Midwest Empowerment and Equality Conference 2019 to address social issues affecting both women and men

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Richard Lynch, ilovelimerick.com, Sr Helen Culhane, Children's Grief Centre, style queen Celia Holman Lee, Dr Mary Ryan, Consultant Endocrinologist, Bon Secours Hospital, Anne Cronin, NOVAS and fitness expert Leane Moore. (Pic: Conor Owens/ilovelimerick)

The Midwest Empowerment and Equality Conference is designed to empower, educate and encourage men and women both young and old to take better care of themselves and will take place on Wednesday 1st May at the University Concert Hall.

The conference is organised and presented by Dr Mary Ryan, Consultant Endocrinologist, Bon Secours at Barrington’s Limerick and Senior Lecturer at Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS), University of Limerick.

Dr Ryan said, “The conference has been organised as a means of giving back to society by empowering, educating and encouraging men and women, both young and old, how to empower one’s self to take better care of themselves. We realise the importance of the education of young men and women, so one of the major highlights of the conference will be ten-minute presentations from our guest speakers on the topic of how the empowerment of women and men improves health and social outcomes in society.”

Mary Harney, Chancellor of UL will open the conference with guest speakers including Dr Mary Ryan, Endocrinologist and Lecturer, Mairead Mc Guinness MEP, Vice President of the European Parliament, political journalist and author Martina Fitzgerald, Professor James Gleeson, Department of Mathematics UL, actress and entrepreneur Danielle Ryan, Dr Deirdre Fanning, Consultant Urologist Bon Secours Hospital and Professor Desmond Fitzgerald, President of the University of Limerick.

There will also be discussion panels featuring guests from the fields of business, sports, entertainment, health, and academia, discussing social issues affecting the empowerment of both women and men such as male suicide, sexual consent, equality in sport and media coverage, drug addiction and pay equality across genders.

Panel guests include children’s author Fiona Dillon, Minister Patrick O’Donovan, Professor Linda Coates, Dr Julie O’Brien, Margaret O’Connor, MD Quigleys, actress Aoibhin Garrihy, fitness expert Leanne Moore, style queen Celia Holman Lee, politician Willie O’Dea, Paddy Flannery, Moyross Community Centre, Winifred Ryan, Head of Communications in the HSE, Tony O’Riordan, CEO of Midlands Simon Community, Ann Marie Gill, Chairperson of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Tracey Lynch, CEO of Tait House Community Enterprise, hockey player Siobhan Loughran, author and lecturer Dr Joe Putti, Ann O’Dwyer, Director of Education Kerry, nutritionist Olivia Beck, PhD student Eoin White, and Motivational Speaker Sean Dwan and Sean Hoolan of the HSE Health Business Services.

There will be five-minute presentations on the topics of empowerment and equality by eight Transition and fifth-year students from schools across the Midwest. These eight students have been chosen from a competition run earlier this year to see who would represent each school. Each presentation will be judged by an esteemed panel of judges including Dr Ita Richardson, Head of Gender Equality UL, Prof Deirdre Mc Grath, Head of Gems Medical School and Dr Marie Connolly, Head of Quality and Diversity UL. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive a prize, with all participants receiving a plaque to commemorate their achievement.

Professor Desmond Fitzgerald, President of the University of Limerick said, "I am delighted to be a key speaker at this conference that is set to empower both women and men. This conference is for both young and old but to make it accessible to young people, 400 free tickets are being given to Transition Year students from schools across the Midwest region. These students are an investment into our future.”

Dr Ryan added, “Cleanmarine is an event sponsor and helped subsidise our costs and the event is also not for profit so any profit will be donated to our two chosen charities, Novas Initiatives, a voluntary agency that works with single people, families and children who are disadvantaged and socially excluded and Children’s Grief Centre, a free support service for children and young people aged 4 to 18 years who have experienced a loss through bereavement, separation or divorce.”

The conference will run on Wednesday 1st May at the University Concert Hall, from 9.30am (registration) to 3.30pm, and light entertainment and refreshments are included so book your tickets at the UCH Box office at 061 331549 or at www.UCH.ie as soon as possible for what promises to be a major highlight in this year’s conference calendar. Tickets are €28 plus booking fee. #MEEC2019.

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