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2022 Midwest Empowerment and Equality Conference presents a stellar lineup of guest speakers this November 11, 2022, at UCH

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MEEC 2022 Guest speakers include a variety of experienced professionals across an array of fields including Dr Mary Ryan, Irish broadcaster and journalist Lorraine Keane, Irish educator and consultant clinical psychologist Dr Tony Humphreys, professional coach and mentor Aidan O’Brien, domestic abuse survivor Noelle Grant Matthews and entrepreneurs and empowerment gurus Laura Dowling and Oonagh O’Hagan.

The conference at is designed to empower, educate, and encourage men and women young and old to take better care of themselves

The 2022 Midwest Empowerment and Equality Conference will take place on Friday, November 11, 2022, at the University Concert Hall and is designed to empower, educate, and the MEEC 2022 guest speakers want to encourage men and women both young and old to take better care of themselves.

The conference is presented by Dr Mary Ryan, Consultant Endocrinologist, Bon Secours at Barrington’s Limerick, and The Beacon and also Senior Lecturer at Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS), University of Limerick.


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Dr Ryan said, “I organised this conference with the help of Richard Lynch of I Love Limerick as a means of giving back to society by empowering, educating, and encouraging men and women both young and old to how to empower oneself to take better care of themselves. We realise the importance of the education of young men and women, so one of the major highlights of the conference will be ten-minute presentations from our guest speakers on the topic of how the empowerment of women and men improves health and social outcomes in society.”

MEEC 2022 Guest speakers include Dr Mary Ryan, Irish broadcaster and journalist Lorraine Keane, Irish educator and consultant clinical psychologist Dr Tony Humphreys, professional coach and mentor Aidan O’Brien, domestic abuse survivor Noelle Grant Matthews and entrepreneurs and empowerment gurus Laura Dowling and Oonagh O’Hagan.

There will also be discussion panels featuring guests from the fields of business, sports, entertainment, health, and academia discussing social issues affecting the empowerment of both women and men such as male suicide, sexual consent, equality in sports and media coverage, drug addiction and pay equality across genders.

Panel guests include John Lannon, CEO of human rights organisation Doras, Linda Ledger, Manager of St Munchin’s Community Centre, Miriam Duffy, Executive Director at Rape Crisis Midwest, Una Burns, Head of Advocacy and Communications at homelessness organisation Novas, Helen Culhane, Founder of Children’s Grief Centre, Helen O’Donnell, Limerick Tidy Towns Chairperson, Lisa Daly, Chairperson of Limerick Pride, female sports trailblazer Jackie McCarthy-O’Brien, nutritional therapist Olivia Beck, success coach Fiona Brennan, executive coach Margaret Valette O’Connor, consultant radiologist Julie O’Brien, sociologist Amanda Haynes and direct provision activist Donnah Sibanda Vuma, with other panellists to be announced shortly.

There will be five-minute presentations on the topics of empowerment and equality by eight Transition and fifth-year students from schools across the Midwest. These eight students have been chosen from a competition run earlier this year to see who would represent each school. Each presentation will be judged by an esteemed panel of judges. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive a prize, with all participants receiving a plaque to commemorate their achievement.

Co-organiser Richard Lynch said, “Cleanmarine is an event sponsor and helped subsidise our costs and the event is also not for profit so any profit will be donated to our two chosen charities, Novas Initiatives, a voluntary agency that works with single people, families and children who are disadvantaged and socially excluded and Children’s Grief Centre, a free support service for children and young people aged 4 to 18 years who have experienced a loss through bereavement, separation or divorce. 400 free tickets are being given to Transition Year students from schools across the Midwest region. These students are an investment into our future.”

Meet the MEEC 2022 Guest Speakers – 

Dr Mary Ryan graduated from Trinity College with an MB BCH BAO the Peter Shepherd Memorial Prize, Adelaide Travel Scholarship Award and Honours in the Foundation Scholarship where she specialised in female infertility.  She was appointed Consultant Physician and Endocrinology at Barringtons Hospital in 2001 and at Aut Even Hospital in Kilkenny where she runs four clinics per month. She lectures to GPs nationwide and also to the public on the prevention of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes and its complications. She is on the Women’s Heart Advisory Group for the Irish Heart Foundation and lectured to the public at the Royal College of Physicians Dublin on the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. She has a very successful podcast called Empowering Women and its mission is to empower women and create equality everywhere. Visit her site HERE

Ann Marie Gill, Chair of the Dublin Rape Crisis, and The National 24-Hour Help Line, will open the conference. Ann Marie is deputy Chair of Glór, Professor at Cork University Business School, A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, and holds a Bachelor of Business Studies Hons and an MSc in Quality Management from University of Limerick. Ann Marie is an experienced Management Consultant in the area of Leadership Practice, Human Resource and Change Management. She is a former Senior Vice President at GE Capital and Genworth Financial.

Dr Tony Humphries is an Irish educator, a consultant clinical psychologist, the founder of the Relationship Mentoring modality of Psychotherapy and the author of eleven self-help books translated into 15 languages and available in 28 countries. He began his career as a Clinical Psychologist in State Psychiatric and Psychological Services in England and Ireland and since 1990 has been working in private practice in Ireland.

Lorraine Keane is an IFTA-nominated Irish broadcaster and journalist. She is best known as the entertainment news correspondent for TV3 (now known as Virgin Media One) and presenter of the daily entertainment show Xpose, which covered all things relating to fashion, make-up, and celebrity news. Lorraine dips her foot into everything as she is a Content Creator, TV Presenter, Co-Owner Magic Hairbrush, Founder of Fashion Relief, and a Brand Communicator.

Oonagh O’Hagan is the owner and Managing Director of the Meagher’s Pharmacy group since 2001. The Meagher’s Pharmacy Group has won many awards including the JCI friendly business award in 2010 and they are the proud employer of the Young Pharmacist of the Year 2011, Eugene Renehan. Oonagh holds a BSc degree in Pharmacy from Trinity College Dublin and qualified in 1996.

Aidan O’Brien is an accomplished professional coach and mentor to many career professionals, business owners, senior-level executives, and large companies all over the world and has spoken on stage to over 300,000 people on 5 continents over the past 15 years. Aidan will stimulate and empower you to do a self-analysis that will reveal your true innermost nature and guide you to become the version of you that you know you are meant to be. He will unlock how you see yourself, how you look at your role in the world and how you move through the world in a way you may never have been able to before.

Laura Dowling is a pharmacist and scientist by training, having graduated from the School of Pharmacy, Trinity College Dublin in 2002. For over twenty years, she has been on a mission to optimise wellness by educating and empowering people to achieve sustainable, healthy lifestyles. Her dedication to the role was recognised when she was awarded the prestigious 2022 Pharmacist of The Year Award. Online she is known as “The Fabulous Pharmacist”.  Her Instagram page is dedicated to sharing relatable and passionate advice about health, family, self-care, and well-being. Laura is also the founder of FabuWellness her very own nutritional supplement range. 

Noelle Grant Matthews is a content creator who shares her plus size outfit inspirations with the world. She is unapologetically herself. Noelle is a survivor of domestic abuse and coercive control, she credits therapy, family support and her very supportive husband as to what put her on the road to recovery.

The 2022 Midwest Empowerment and Equality Conference will run on Friday, November 11 at the University Concert Hall, from 9.30 am (Registration) to 3.30 pm, and light entertainment and refreshments are included.

Tickets are €30 plus the booking fee at the UCH Box office at 061 331549 or go HERE

For more stories on Empowerment, go HERE

Pictured are organisers Dr Mary Ryan (in green) and Richard Lynch, I Love Limerick (far right) with panellists from left to right Lisa Daly, Chairperson of Limerick Pride, female sports trailblazer Jackie McCarthy-O’Brien, John Lannon, CEO Doras, success coach Fiona Brennan, nutritional therapist Olivia Beck, Una Burns, Novas Head of Advocacy & Communications, Helen Culhane, Founder of Children’s Grief Centre, Linda Ledger, Manager of St Munchin’s Community Centre, Miriam Duffy, Rape Crisis Midwest and Helen O’Donnell. Chairperson Limerick Tidy Towns. Picture: Olena Oleksienko/ilovelimerick

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.