REPORTS OF MEETINGS HELD IN 2017
There was a major development in the composition of the Committee at today's meeting: Jonathan Larkin was unanimously elected by those present as chairperson. The secretary was instructed to write a letter to the outgoing chairperson, Paul Smyth, to thank him for his services over the past few years during which he did a lot to improve the image of the group.
The order of speakers for the 2018 workshop (Mental Health Care in Louth 1918–2018 and Beyond) was decided as follows
- Dennis Pringle, geographer
- Lisa Butterly, historian
- Michael McCreanor, retired psychiatric nurse, local historian - Ardee
- Jim Walsh, Irish Advocacy Network
- Sean Crudden, secretary IMPERO
It was decided that when their presentations are finished the workshop will split up into 3 groups to discuss the following topics and report back to the concluding round table session.
Dennis Pringle is to create a flier for this workshop along the lines of the flier he created for the previous workshop on homelessness. The secretary is to contact Edel McMullan in Dundalk FM 100 to seek an interview for some Tuesday morning in January to publicize the workshop.
The secretary reported he had received a grant from LEO, Dundalk towards the costs of the workshopwas. He was instructed to write to Denise Belton to thank her.
On other business, Dermot Mooney reported that he had decided not to put his name forward to serve on the Louth PPN, even though there was now another vacancy. The next meeting is scheduled for 10th September.
There was a lengthy discussion about the Louth Public Participation Network (PPN). Dermot Mooney is to explore the website (Louthppn.ie) before deciding whether to engage further on behalf of the group.
Sean Crudden reported on talks he had held with potential speakers for next year's Annual Workshop. Although receiving a few setbacks, his discussions opened up contacts with several new potential speakers. Although we are currently looking at something to do with mental health, it is still unclear what form the Workshop would take. Although a talk on the history of the Ardee facility is an attractive possibility, it was felt we should try to find some way to broaden out the topic to allow more discussion from the floor. One option might be to hold a discussion on the future of mental health services based on our experiences with the past? Have we, for example, moved too far from institutionalisation? Do institutions still have a role to play, and if so what would be the ideal balance between institutions and community services?
The meeting closed after conducting a few housekeeping matters.
Some initial discussion was held about possible topics for next year's Workshop. Sean Crudden suggested that something on the history of the mental health facilities in Ardee would make an interesting topic. He further suggested that we might attempt to commission a study by a local expert, to be loaded up on this website in advance of the Workshop. This of course would be dependent upon our nominated expert being willing to do such a study. Sean is to approach the person we have in mind to see if he would be willing to undertake such a study. Two other possible topics were briefly discussed as possible fall-backs should our first choice option not prove feasible.
The website manager reported that our putative mapping project had hit something of a brick wall, but noted that a new page had been added to the website containing links to a other sites providing maps of health-related data. This may be viewed here.
A provisional timetable for six meetings to be held before the next Workshop was agreed. The 2018 Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, 27th January at 2pm.
Seán Crudden and Michael Desmond Hynes were interviewed by Michael Duffy about the Workshop on the Morning programme on Dundalk FM 100. It was felt the interview went very well.