2020 MRII National Conference

Date: 23/04/2020
Time: 12pm - 5pm

Location: The Glenroyal Hotel Maynooth

Google Map link


Outline Agenda (subject to change)

12.00pm – 12.45pm
Arrival, networking lunch and visit exhibitors
12.45pm – 1.00pm
1.00pm – 1.15pm
Mr Simon Harris, Minister for Health, Opening Address
1.15pm – 2.00pm
“From Ireland to Space”

Dr Norah Patten, Scientist-Astronaut Candidate
2.00pm – 2.45pm
Professor Donal O'Shea, Consultant Endocrinologist,
St Vincent's University Hospital and St Columcille's Hospital.
“Presentation tbc”
2.45pm – 3.15pm
“Leading through Adversity”
Mr Jack Kavanagh, Wellbeing Coach, Speaker, Pharmacist
3.15pm – 3.45pm
Networking break and visit exhibitors
4.00pm – 4.45pm
“Mood Foods; How our food choices build, shape and impact our brains”
Ms Paula Mee, Dietitian and Author
4.45pm – 5.15pm
“Actions Have Consequences”
Dr Graham Finlay, Lecturer, School of Politics and International Relations,
University College Dublin
5.30pm – 6.15pm
MRII Annual General Meeting (Members Only)

Dr. Norah Patten, Scientist-Astronaut Candidate:

Dr Norah Patten is a faculty member at the International Space University and is a citizen scientist-astronaut candidate with Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere). An aeronautical engineering graduate from University of Limerick Norah is an award winning STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) advocate and ambassador and is a competent communicator with radio, television and public speaking experience. Norah has participated in several citizen science campaigns including microgravity research flights, spacesuit testing and evaluation and spacecraft egress

“From Ireland to Space” Hear how since the age of 11 after a family trip to NASA in Cleveland Ohio, Norah has been obsessed with space. In this talk, she will share some of her experiences of progressing the impossible dream of one day getting to space. Norah will talk about her experiences in this exciting field and some of the STEM initiatives she has created to bring Ireland along on this adventure. Experiences including spacesuit testing, spacecraft egress, microgravity flights, high-g flights, hypoxia training and more.

Mr Jack Kavanagh – Wellbeing Coach, Speaker, Pharmacist

In 2012 Jack Kavanagh suffered a life changing spinal cord injury leaving him with 15% muscle function. This ignited a passion to explore both his own and others potential. In the years since he has become a noted life and performance coach, speaker and pharmacist, motivated to help others live more aligned, fulfilling lives. He was included in a list of “50 Incredible People Who Are Shaping Modern Ireland” in 2017 and was awarded as one of “Ten Outstanding Young People of the Year” in 2019 as a dynamic individual who is doing inspirational work. 

“Leading Through Adversity” Jack will discuss topics such as adaptability, resilience and inspiration, qualities that have shaped his progress from a life of adversity to a life where perceived limitations have been cast off for a life of accomplishment and fulfilment.

Paula Mee, Dietitian and Author, BSc., Dip Diet., MSc in Health Sciences., MINDI, CORU reg D1019044

Paula is a well renowned food and nutrition consultant. She provides an extensive range of services and has a comprehensive portfolio of clients from food, pharmaceutical industry and educational establishments. She lectures on the Masters in Applied Culinary Nutrition in TUD. Following the success of the best sellers Your Middle Years in 2016, and Gut Feeling, managing IBS in 2017, her latest book Mediterranean Mood Food was published in 2019. 

“Mood Foods – how our food choices build, shape and impact our brains” Why is a low carb approach the single worst diet for your brain health? Can a common spice protect brain health? Are there affordable and every-day anti-oxidant rich foods with anti-inflammatory effects?  What bacterial cultures help with anxiety? Are there any naturally sweet treats that ease mental effort? What makes some foods top brain foods and others destructive? Should you take supplements for mental resilience or for better cognitive function? Does the Mediterranean diet actually help reduce the risk of depression, dementia and cognitive decline? Are fats important for building and maintaining brain health? Paula Mee will share some of the latest findings about how your diet affects your gut microbiome and how that in turn affects your mood and mental health. 

Moderator: Shane Coleman, Newstalk

Shane Coleman is presenter of Newstalk Breakfast. Shane is also a columnist with the Times Ireland edition. He is a former Political Editor of the Sunday Tribune and was previously that newspaper’s Business Editor. As well as being an award winning journalist, he is the author of four books on politics.


Look back at 2019

2019 Full Final Programme
Check our gallery page for 2019 event photos.
Check here for a video summary of the 2019 event.

Any company wishing to attend the trade exhibition that will run in conjunction with our 2020 National Conference should email here.