services

After a career within senior management and business owner, Seán Moynihan moved to the NGO sector as Head of Housing and then Director of Service for the Simon Community. He went on to work as Management Consultant for a number of years before becoming Chief Executive of ALONE..
During this time ALONE has increased thirty fold the amount of older people supported each year. Now national we retain our values that services must be affective and compassionate improving the quality of life of those who use them. Sean vision and drive is for Innovation services where staff, volunteers work together with all agencies to create sectoral approaches to solve problems. Our services are scalable models and we provide and share all our knowledge and technology with others in our sector
Under Seán’s oversight, ALONE is reimagining the role of the community and of the NGO. Including technological innovation as a key tool in maintaining the wellbeing of older people. Seán has also been involved in multiple national oversight groups, and has played a key role in influencing social and health policies for older people on housing, loneliness, and ageing at home, in order to meet emerging needs.

Ciara O'Reilly, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist, Beaumont Hospital. FITT - Implementation of a Home First Model 

Ciara O'Reilly qualified from Trinity College Dublin in 2004 as a Physiotherapist. She initially worked in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, for over 2 years as a staff grade Physiotherapist. In 2007 Ciara moved to Beaumont Hospital. In 2008 she commenced her role as a Senior Physiotherapist in Care of the Elderly and has worked in the acute setting, rehabilitation unit and day hospital. Ciara completed her Masters by Research Degree in the School of Physiotherapy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2013. The research was on falls risk factors and healthcare use in patients with a low trauma wrist fracture attending a physiotherapy clinic. She is currently the Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist in Care of the Elderly in Beaumont based in our Emergency Department working on the Frail Intervention Therapy Team ( FITT).

Dr. Diarmuid O'Shea, President, Irish Gerontological Society. Welcome and launch of IGS position paper on delayed discharges from hospitals

In 2018 the Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly TD established a Working Group to carry out an independent expert review of delayed hospital discharges.  Following consultation with our stakeholders and other interested parties, the IGS made a submission to the Working Group outlining our views and concerns.  The development of our submission generated a level of debate such that our discussions continued long after our submission was made. These deliberations have resulted in the publication of a comprehensive position paper Addressing the Challenge of Delayed Discharges from Hospitals. The IGS proposes seven key recommendations as to how discharge supports could be enhanced in the community.  During his welcome address at this symposium, our President, Dr. Diarmuid O'Shea, will give an overview of these recommendations.  Delegates may downloaded the full position paper at the link below.