The 2019 Conference took place in the Charleville Park Hotel, Co. Cork on 30th May and was well attended by members from all around the country. We were delighted to welcome so many familiar faces and to see some new ones also. The Conference is always a wonderful opportunity for members and friends to meet and catch up, providing that invaluable support and social aspect to being a polio survivor.
At this year’s Conference, we had a variety of speakers present, including guest speakers Deirdre Ryan from Chronic Pain Ireland and Dr Meredith Raley from the Disability Federation of Ireland.
Deirdre discussed how chronic pain can deeply impact the quality of life of an individual, but by pacing yourself and finding the perfect balance of moderate exercise and relaxation, you can live comfortably and with peace of mind. She suggested making a schedule to follow during the week and working around it to help YOU feel your absolute best. And remember: Consistency is key!
Meredith led her presentation about the human rights treaty most recently signed by the United Nations: The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It was signed in 2007 and was ratified in Ireland Spring 2018. She spoke about how the implementation process has already begun in certain parts of the nation and how one may build awareness for the UNCRPD, like by citing it to policymakers or writing it into official literature. Our own member, Mick Keegan reminded attendees during the Q&A, that they have the right to ask businesses to make changes to improve accessibility thanks to the treaty.
Our Chairperson Pat McGillion gave a presentation on the strategic plans that have been put in place to compensate for loss of income as well as new board developments that are in progress. Our Treasurer Macrina Clancy presented the annual income report for 2018.
Our Annual General Meeting was successful in ratifying all motions this year. We would like to congratulate our newest board directors Robert Alcorn and Frank Mitchell as well board members Fintan Foy, Elaine Twomey, and Miriam Kavanagh whose board membership were all ratified at this year’s AGM!
Staff members, Emma Clarke Conway and Niamh Murphy also gave a report on the success of the Polio Register in 2018 – detailing how the Register was promoted and the results of the campaign, with to date close to 300 registrants – all polio survivors living in Ireland with whom we have not previously been in contact with.
For videos on the presentations at the 2019 Conference, please click here. We hope to see you at next year’s conference!