First Irish collaborative conference for children’s palliative care

Categories: Education.

Conference Chairs, Dr Siobhan Gallagher, Dr Jonathan Irwin and Prof Philip J. Larkin invite you to attend Ireland’s first conference on Children’s Palliative Care.  The conference is the collaborative vision and efforts of LauraLynn Children’s Hospice, Health Service Executive, Our Lady’s Children’s hospital, Crumlin, The Irish Association for Palliative Care (IAPC) and The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation and aims to bring together experts in the field of children’s palliative care and provide an opportunity for delegates to hear the latest research, be challenged by keynote speakers and build valuable networks. 

Children’s palliative care is a new and evolving speciality in its own right.  In Ireland, it is estimated that at least 1,400 children are living with a life-limiting condition and that on average 320 children will die each year from a life-limiting condition.  The majority of these deaths are in the first days, weeks and months of life.  Making sure these children and their families receive the best possible palliative care requires collaboration between many key stakeholders.

The programme for this conference reflects the range of services, knowledge and approaches to caring for a child and their family.  Those involved in organising and presenting at this conference recognise that working together is the best way to achieve excellence in care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

Programme topics include:

  • Children’s Palliative Care in Ireland: past, present and future
  • Palliative care for young adults
  • 360°  through Children’s Palliative Care – a family perspective
  • Decision making in Children’s Palliative Care
  • Children with exceptional healthcare needs: ‘Personhood’ and moral standing in the community
  • Neonatal Palliative Care: Issues in Ireland
  • Reflections on how to support a family of a child with a life-limiting illness
  • Bereaved Parents – a unique grief: What health professionals need to acknowledge
  • Common GI symptoms in children with LL conditions
  • Symptom control from a primary care perspective
  • The role of the outreach nurse in connecting home, hospital and hospice
  • Children’s Palliative Care: Scottish National Perspective – Can this be helpful elsewhere?

Plenary Speakers
The conference is honoured to have secured the following plenary speakers:

Dr Pat Carragher – Clinical Director of the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) and a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Dr Finella Craig – consultant in Paediatric Palliative Medicine at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH)


Keynote speakers

Keynote speakers at the conference will include:

Joanne Balfe – consultant paediatrician at LaurLynn Ireland’s Children’s Hospice and National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght.

Prof Billy Bourke – a consultant paediatric gastroenterologist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and Associate Professor of Paediatrics in University College Dublin

Brid Carroll – a bereavement counsellor and has worked with the Irish Hospice Foundation as Bereavement Liaison Officer in the HSE south East region.

Julie Ling – newly appointed to the post of Head of Strategic Development at LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice, Dublin.

Aidan McKiernan – a Registered Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), Full Member and Committee Member of the Clinical Division of the PSI

Prof Eleanor Molloy – Consultant Neonatologist in the National Maternity Hospital and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin.  She is a senior lecturer in UCD and associate professor of Paediatrics at The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Irene O’Brien – a Children’s Outreach Nurse based in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, caring for Children with life-limiting conditions in the north east.

Maeve O’Reilly – Dr O’Reilly has a special interest in the development of children’s palliative care services in Ireland. She has been involved in several key documents including the palliative care needs assessment for children and the National policy for Children’s Palliative Care services (IHF and DoH&C).

Dr. Eoin Spillane – a practising GP at the Carlton Clinic in Bray, Co. Wicklow and Laura Lynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice. He is currently completing the Cardiff Diploma in Palliative Medicine.

Claire Quinn – Head of Clinical Education & Research at LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice and lectures on the palliative care nursing programme at NUI Galway. 

The conference has been recognised for 7.5 points by the ICGP and has also received Category 1 Approval.

The conference will take place at Royal Kilmainham Hospital, a historic and tranquil conference haven set in 48 acres of formal landscaped gardens and parkland. It is situated in Dublin City, opposite Hueston Station, adjacent to the M50, a short distance from Dublin Airport and the main national routes. Its location offers delegates a wide choice of Dublin Hotels to choose from and easy access to many of the events happening in and around Dublin just before Christmas.

To find out more and to register, go to: or contact Claire Quinn at

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