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Irish Gerontology
March 2015



The Irish Gerontological Society, together with the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics - European Region, would be grateful if you could kindly forward this important newsletter update to your colleagues and friends to whom it may be of interest.



Announcement: Programme At a Glance is Now Available Online


To help you to plan your visit to our meeting, we have just published our Programme At A Glance online.


>> Congress website (At A Glance Programme)


Please note:  all convenors and presenting authors (symposium, oral, poster) must register online as delegates by 7th March 2015.



Update from Prof. Des O'Neill, Chair Local Organising Committee


Dear Colleagues,


With just under two months to to go, the release of the full programme of the IAGG-ER Congress indicates the vitality of research and education in gerontology in Europe.


We are delighted to include a symposium from the European Commission on the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing and we are sure that the combination of a broad range of cutting-edge scholarship and warm welcome in Dublin will make this congress truly memorable.

With kind regards

Best regards

Des O' Neill



Continuing the Series of Introductions to our Keynote Speakers


Prof.dr. Dorly J. H. Deeg, The Netherlands


Prof.dr. Deeg is professor of Epidemiology of Ageing at the VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and scientific director of the ongoing Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. By education a methodologist, she has worked mainly in the areas of public health and gerontology. Her over 500 publications address longevity, chronic conditions, functional limitations, mental health, personal competence, social support, and methodology of longitudinal research. Current interests include health care, time trends and cross-national comparison. Prof. Deeg is founding editor (with prof.dr. H.-W. Wahl) of the European Journal of Ageing, and past chair of the Netherlands Society of Gerontology.


Prof. Paul Knight, Scotland


Professor Knight is immediate past President of the British Geriatrics Society.  Previously he was President of the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society and Registrar of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. He is Associate Medical Director of the Rehabilitation and Assessment Directorate of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde where he is primarily a community geriatrician. He is Director of Medical Education and Deputy Responsible Officer for NHS GGC which is responsible for 25% of Scotland’s population.
Professor Knight holds an honorary chair in medicine at University of Glasgow Medical School and in Clinical Leadership at the Business School. He holds visiting chairs at Brunel University London, Ohio University, and Northeast Ohio Medical University USA.


Prof. Eamon O'Shea, Ireland


Eamon O’Shea is a Personal Professor in Economics at the National University of Ireland Galway. He is also a Research Professor at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology.  He has 30 years experience of working nationally and internationally in the related fields of health economics, the economics of the welfare state and the economics of ageing.


Research Profile
Eamon O’Shea is a Personal Professor in the School of Business & Economics. He has had over 90 papers published in peer-reviewed journals, including publications in top-ranked journals such as: the Journal of Health Economics, Social Science and Medicine, British Medical Journal, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Age and Ageing, Ageing and Society, Health Policy, International Journal of Health Technology Assessment, European Journal of Health Economics, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and the Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics. He has authored/co-authored 15 books and monographs, mainly in the field of ageing and social policy. He has been responsible for numerous reports commissioned by national and international agencies, including: the National Council on Ageing and Older People, The Department of Health and Children, the Health Research Board, the European Commission and the European Council. Professor O’Shea has also contributed 25 chapters to various books, mainly on ageing and inequality issues. His work has been influential in setting the agenda for the ongoing reform of the long-stay sector in Ireland, particularly in relation to funding, priority-setting and dementia. His current research is focused on the economics of dementia, health care evaluation and rural ageing.





Prof. J. Bernard Walsh, Ireland


Consultant Physician, Bone Health and Osteoporosis Unit,  St.  James’s Hospital,  Clinical Professor, Department of Medical Gerontology,  Trinity College Dublin
Professor Walsh is the Current Director of Mercer’s institute for Research on Ageing at  St James’s Hospital, recent Past- President of the  Irish Gerontological Society,  Graduate of University College Cork. 


He is a previous Visiting Professor to the University of California, San Francisco, also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland  as well as a Fellow of the Royal College of Edinburgh.  He is a member of the British Geriatrics Society  and a member of the International Osteoporosis Society as well as a member of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research  and a member of the European Calcified Tissue Society. 


Professor Walsh is a founding member and current Vice-Chair of the National Dementia Information and Development Centre, also a previous Chairman of the Consultants’ Committee of The Irish Medical Organisation.  He is the current Chairman of the Department of Health National Long Term Care Charges Repayments Committee .  He is the author of over a hundred peer review papers in the area of Memory, Vitamin D, Bone Health, Vascular Medicine, Infectious diseases and general medical problems in the elderly.



List of Participating Countries (updated)


In our last newsletter, we included a list of some of the countries from which we have accepted abstracts for symposium, oral or poster presentation.  We were surprised at the level of interest this generated and you asked us if we could give you a more complete list next time.  Here you go!


Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Southern Territories, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan , Kenya, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Russian Federation, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Province of China, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, United States Minor Outlying Islands






St Patrick's Day - Lá Fhéile Pádraig


As you know, we celebrate our national holiday and patron saint in the month of March each year. Here are some interesting, and in some cases surprising, facts about this important milestone in the Irish calendar.


St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain. It is argued whether his birthplace was in Scotland or Wales, but he certainly wasn't an Irishman.  He was brought to Ireland by slavers when he was a teenager.  After spending most of his adult life converting the pagans of Ireland to Christianity, St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 AD.


The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in Boston on March 18 1737.  We didn't have our first parade in Ireland (Dublin) until over a century later in 1931.


Contrary to common belief, St. Patrick didn't banish even one snake from the Emerald Isle.  There is no evidence that snakes have ever existed in Ireland. It's too cold and damp here for sensitive serpents!


Have some time free during Congress? You can view St. Patrick's Bell (and also shrines of his jaw and tooth!) in The National Museum.  The Royal Irish Academy houses St. Patrick's copy of the four gospels.


From 1927 to 1961, the only place you could legally get a drink in Ireland was at the Royal Dublin Dog Show.


These days, St. Patrick's Day celebrations take place over a four-day festival.  The theme of the 2015 festival is 'Celebrate Now'.  Planned activities include a treasure hunt, a funfair, walking tours, street theatre, music workshops and, of course, our world-famous parade.  You can read more about the festival here.




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Contact Details


Miriam Ahern

Tel: 00 353 (0)86 804 4595