A Message from our President

Headshot of Rose Anne Kenny

Regius Professor Rose Anne Kenny

Well, it is that time of year again when we are ramping up activities ahead of the Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM). This year we will congregate in the beautiful city of Galway. The meeting will be held at the Galmont Hotel and we are expecting record numbers. Please do ensure that you register and book accommodation in good time.

The ASM will commence on Thursday 28th September through to Saturday afternoon, 30th September.

The society’s secretaries – Dr Catriona Reddin and Dr Adam Dyer (Honorary Secretaries) - have worked tirelessly, in tandem with the Scientific Committee, chaired by Dr Amanda Lavan, to ensure a stimulating programme and abstract presentations of the highest quality from all relevant disciples.

Other members of the Scientific and Executive Committees who should be acknowledged for the hard work that they have put into making this year’s ASM an anticipated great success are Dr. Emer Ahern (Vice President), Mr Jonathan O’Keeffe (Honorary Treasurer), Ms Deirdre Lang, Ms Íde O’Shaughnessy, Ms Bibiana Savin, Ms Edel McDaid, Dr Karen Dennehy, Dr Ciara Gibbons, Dr Ruairi Waters and Ms Florence Horsman Hogan. The Scientific Committee has employed clear criteria for selection of abstracts, which was made available to all applicants and referees, to ensure that the abstracts chosen are of high quality and that the selection criteria are available for all. 

This year’s guest speakers will cover a variety of clinical and ‘new science’ topics. We are delighted to welcome Prof Russell Grant Foster, CBE, FRS FMedSci, a British professor of Circadian Neuroscience, the Director of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology and the Head of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford.  He is also a Nicholas Kurti Senior Fellow at Brasenose College at the University of Oxford.  Foster and his group are credited with key contributions to the discovery of the retinal  cells which input to the circadian rhythm system. As well as his many scientific publications, he has recently authored another award-winning book: ‘Life Time - The New Science of the Body Clock.’ He will speak to ‘Circadian Rhythms, Sleep, Ageing and Health.’

Prof Martin O’Donnell is Executive Dean of College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, at the University of Galway. He is Professor of Neurovascular Medicine, and Consultant Geriatrician at University Hospital Galway, Ireland. Martin is widely published and in addition to developing a successful MSc in Clinical Research, he has led and contributed to a number of large-scale intervention trials for cardiovascular disorders. He will speak to  methods to measure healthy ageing in international studies.

The Willie Birmingham medal will be awarded to Prof Shaun O’Keeffe, who will speak to advanced care planning and advanced care directives. The title of his lecture will be  ‘Age Against the Machine? Ethics, the law and older people.’  This event is an annual collaboration between ALONE and the IGS and will recognise Shaun’s long-standing contributions to these important ethical dimensions which he has steadfastly championed over many years. 

Prof Rose Galvin is an Associate Professor in Physiotherapy at the University of Limerick. Her main research activities are in applied health research. She will speak to the importance of new health and social care models available for older persons with acute health issues. ‘No place like home: Exploring safe and appropriate alternative care pathways for older adults seeking emergency care.’

On Friday, there will be a number of discipline group meetings - HSCP, ISPGM, NCHD and Nursing. Do attend to support your disciplines and ensure representation at the ASM. We will also have presentations from three special interest groups: Bone health, Frailty and Integrated care. The leads of each of these sections – Dr Kevin McCarroll, Prof Roman Romero Ortuno and Prof Michelle Canavan respectively - have developed up-to-date topics for this year’s SIGs sessions.

On Thursday evening there will be a symposium, sponsored by ReMIND, followed by buffet dinner. Presentations will include the science behind nutritional support in Alzheimer’s Disease.

Overall, 311 abstracts have been selected for presentation at this year’s ASM: 227 posters, 36 quick fire and 48 oral presentations. Thank you to all of those who took part in the review process. We are delighted with the diversity and quality of abstracts; the process has proven clear and rigorous.

A number of awards will be presented to participants whose abstracts are deemed of highest merit. Awards will be open to all participants, with some special awards for separate disciplines. This year a new award, The Professor Davis Coakley award, will be presented to an individual who distinguishes themselves as the artist of a piece judged to be of outstanding merit. We are delighted with the wide ranging response to this award, which reflects Davis Coakley’s own contribution to the Arts and Health.

Single handedly, Ms Edel McDaid has continued to develop the IGS podcast series. Edel represents the HSCP members on the IGS executive. She conceived and developed the IGS podcast series which continues to grow. I urge you to tune into some of her recent podcasts. Should you have an idea for a podcast please do contact Edel through askigspodcast@gmail.com.

The IGS  hosted a number of popular public lectures this year, jointly supported by the HSE and IGS. This public outreach initiative aims to better the health and well-being of Ireland’s ageing population. Topics included ‘Looking after lived in Skin’ by Prof Patrick Ormond; ‘Room to improve as we age: future proofing our homes and communities’ by Prof Rodd Bond; ‘Loving in Later Life: It’s not over unless you want it to be: Sexuality in later life’ by Dr Mary Rogan. These video recordings can be viewed by logging into the website (https://www.irishgerontology.com/public-lectures) and have proven very popular.



It is with great sadness that we remember Dr Denis Keating, who died in Dublin on 5th of July, 2023 at the age of 88 years.  Dr Keating was the first Consultant Physician in Geriatric Medicine in St. Vincent’s University Hospital and fourth appointed Geriatrician in this country. A quiet and unassuming gentleman, he was passionate about promoting Geriatric Medicine and the needs of older persons.  The large number of messages and comments by colleagues and others attest to an individual who inspired and touched the lives of many in a unique way.

At a national level, he was a founding member of the Irish Society of Physicians in Geriatric   Medicine in 1979 and also served as President of the Irish Gerontological Society. Outside medicine, Dr Keating had a keen interest in music and regularly attended the Wexford Opera Festival.  He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of history and constantly amazed people with his accuracy on facts and dates, related with a casual unassertive air. He will be much missed but vividly remembered by all who worked with him and knew him. Ave atque vale.

To the many sponsors of our ASM, a very sincere thank you as we could not host this event without your support. 

We look forward to welcoming everyone, guests, delegates, sponsors and exhibitors, to the ASM.  As we look to the years ahead together, I wish everyone an ASM that is informative, engaging and inspiring. 

Regius Professor Rose Anne Kenny,

President, IGS