Public Lecture - 'Age Proof: You are as Young as You Feel'

24th March 2022



Headshot of Rose Anne Kenny


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On 24th March 2022, a Public Lecture was given by our President, Regius Professor Rose Anne Kenny.   The lecture was chaired by Professor Rose Galvin, Lecturer in Physiotherapy, University of Limerick. A diverse, interesting expert panel took questions and contributed to discussion after the lecture. 

The event can be accessed here.  

 Professor Rose Anne Kenny, President of the Irish Gerontological Society shared insights from her research into the area of ageing medicine.
With over 35 years of experience and a best-selling book, ‘Age Proof’, Professor Kenny revealed why and how some people have a lower biological age than chronological age; the role played by food, genetics, sex, physical exercise, cold water, expectations, friendships and much more.
Her research questions why some of us live longer than others? Why do we live twice as long today as our ancestors did 200 years ago? And can the latest science teach us not only to live longer lives, but also to live fitter, healthier and happier lives, deep into our later years?
From the nuns who lived into their nineties, to the septuagenarians taking up sport for the first time, via the revealing, if unlikely friendship of Jojo the monkey and Alan the cat, and the existence of 'Blue Zones' (areas of the world where inhabitants live longer), Professor Kenny's work lifts the lid on the importance of family, friends, laughter and good sleep and emphasises that we are all just as young as we feel.
The lecture was chaired by Professor Rose Galvin, Lecturer in Physiotherapy, University of Limerick, who was joined by a diverse range of panellists; award winning writer Éilís Ní DhuibhneTania Banotti, Head of Creative Ireland, Professor Michael Cullen, Associate Professor of Endocrinology in TCD school of Medicine, Donal Denham, former Irish Ambassador to Lithuania, and Claire O’Dwyer, an award-winning sea swimmer.


Rose Anne Kenny is Professor of Medical Gerontology and Head of the academic department of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin. She is the present President of the IGS. She is also director of the recently established Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA) at St. James’s Hospital Dublin, which is a state of the art facility hosting ambulatory care, inpatients, education and research facilities for older adults. She is the founding Principal Investigator of Ireland’s largest adult population study on the experience of ageing– for The Irish LongituDinal study on Ageing  (TILDA). She has a high international standing for her research on ageing ranked in the top 5% of geriatric medicine publications.  She is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, London and Ireland, a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology, Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine Ireland, and was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.  She has received a number of international awards and has published widely, authoring over 600 publications including, her recently published book “Age Proof – The New Science of Living a Longer and Healthier Life” which was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2022.   In 2020, she was elected President of the Irish Gerontological Society. In 2022 she was nominated 24th Regius Professor of Physic at TCD (1637), the first female nominee.   Twitter:  @RoseAnnekenny1 


Dr Rose Galvin.  Rose graduated from Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) in 2004 with a BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy. She worked clinically as a physiotherapist before undertaking a PhD in the Discipline of Physiotherapy at Trinity College Dublin. The focus of her PhD thesis was around the provision of additional exercise therapy to people with acute stroke through the involvement of their families in the delivery of exercises to them. Rose currently works as the Programme Leader of the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research (CPCR), based in RCSI. Her research interests are in the area of neurology and gerontology, particularly relating to the identification of older adults at risk of adverse outcomes following ED visit. Rose has over published over 40 peer-reviewed publications in physiotherapy and primary care in the past 10 years. Rose is an active member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists and was the Hon. Treasurer of the Irish Gerontological Society for four years.


Tania Banotti

Tania Banotti is the Director of the Creative Ireland Programme an all-of-government programme established  in 2017 with the ambition of putting creativity at the centre of public policy. Before becoming a public servant she had a long career leading different creative organisations. For the last two years Creative Ireland has a stand of its work around Creativity in Older Age.

Donal Denham

Donal Denham is a retired Ambassador of Ireland to Lithuania & Belarus, to Finland,former Consul General in San Francisco.  He had the honour and privilege of serving his country in a career spanning 42 years;two of the many highlights were opening new irish diplomatic missions in Zambia (1980) and in Lithuania(2005) as well as serving through all seven Irish presidencies of the EU since the first one in 1985. His special interests were Human Rights, Humanitarian Affairs and Economic Development.

Since retirement in 2015, he founded a group in the Dun laoghaire area of a world-wide  movement known as " The University of the Third Age" (U3A).  He started with 7 members  and have grown in the past 6 years to a membership of some 300, with off-shoots in Monkstown, Bray & Greystones. [U3A in Ireland comes under the umbrella of Age Action Ireland though we receive very little support  in practice].

Our motto is that "the thirst for knowledge is not abated by age". 

Professor Michael Cullen

Professor Michael Cullen MA,MB, FRCPI  has been Assoc Prof of Endocrinology in TCD school of Medicine based in St James. He still teaches the final years in Clinical Medicine since 1972. His clinical practice is in Blackrock Clinic where he shares call for the Emergency Dept and have an Endocrinology Clinical Practice.

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, also known as Eilis Almquist and Elizabeth O'Hara, is an Irish novelist and short story writer who writes both in Irish and English. She has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and is a recipient of the Irish PEN Award.

Claire O’Dwyer, award winning sea swimmer

Claire O’Dwyer is 80 years old and grew up in Dalkey, where part of her house was in the sea. She joined Otter Swimming club in Dun Laoghaire age 15 and enjoyed many years winning Irish titles.

When the Masters Galas started she was in her 40's and she took up training for galas.  She travelled abroad and had great success at European and World Masters Gala’s.

Her most successful gala was the World Masters 1996 in Sheffield, where she won the 5km outdoor events and 5 pool events, also achieving 2 World records.  Since then, she has travelled far and wide around the world including New Zealand and the USA and has lost count of the number if medals I have won.  

Claire enjoys taking part in the outdoor swimming season.  This October she came 2nd in the Liffey Swim in Dublin.  Over 100 ladies took part.  Claire says swimming is a wonderful sport suitable for all ages.