Creative Writing Course Successfully Concluded

March 26, 2014

A series of classes from 19:00 to 21:00 on 5 successive Tuesdays concluded last night, 25 March 2014.  The classes took place in The Old Schoolhouse, Bellurgan, Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland.  The school by day is used as a creche.  The subject of the classes was creative writing.  The objective was to create confidence as well as to instil skills.

IMG_6870

Photo: Seán Crudden

Left to right: Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes OMD PhD, Breege Treanor, Ann Connor, Bríd McDonnell

12 attended the first class in the series and 7 the last.  Students wrote a lot and read aloud their own work.  The technicalities of the craft of story writing were well-taught and put into practical execution.  Participants in the class learned the shape of haiku and sonnet and constructed some of their own. 

The atmosphere in each class was calm, businesslike, good humoured and everyone kept their eye on the ball.  Linda Newe the teacher encouraged every individual and maintained a positive and optimistic outlook.  Hers is the art which conceals art.  A teacher to the manner born.

IMG_6879

Photo: Seán Crudden

Left to right: Ann Connor, Linda Newe, Bríd McDonnell

IMPERO is extremely grateful to Setanta, the local community development organisation, for the use of the old school and particularly to Tommie McGuinness. 

IMG_6880

Photo: Seán Crudden

The series of classes was provided by Louth Meath Education and Training Board for IMPERO and organised by Sinéad Fearon, Community Education Facilitator, Louth Meath Education and Training Board.

Spring Interim Meeting, Saturday 22 February 2014

February 24, 2014

IMG_6848

Tree planting going on in the grounds of Our Lady of The Wayside Church, Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland, while the IMPERO meeting took place in the meeting room inside the church.

Photo: Seán Crudden

The meeting commenced at 14:00 on Saturday 22 February 2014. 

Present: Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes OMA PhD, mentor; Michael O’Hanlon; Seán Crudden, secretary; Edward S. Crudden; Michael Farrelly, vice-chairperson.

Apologies: Joan Hardy, joint-treasurer; Kevin McGeough, joint-treasurer; Anne Muldowney, chairperson; Paul Smyth; Kevin Hynes.

Michael Farrelly took the chair, welcomed those in attendance and opened the meeting by reciting a Hail Mary.

The minutes of the Autumn Interim Meeting were read by the secretary and were adopted unanimously on the proposal of the archbishop seconded by Michael O’Hanlon.

The archbishop complained that it is difficult to raise issues affecting mental patients with the North Louth Joint Policing Committee of which he is a member nominated by IMPERO.  “It’s ritualistic,” he commented, “You can’t get your point across.”  He also expressed his frustration with the proceedings of County Louth Community and Voluntary Forum.

The secretary informed the meeting that a class on creative writing has been provided by Louth and Meath Education and Training Board for IMPERO.  The series of 5 weekly classes will begin on Tuesday 25 February 2014 at 19:00 in The Old Schoolhouse, Bellurgan.  The tutor is Linda Newe.  The classes will be held subject to a minimum number of enrolments and attendance. 

The secretary read his article, “Assisted Decision Making,” published on 3 December 2013 on indymedia.ie.  There was some lively discussion culminating in the question, “What are the rights of mentally ill people?”

The application for ECOSOC status with the UN is closed, the meeting decided.

The secretary reported on the ENUSP seminar held in Hotel Ibis Gara de Nord, Bucharest, 8 – 10 December 2013.  The main themes dwelt upon by the seminar were; communications, General Assembly, fund raising.  Seán said he stayed on in Bucharest until 12 December to look around.  He had been impressed by Ceausescu’s mighty building and he recommended Romania as a holiday destination.  “I enjoyed the trip,” Seán said.

The chairperson of the meeting, Michael Farrelly, asserted that patients who take a stand are worse off than ever.  He urged cooperation.  “You must love yourself,” he concluded.

The next meeting of IMPERO is the General Assembly which will take place DV in The Old Schoolhouse, Bellurgan, on Saturday 14 June 2014, starting at 14:00

IMG_6844

Edward S. Crudden pictured at the window of the meeting room in Our Lady of The Wayside Church immediately before the meeting began.

Photo: Seán Crudden

Stimulating Workshop on Public Speaking

November 27, 2013

IMG_6720

Photo: Seán Crudden

Linda Newe, tutor, and Anne Muldowney, chairperson of IMPERO, pictured after a very enjoyable workshop held in The Old Schoolhouse, Bellurgan, Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland.

The workshop began at 19.30 on Tuesday 26 November 2013.  The subject of the workshop was how to compose and present a short speech, body language, etc.  The workshop concluded at 21.30.  Although no-one thought so at the time there was a strong comic element underlying proceedings at the workshop.  Many thanks to Sinéad Fearon of Louth/Meath Education and Training Board for providing IMPERO with an accomplished tutor for the workshop.

9 people participated in the workshop including the tutor.

Autumn Interim Meeting; Saturday 26 October 2013

October 27, 2013

IMG_6689

Sean Crudden, secretary, relaxing before the IMPERO meeting which was held in The Old Schoolhouse, Bellurgan, Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co. Louth, Republic of Ireland, starting at 14.00 on Saturday, 26 October 2013.

Photo: Anne Muldowney

IMG_6684

Anne M. Muldowney relaxes with a little 7-up after driving from Stamullen for Saturday’s meeting.

Photo: Seán Crudden

The secretary recited a short prayer to open the meeting; Veni Sancte Spiritus.

Present: Mrs. Anne Marie Muldowney, chairperson: Seán Crudden, secretary: Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes OMD PhD, mentor: Michael O’Hanlon.

Apologies: Fr. Paddy Larkin, Leonard Hatrick, Edward Stephen Crudden, Peter Murphy, Kevin McGeough, Michael Farrelly.

The secretary was directed to write to Andrei Abramov, Chief, NGO Branch, United Nations; in response to his letter of 8 April 2013 indicating that IMPERO’s application for ECOSOC consultative status is closed.  The meeting decided unanimously that there was no point in pursuing the application further now and that the matter should be allowed to rest.

The secretary recommended the report “Breaking Down the Silos” summarising the UN consultation “World We Want 2015” dealing with economic development.

Funds are low.

The old Church of Ireland school, Bush, was suggested as a possible venue for future meetings, by Michael O’Hanlon.

It was decided to consult Brian Larkin, Greenore, on fund-raising possibilities.

The secretary proposed to write an article on indymedia.ie about assisted decision making.  It was suggested he consult with Micheal O’Hanlon, a former school principal and school guidance teacher.  It was felt that assisted decision making was something difficult to legislate.  Is it possible to regulate practice in this area?  The secretary’s proposal was approved.

The meeting approved a proposal from Sinéad Fearon to provide training in writing and dramatic voice production for members of IMPERO.  Sinéad is director of community education for Louth/Meath Education and Training Board.

The chairperson reiterated that patients were happier if they were recognised as people and treated as people.

The Archbishop suggested the following theme for the ENUSP seminar slated for Bucharest in December; How are cuts and austerity affecting mental health?

Reporting on the North Louth policing committee of which he is a member representing IMPERO the Archbishop pointed to intimidation and unreported crime.  He agreed to the secretary’s request to seek formal discussion in the committee of police relations with mental patients.

The date of the Spring interim meeting was fixed for Saturday 22 February 2014 at 14.00 in The Old Schoolhouse, Bellurgan.

Annual Assembly 2013: The Old School House, Bellurgan

June 17, 2013

The annual assembly of IMPERO took place in The Old School House, Bellurgan, Jenkinstown, Dundalk, on Saturday 15 June 2013 starting promptly at 14.00.

Present: Anne M. Muldowney, chairperson; Seán Crudden, secretary; Kevin McGeough, joint-treasurer; Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes OMD PhD, joint treasurer; Fr. Paddy Larkin, retired parish priest of Lordship and Ballymascanlon; Peter Murphy; Michael O’Hanlon, retired principal of Bush Post-Primary School.

Apologies: Michael Farrelly, vice-chairperson; Kevin Hynes; Joan Hardy, mentor.

The minutes of the previous annual assembly held on 16 June 2012 were read by the secretary and adopted unanimously on the proposal of the Archbishop seconded by Kevin McGeough.

The secretary read aloud his journal for 22 May 2013 and also for 23 May 2013 the day the EPF (European Patients’ Forum) plenary took place in The Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire.  The conference addressed the issue of “active patients’ involvement in health care,” and “self-management.”

The meeting heard that cash in the Ulster Bank, Dundalk, in IMPERO’s account, had dwindled to less than 50 euro.  The 3 joint treasurers had not met in the past year.  “We do not need money,” someone remarked.

It was agreed without objection that the following team of officers would operate for the coming year.  President; Ita Daly: chairperson, Anne M. Muldowney: vice-chairperson, Michael Farrelly; secretary, Seán Crudden; joint treasurer, Joan Hardy; joint treasurer, Kevin McGeough.

Other members who will serve on the central committee are as follows: Peter Murphy, Eric Cuthbert, Dermot Mooney, Edward S. Crudden.

Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes was appointed mentor for the coming year with unanimous approval.

The meeting was lively throughout and there were many pertinent questions asked.  Topics arising included, UNCRPD (United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities), the purpose and role of IMPERO; capacity legislation; definition of mental illness; guidance; young people; peer support; the broken leg theory of mental illness i.e. help, recovery and no stigma.  The secretary mentioned the presidential commission getting under way in the US and President Obama’s interest in the whole question of “mental health.”  Seán also pointed out that the Vatican is looking into the reasons why so many mind-altering drugs are being prescribed to young people.

The next interim meeting of IMPERO was fixed for Saturday 26 October 2013 starting at 14.00 in the meeting room of Our Lady of The Wayside Church, Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louth.

The next annual assembly was fixed for Saturday 14 June 2014 starting at 14.00 in The Old School, Bellurgan.

The secretary remarked that thanks were due Tommie McGuinness, a very obliging man, for the use of The Old School House; a building renovated, owned and operated by the local community.

Fr. Larkin recited the Lord’s Prayer to open the meeting.  The archbishop spoke a short extempore prayer at the end.

Seán and Anne took a few informal photos when the meeting ended.

IMG_6166IMG_6172IMG_6173IMG_6176IMG_6177IMG_6178IMG_6179IMG_6180IMG_6181IMG_6182IMG_6183

Click on thumbnails to enlarge.  Click again to enlarge further.

Smashing Times Theatre Company

March 14, 2013

SmashingTimes

Photo: Eoin Kirwan

Seán Crudden stands up to speak from the gallery at the SmashingTimes Theatre Seminar for Dialogue and Training.  The theme of the seminar was, “Women: Peacemakers or Agitators.”

The seminar took place in The Táin Theatre, Jocelyn Street, Dundalk, on Friday 8 March 2013 and Saturday 9 March 2013.  Seán participated on both days and had a whale of a time.  Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes OMD PhD attended on Saturday and found the going tough.

The underlying methodology was based on the principles of “Theatre of The Oppressed.”

The seminar was part of the Acting for Peace Project funded by the International Fund for Ireland.

The centre piece of the seminar was a solo bravura performance by Cathy White of the play, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” written by Paul Kennedy.  Cathy and Paul took part on Saturday in a post show discussion and improvisation involving 2 facilitators, Idan Meir and Chrissie Poulter, as well as all those attending the seminar; about 50 souls in all.

Click on thumbnail to enlarge.  Click again to enlarge further on some machines.

Seán Meets Erik

March 14, 2013

On the weekend of Sunday 24 February 2013 Erik Olsen, chairperson of ENUSP (European Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry), attended a conference in The Gibson Hotel, Dublin.  The conference was a plenary organised by EDF (European Disability Forum).  Seán Crudden, secretary, IMPERO, visited Erik on Sunday afternoon where Erik was staying in Jury’s Inn, Parnell Street.  The two individuals engaged in a hearty chin-wag for an hour or two before Erik caught his plane home.

IMG_6128

Click on thumbnail to enlarge.  Click again to enlarge further on some machines.

Spring 2013 Interim Meeting, The Old Schoolhouse, Bellurgan

February 26, 2013

The interim meeting took place in the old schoolhouse, Bellurgan, on an arctic easterly dry afternoon, 23 February 2013.  The meeting which lasted less than an hour commenced at 14.00.

IMG_6126

Apologies from Joan Hardy, mentor, and Michael Farrelly, vice-chairperson.

Attendance: Anne M. Muldowney,chairperson; Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes OMD Ph D, joint treasurer; Kevin McGeough, joint treasurer; Seán Crudden, secretary.

The secretary read his journal for 21/22/23/24 January 2013 the time he attended the European Patients’ Forum seminar in Hotel Bloom, Brussels.  The theme of the seminar was around eHealth.  There were no comments on the reading.

The meeting decided unanimously that Seán Crudden, on behalf of IMPERO, should continue to participate in the UN on-line consultations about “The World We Want 2015.”

The result of last year’s IMPERO application for ECOSOC consultative status with the UN should come out later on this year.

The Cooley Environmental and Health Group’s winter workshop “Mental Health: Peers in Progress” held on 26 January 2013 was well attended, up to standard, helpful to IMPERO.  The chairperson drew attention to a peer initiative in The Community School, Tralee, Co Kerry.  It was resolved to request Michael Corrigan whose paper to the workshop was impressive to handle the  Peers in Progress initiative on behalf of IMPERO.  The feeling of the meeting was that we should start close to home by consulting Co. Louth VEC.

It was decided to try to make an application to The Community Foundation for Ireland for funding to run an educational project on Stigma.

Reporting on the affairs of the joint policing committee for North Louth and Dundalk the Archbishop called for more constructive meetings.

The meeting approved the secretary’s initiative and discussions with Sinéad Fearon of Co. Louth VEC concerning an adult education proposal.

The secretary informed the meeting that he had a phone call before lunch from Erik Olsen, chairperson of ENUSP.  Erik was calling from The Gibson Hotel, Dublin, where he is attending an event organised by the European Disability Federation.  Erik is staying in Jury’s Hotel, Parnell Street.

Seán and the Archbishop will attend a Smashing Times drama school, 8/9 March 2013, in the Town Hall, Dundalk.  The theme of the school is the question whether women are victims or agitators?

The nomination of Dermot Mooney for election to the disability pillar of Co. Louth Community and Voluntary Forum was approved.

Kevin 2

Click on thumbnails to enlarge

EU Membership: Ireland 40 Years On

February 8, 2013

A conference and lunch organised jointly by European Economic and Social Committee’s various interests group and European Movement Ireland took place on Friday 1 February 2013 in Castleknock Hotel & Country Club, Porterstown Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15.  The title of the conference was “Ireland 40 Years On: the benefits, opportunities and challenges of EU membership.”  Pictured below at the conference, Seán Crudden, secretary, IMPERO; and Noelle O’Connell, Executive Director, EM Ireland.

Noelle

The conference was sponsored by Bord Bia (Irish Food Board).  Among the speakers were Joan Burton T.D., Minister for Social Protection and Mairéad McGuinness MEP.  The first thematic session, “The costs and consequences of a non-Europe,” was chaired and moderated by Eileen Dunne, International President of the Association of European Journalists, newscaster with RTE.

EPF eHealth Seminar; Hotel Bloom, Brussels, 23 January 2013

January 29, 2013

The European Patients’ Forum seminar was subtitled “The way towards large-scale deployment of eHealth: where do patients stand?”

The final speaker at the forum who presented on the topic “Setting up a multi-stakeholder platform on eHealth” was Elena Bonfiglioli of Microsoft.  She is pictured below with Seán Crudden, secretary, Irish Mental Patients’ Educational and Representative Organisation (IMPERO).

The final session was chaired by Nicola Bedlington, The Director, EPF.

Elena & Sean


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 158 other followers