Forum Conference 2011 – Croke Park

Forum 2011 Overview

Forum 2011 was chaired by the Chairperson of the National Council of the Forum on End of Life, Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness. She is a retired Supreme Court judge, and has been president of the Law Reform Commission.

Michael O’Reilly, Chairman of the Irish Hospice Foundation, closed the day with thanks to all, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the other speakers, workshop leaders, the Forum staff, and particularly Róisín Clarke, the Forum 2011 organiser. He had a special word of thanks to all who had come from near and far to participate.

Mícheál O’Muircheartaigh introduced Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Forum 2011 Micheal O'Muircheartaigh

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, in launching Think Ahead, said he had a “huge affection for the Irish Hospice Foundation….huge respect for its work. I share their vision that no one should have to face death or bereavement without the appropriate care and support.” Download

Forum 2011 Enda Kenny

Presenting Think Ahead: Mervyn Taylor and Sarah Murphy presented Think Ahead Download

Forum 2011 Mervyn Taylor

Dr Brendan O’Shea outlined a Think Ahead pilot project in Dublin

Mark Hazlewood in his contribution on “Scotland and Ireland: can we learn from each other?” spoke about the essential need to move palliative and end-of-life care beyond the professional world and make it everyone’s business. (Download)

Let us Remember How we Once Dealt With Death:  Eithne Hyland shared her experiences on how she personally dealt with the loss of Geraldine, Lisa, and Thomas as well as her husband Tom. (Download)

Mary Holland Commemorative Lecture 2011: Conor O’Clery: As we all know, death is as inevitable as taxes. And just as inevitable is the fact that we who are still living will judge a person – and will formulate their legacy – by their best use of their talents and their resilience in the face of life’s setbacks. Which again sums up the legacy of Mary Holland, who continues to inspire us today. (Download)

Professor Tom Inglis: It is so easy, when people are dying, to assume what they want to hear, but there is always a danger that what we say does not provide the comfort we think, but that it is, rather, a form of symbolical domination, of forcing words and meanings on them that are not their own. (Download)

Forum 2011 Workshops:

  • The Medicalisation of Dying – Professor Aidan Halligan (Download)
  • Carers – Marie Lynch, Head of Development, Irish Hospice Foundation (Download)
  • Preparing the Public – Kathy McLoughlin & Marie Richardson (Download)
  • Spiritual and Psychological Support – Bruce Pierce
  • Ita Mangan, barrister and social policy analyst, reflected on the themes of the workshops and the overall day.

Artistic Contributions:

Music was provided by the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, the choir of which sang excerpts from Handel’s “Messiah”.

Deirdre Seaver, harpist, singer and liturgist, played the harp.

Forum 2011 - Deirdre Seaver performs

Denis Conway, the actor, recited Stephen Levine’s “In the Realm of the Passing Away”.


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