Members of staff from the School of Nursing & Midwifery Trinity College Dublin have been honoured at the Fáilte Ireland 2023 Conference Ambassador Recognition Awards. 

The Conference Ambassador Recognition Awards 2023 are dedicated to honouring individuals who have played a pivotal role in bringing international association conferences to Ireland between 2018 and 2022.

Jeni Ryan, Administrative Officer-Events and Professor Paul Horan, Assistant Professor of Intellectual Disability Nursing, were honoured with a Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Recognition Award for their leadership in bringing two large international nursing conferences to Ireland which celebrated nursing care for people with intellectual/learning disabilities. 

They organised two international conferences, the 14th International Positive Choices Intellectual Disability Student Nurse Conference and the inaugural Positive Commitments Conference for qualified intellectual/learning disability nurses, which were hosted simultaneously at Trinity College Dublin on the 19th and 20th April, 2018.

This involved collaboration with Fáilte Ireland, students and staff  from the Intellectual Disability Nursing Discipline, then Dean of Health Sciences, Prof. Mary McCarron, Liane Donnelly, Head of Central Events at TCD and her team, Helen Laverty MBE and her team at Positive Choices, and Debra Moore and her team at Debra Moore Associates/Positive Commitments.

It is estimated that 750 delegates and exhibitors were welcomed from across the UK and Ireland and the hashtag for the event #PCPC18 reached almost 17.5 million on Twitter/X. Intellectual Disability Nursing students played a huge role in organising the event and acted as conference ambassadors and chairs. 

A poem entitled ‘Just See’ championing the abilities of people with learning/intellectual disabilities penned by Prof. Horan to mark the Positive Choices Conference was recited at the opening of the conference by members of The Shiners (A group of people with learning disabilities from Cornwall and their helpers). The poem was subsequently recited by a member of The Shiners, Francesca Goff, with the assistance of her helper and coach Angie Emmys-Jones in 2019 at the UN in Geneva for World Down Syndrome Day.