A Statutory Homecare Scheme for Ireland

Exploring the establishment of a statutory homecare scheme in Ireland

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Presented by the Irish Gerontological Society (IGS) and Irish Social Policy Association (ISPA)

When: Friday, 26th May 2017, from 9.00 am

Where: Education Centre, Our Lady's Hospice & Care Services, Harold's Cross, Dublin 6W


Click here to see the full programme

The Irish Gerontological Society, in collaboration with the Irish Social Policy Association, was delighted to present an interdisciplinary symposium on reform in the provision of homecare in Ireland; specifically the development of an Irish statutory homecare scheme.

Key experts discussed aspects of such a statutory homecare scheme from a number of perspectives including clinical, economic and policy. This multi-dimensional exploration of the future of homecare in Ireland will situated attendees firmly in the policy making process, offering a unique opportunity to make an informed input during the consultative process of the scheme.

Speakers included: Brendan Courtney (RTE presenter), Elaine O Connor (Connolly Hospital & Irish Gerontological Society), Justin Moran (Age Action), Virginia Pye (Public Health Nursing, HSE), Maeve O'Brien (Department of Health), Dr. Rachel Kiersey (Health Research Board), Dr Catriona Murphy (Dublin City University/TILDA), Prof. Desmond O’Neill (Consultant Geriatrician, Tallaght Hospital), Padraic Fleming (SPHeRE/NUI Maynooth), Prof Eamon O'Shea (Irish Centre for Social Gerontology), Dr Siobhan Kennelly (National Clinical Care Programme for Older People) and Michael Fitzgerald (HSE Services for Older People)

IGS symposium

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Funding Higher Education

Funding Higher Education: Why and How

 Sponsored by:UCD School SPSWSJ

Wednesday, 15th February 2017, 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm

Carmelite Centre, Aungier Street, Dublin 2

Speaker: Peter Cassells (Maynooth University)

Chair of the Expert Group on Future Funding for Higher Education 



The seminar, which was hosted in association with the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice at UCD, consisted of a presentation from Peter Cassells with questions and discussion afterwards. 

Speaker biography

Peter Cassells is Executive Director at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention at Maynooth University. He also chaired the recent Expert Group on Future Funding for Higher Education.


Investing in National Ambition – A Strategy for Funding Higher Educationthe report of the Expert Group on Future Funding for Higher Education was published in March 2016. This presentation, based on the report and its findings, sets out the scale of long-term funding requirements for the higher education system. It identifies three funding options which can deliver the increased investment for institutions and students. They each have relative strengths and weaknesses but each one, depending on your perspective, is a credible and feasible option provided that it is implemented fully and in a committed and coherent manner. The choice between them will require careful consideration. The full report is available here: https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/Investing-in-National-Ambition-A-Strategy-for-Funding-Higher-Education.pdf

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Growing Up In Ireland

Cherishing all the children equally?

Monday, 5th December, 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm, Management House, DIT, Aungier St, D 2.

Speaker: James Williams (ESRI)


The seminar consisted of a presentation from James Williams, followed by questions and debate. 


Speaker biography

James Williams is a Research Professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and is Principal Investigator and Co-director of the National Longitudinal Study of Children in Ireland (NLSCI).  Full bio available here.


The Growing Up in Ireland Study has followed the progress of almost 20,000 children across Ireland to collect a host of information to help improve our understanding of all aspects of children and their development. 

A recent report from researchers at the ESRI has used this data to provide the first comprehensive analysis of inequalities among children in modern Ireland. The report assembled findings from 10 years of the Growing Up in Ireland study to provide an authoritative description of how factors such as education, family and health in 21st Century Ireland influence children’s outcomes.

The ground-breaking findings from the first longitudinal profile of children in Ireland provide insights into critical points in child development, allowing the authors of the book to investigate if the words in the 1916 Proclamation of Independence, resolving to “…cherish all of the children of the nation equally”, have been realised 100 years on from the Easter Rising.

The book finds that despite many improvements in education, health and socio-emotional outcomes in the last century, children’s wellbeing in contemporary Ireland is largely shaped by parental circumstances and social position, resulting in persistent inequalities. The findings in the book point to implications for public policy that could support families most in need and help children to reach their potential regardless of family circumstances, health or ethnic background.

The seminar will explore these issues and is being delivered by James Williams, Research Professor at the ESRI, one of the authors of the recent report and the Principle Investigator of the Growing Up in Ireland Study.

Slides from the seminar are available here.

The report is available here.

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Research Conference

Social Policy in Recession and Recovery
in association with the Social Research Association (SRA).

Friday, 1st July 2016. Carmelite Centre, Aungier Street, Dublin 2.


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The last decade has been one of dramatic change for Ireland. Through boom, bust, austerity and recovery, Irish society has experienced challenges, opportunities, successes and failures.Throughout the period, the impact of these  experiences has been felt differently by people in different sectors, regions, age groups and socio-economic categories. Given the dramatic nature of these changes, questions arise for all areas of policy, including social policy, as we look back and look forward.

The conference was intended to provide a forum for researchers in social policy and related academic fields. We accepted papers that reflected on the conference theme, however interpreted, and encouraged debate around the following issues:

  • Poverty, Inequality and Living Standards
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Employment, Unemployment, Work and Migration
  • Taxation, Social Security and Welfare Reform
  • Gender and Family
  • Health, Social Care and Ageing
  • Disability
  • The Community and Voluntary Sector
  • Children
  • Pensions
  • Public Services/Public Service Reform
  • Social Policy and the Justice System
  • Dependency/Addiction
  • Basic Income
  • Rural Ireland

The conference consisted of an opening plenary, with speakers Michelle Norris (UCD) and Sean O'Riain (Maynooth University), followed by discussion.

This was followed by four periods of break-outs seminars, each with four themed parallel sessions.

We'd like to thank our sponsors: The Environmental Sustainability and Health Institute at DIT, the Irish Gerontological Society, the Nevin Economic Research Institute, Social Justice Ireland, TASC, the School of Social Work and Social Policy at TCD, and particularly the Social Research Association, in association with whom the conference was organised.

The conference programme is available here.

The conference slides are available here.

A full list of the conference abstracts are available here.

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Wealth Distribution in Ireland: new data, new insights

Tuesday, 1st March 2016. Management House, Dublin Institute of Technology, Aungier Street, Dublin 2.

The seminar consisted of a presentation from Rory Hearne of TASC, followed by questions and debate. The slides from the presentation are available here.

Presentation Abstract

Understanding the distribution of wealth is central to our understanding of economic inequality. Highly unequal societies are typified by high levels of wealth concentration, where wealth is held by very few people. Wealth tends to be distributed more unequally than income, and a highly unequal distribution of wealth causes problems for both the economy and society.

Measuring wealth is notoriously difficult. There is a lack of administrative data on wealth holdings, while surveys of wealth typically underestimate the wealth of those at the top.

Until recently, very little was known about the distribution of wealth in Ireland. The most comprehensive study of wealth in Ireland was from Nolan in 1991, which relied on data from 1987. The publication in 2015 of the results of the CSO’s “Household Finance and Consumption Survey”, part of a Euro-area survey, has generated new data on wealth in Ireland.

This presentation presents an analysis of this new data aimed at establishing new insights into the current distribution of wealth in Ireland and how it has changed over time. It also looks at what is driving the distribution of wealth in Ireland including real assets, financial assets, land and debt. The paper looks at the wealth by different household structures, including single adults, couples without children, couples with children and single-parent households. The presentation is based on TASC research on Ireland’s wealth distribution.


​Speaker biography: Rory Hearne is Senior Policy Analyst in TASC, the Think Tank for Action on Social Change. He has a PhD in Political and Economic Geography from Trinity College Dublin and worked as a Post-Doctoral researcher with the Department of Sociology, Maynooth on the impacts of austerity on human rights. Rory was also a Lecturer in Political and Economic Geography in the Department of Geography, Maynooth. He also worked as a policy researcher and community development worker with Barnardos and the inner-city Dolphin House Community Project. He has researched and published extensively in the areas of housing, politics, political economy, privatisation, human rights, social movements, and community development. He is author of the book Public Private Partnerships in Ireland published by Manchester University Press (2011).

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