University of Limerick conference wins Fáilte Ireland social impact and legacy award


A University of Limerick conference has won the inaugural Social Impact & Legacy spotlight award at Fáilte Ireland’s Conference Ambassador Recognition Awards.

The ‘WONCA World Rural Health Conference, 2022’ was recognised for incorporating a social impact initiative into its event planning process, creating a potential legacy that extended far beyond the conference centre.

The conference, organised by Professor Liam Glynn of UL’s School of Medicine, was themed ‘Improving Health, Empowering Communities’, and served as a global platform for diverse stakeholders in healthcare, promoting positive changes for rural communities worldwide.

Thirteen Conference Ambassadors, a number of whom are based at UL, and who delivered association conferences and events in sectors as varied as Engineering, Medical Sciences, Health and Culture to the Shannon Region between 2018 – 2022 were also honoured at the awards, which was attended by UL President Professor Kerstin Mey.

Combined they contributed over €7.3m to the Irish economy and attracted almost 4,000 delegates to experience one of Ireland’s oldest cities and Atlantic seascapes while knowledge sharing and networking in the region’s renowned University campuses and venues.

The Shannon Ambassadors recognised include:

  • Dr Róisín Cahalan, 32nd International Association for Dance Medicine & Science Conference, 2022
  • Dr Adam De Eyto, Design Research Conference, 2018
  • Professor Elfed Lewis, IEEE 5th World Forum on Internet of Things, 2019
  • Professor Tofail Syed, 19th European Conference on Applications of Surface and Interface Analysis, 2022
  • Dr Anca Minescu, International Conference of the Network: Towards Unity for Health, 2018
  • Dr Darina Slattery, IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, 2022
  • Professor Liam Glynn, WONCA World Rural Health Conference, 2022
  • Professor Helen Kelly Holmes, 24th Conference of the International Association for World Englishes IAWE, 2019
  • Edmund Magner, 25th Symposium on Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics, 2019
  • Keith Kelly, Celtic Horizon Band Festival, 2019
  • Alan Ryan, 29th International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing, 2019

In total, Fáilte Ireland celebrated the outstanding contributions of 104 conference ambassadors, including renowned academics and industry leaders, at an award ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin.

The ambassadors were acknowledged for their expertise, industry knowledge and unwavering commitment to successfully hosting an international conference in Ireland between 2018 and 2022. Collectively these conferences have contributed €125 million to the Irish economy and have made a positive impact on our nation.

Fáilte Ireland’s Conference Ambassador Programme was developed to support individuals who want to host an international conference in Ireland. The programme provides assistance and financial support at every stage of the event, from the initial bidding, through to the marketing and promotion of the event.

Ambassadors are sector leaders or influencers in their field and since the programme was established in 2009, Fáilte Ireland has supported almost 3,000 ambassadors in their bids to host conferences and events worth more than €2 billion.

Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland Paul Kelly said: “The Conference Ambassador Recognition Awards showcase the wide range of talent and commitment of our network of conference ambassadors. Their expertise, industry knowledge and unwavering commitment to successfully hosting international conferences in Ireland is nothing short of exceptional. They have created value that extends way beyond the realm of tourism and have exemplified what it truly means to be a conference ambassador.

“At Fáilte Ireland, we are always looking to recruit new conference ambassadors to help bring future business to Ireland. I hope that those at different stages of their ambassador journey are inspired and motivated by the talented ambassadors recognised at the awards and by hearing their stories of success.”

Karen Brosnahan, General Manager, The Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau said: “I’m delighted that the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau were able to support our regional ambassadors in their journey to win conferences for Limerick and Clare. The social, cultural and economic impact of these events cannot be underestimated.  

“We were especially thrilled that Dr Liam Glynn won the Social Impact & Legacy Award. Conferences have a unique ability to encourage collaboration, generate new ideas and contribute to new policy changes that benefit our citizens. Dr Glynn’s WONCA conference did just that.”



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