Ireland's Mindful Journey

May 31 2018 Posted: 10:00 IST

Mindfulness in Public Policy to be explored at NUI Galway conference

Impact of Mindfulness in Health, Education and Justice Systems to be the subject of “Ireland’s Mindful Journey” Event on June 14th.

 The development and impact of policy relating to mindfulness will be explored at a conference in NUI Galway on June 14th. The “Ireland’s Mindful Journey” event will explore how mindfulness is steadily making its way into our Health, Education and Justice systems from the ground up, and examine policy in these areas. The conference runs from 9.30-17.00 and places can be booked at  

Speakers include:

  • Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister of State at the Department of Education with special responsibility for Higher Education.
  • Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research and SFI Stokes Professor of GlycoSciences at NUI Galway.
  • Prof Craig Hassed of Monash University in Australia, whose teaching, research and clinical interests include mindfulness-based stress management.
  • Dr Ann Caulfield of Mindfulness Matters, a Mayo-based initiative, which has endeavoured to embed mindfulness into primary level education since 2011.
  • Dr Catherine O'Brien M.R.C.Psych . Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services) Inpatient Unit Merlin Park
  • Ms Mary Lovegrove of Mindful Nation Ireland, a not-for-profit organisation supporting and encouraging mindfulness and compassion initiatives in public life.
  • Niamh Bruce, former Executive Director and Director of Programmes for the Sanctuary (A non-profit meditation centre in Smithfield area for over 10 years. 
  • Eilis Barry, chief executive of FLAC, the Free Legal Advice Centres, an independent NGO that campaigns for access to justice.  
  • Ms Kate O’Flaherty, Head of Health and Wellbeing at Healthy Ireland, a Government-led initiative which promotes physical and mental health, and wellbeing.
  • Dr Paul D’Alton, Head and Clinical Lead of the Department of Psycho-oncology at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin and Founder and Co-Director of the MSc in Mindfulness Based Interventions in University College Dublin.
  • Leanne Robins, a Senior Medical Social Worker based within the CAMHS Inpatient Unit at Merlin Park Hospital, Galway. 
  • Michael O’Reilly,  a lawyer (Solicitor and Barrister) with an extensive background in legal practice, arts and culture, policy development, political consultancy, governance and strategic planning in the private and public spheres.
  • Ann Walsh, Lecturer in Marketing in the JE Carines School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway, where she is also Associate Head of Teaching & Learning.

    Extended speaker biographies  are available here

Speaking about the forthcoming event, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway said: “As mental health is becoming more of a priority issue for governments and policy makers, this conference will share experiences of mindfulness programmes nationally and internationally with a view to developing best practice and informing policy.

“Through research and a range of activities on our campuses, we are exploring how mindfulness contributes to improved wellbeing in our society. While there is often a focus on meditation, mindfulness is about far more than that. Its techniques can change how we relate to ourselves and to those around us by keeping us in the present moment to better respond to the situations we face. While there are many successful initiatives, mindfulness has yet to permeate policy in many areas, and we hope that these examples from the health, justice and education systems can highlight the potential for mindfulness to transform culture in a range of settings.”

The event will be of particular interest to researchers and policy makers working in the area of mindfulness. To book your free place at this one day event, visit

9:00am to 3:15pm Thursday 14th June 2018

G019 Lecture Theatre, Human Biology Building, NUI Galway