Dr Rhona Mahony is the former Master of The National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street in Dublin. Dr Mahony is the first woman to hold such a position in Ireland. Dr Mahony from Dublin is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and a specialist in foetal and maternal medicine at the hospital.Her research into topics such as maternal weight gain and pelvic floor injuries following childbirth has been published in a number of international medical journals. Dr Mahony studied medicine at University College Dublin, graduating in 1994 with first class honours in obstetrics and gynaecology. She is married with four children.
Anna Ní Ghallachair is Head of the School of Celtic Studies and Director of the Centre for Irish Language Research, Teaching and Testing at Maynooth University. She is a member of the executive committee of the Association of Languages Testers in Europe (ALTE), of the Indicator Expert Group on Multilingualism at the European Commission and of the Royal Irish Academy’s Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication Committee. She is a former chairperson of the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics and Raidió na Gaeltachta and was reappointed chairperson of Údarás na Gaeltachta in January 2018 for a second five-year term. She has also served on a number of committees in Ireland and abroad focusing on the teaching and promotion of languages. In 2008 she was made Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques by the French Government in recognition of her services to plurilingualism.
Patsy McGonagle was Irish athletics team manager for 25 years, during which time he led the cream of Irish track and field (including Sonia O’Sullivan, Rob Heffernan, David Gillick, Derval O’Rourke and Mark English) into 4 Olympic Games, 6 World Championships and 6 European Championships. In his time in charge, Ireland came home with 2 Olympic medals, 9 World medals and 27 European medals.A graduate from St Mary’s College for Physical Education in London in 1972, Patsy never lost sight of his home county – he built Finn Valley Athletics Club into a world class facility, and twice served as a coach and selector with the Donegal senior football team. He is a native of Ballybofey.
Mervyn Ennis is a native of Dublin, Born in Tallaght in 1950 he was educated at Synge Street Secondary School and later attended College in Edinburgh, Swansea University Wales, University College Dublin where he completed his MA in Social Work. Mervyn worked as the Head Social Worker with the Irish Permanent Defence Forces from 1992 -2013 where he founded the Personne Support Service. He is also remembered for his work alongside the Traveler Community whose cause he championed in the High Court and Supreme in the 1980s and was the first Social worker to accompany a Traveller delegation to Strasbourg to articulate their Case. He encouraged Nan Joyce as the first Traveler candidate to stand for the Dáil and assisted in the founding of Mincéir Mislí and Pavee Point.Mervyn is also a poet and some of his work has appeared in English, Italian, Australian and Irish publications.
BCL, LLB, FCIArb, NP, STEP, CEDR Acr. Solicitor
Title: Mná in Brehon Law
Patrick O’Connor Managing Partner, P. O’Connor & Son, Solicitors, Swinford, Co Mayo practices in a developed family legal practice, steeped in tradition, to become a leading law firm in Connaught with a well-regarded national reputation. Pat is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and was appointed a Notary Public in 1977 and has served in four West of Ireland counties. He was appointed Coroner in 1989 and appointed Coroner for the three amalgamated newly created District of Mayo in 2016. Pat currently serves as Chairman of Mental Health Tribunal and is Chairperson of the Charity Appeals Tribunal since 2016. He served as President of Law Society of Ireland and Chairman and member of numerous Law Society committees. He plays an active role in Rugby as a member of Connaught Rugby Professional Game Board since 2011. He publications include Handbook for Coroners in the Republic of Ireland (1977) and many articles in journals and magazines on legal, business, historical, sporting, educational and philanthropic matters.
Mark Patrick Hederman
Title: Ireland:The Three Thousand Mile Myth
Mark Patrick Hederman is a Benedictine monk of Glenstal Abbey in Co. Limerick. Formerly the abbot and headmaster of their school, he has lectured in philosophy, theology and literature in Ireland, Nigeria and the USA. A founding editor of the cultural journal The Crane Bag, he is the author of several books. His most recent books include The Opal and the Pearl and Living the MYSTERY
Title: Blessed, Damned or In-between? Perceptions of the fate of souls in the Afterlife in Irish folklore
Anne O’Connor holds a PhD in Irish and international comparative folklore, and her academic work has been widely published, including monographs The Blessed and the Damned: Sinful Women and Unbaptised Children in Irish Folklore, Peter Lang AG, Bern 2005; Child Murderess and Dead-Child Traditions, A Comparative Study, Folklore Fellows Communications 249, Academia Scientiarum Fennica, Helsinki, 1991; and more recently, in collaboration with Anne Markey, Folklore and Modern Irish Writing, co-edited with Anne Markey, Irish Academic Press, Dublin, 2014. Anne is also a psychotherapist, and she has previously worked in both the IT industry, and for many years in RTÉ. She is currently Editor of Béaloideas, the Journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society.
Title: GRACE O’MALLEY: The Woman Behind the Legend
Anne Chambers is an author of ten biographies, including the best-selling Grace O’Malley – The Biography of Ireland’s Pirate Queen 1530-1603, an historical novel, a collection of short stories, as well as TV and film screenplays. Her most recent biography, The Great Leviathan: The Life of Howe Peter Browne, 2 nd Marquess of Sligo, 1788-1845 was critically acclaimed. Her books have been translated into many languages and have been the subject of TV and Radio documentaries for Discovery, The Learning Channel, Travel Channel, ABC Australia, BBC, BBC World Service, RTE and Lyric FM. Anne was short listed for the Irish Book Awards for her biographies of TK Whitaker in 2014, Eleanor Countess of Desmond in 1987 and for short stories at the 2004 Hennessey Literary Awards. She was awarded the 2018 Wild Atlantic Way Words Festival Hall of Fame Award in recognition of her contribution to Ireland’s literary tradition. Her two-act drama Matriarchs-The Pirate Queen and the Virgin Queen (Grace O’Malley and Queen Elizabeth 1) was premiered in Westport Town Theatre in August. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Ireland.
Title: It takes a Village
Chloe O’Malley is a 20 year old, student from Curradavitt. She was educated at the Holy Family National School Killeen, Sancta Maria College Secondary school in Louisburgh and is currently studying a BA Honours degree in Social Science Community and Youth Work in Maynooth University. Chloe is a Volunteer, Community Activist & Leader, Mentor & Motivator and a passionate young person positively making a difference in County Mayo. Chloe is involved in the following organisations: Foroige, Mindspace Mayo, Shaping Our Future Together, Louisburgh- Killeen Heritage and is a regular voluntary Community Activist in the Killeen/Louisburgh areas.