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Teagasc RERC hosts International Suicidology Seminar

10 August 2007

Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre (RERC), Mellow's Campus, Athenry, is hosting a seminar in preparation for the 24th Biennial Congress of the International Association for Suicidology, which will take place in Ireland for the first time this August. The theme of the congress is 'Suicide Prevention across the Lifespan: Dreams and Realities'. Deliberations of this conference are vital in highlighting the increasing incidence of suicide, the single largest cause of violent death throughout the world.

Indicating Teagasc's acknowledged importance of the suicide problem in rural Ireland, Dr Cathal O'Donoghue, Head of RERC, confirmed that the organisation has allocated funding through its Walsh Fellowships Scheme for a three-year PhD study, to examine the issue of rural men and suicide. Ms Maria Feeney, a native of Galway and graduate of NUI Maynooth, has recently been awarded the fellowship and this study will be supervised jointly by Dr Anne Cleary (University College Dublin), Frank Laffey (Teagasc) and Áine Macken Walsh (RERC).

RERC, a research division of Teagasc employing a range of social scientists including economists, sociologists, environmentalists and geographers, will host the seminar at its Mellow's Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway, to discuss Irish rural societal change and the growing incidence of suicide. The seminar will be given by Dr Harry Bohan, who qualified as a sociologist in the University of Wales and is currently director of Pastoral Planning in the Diocese of Killaloe and Parish Priest in Sixmilebridge, Co Clare. In 1998, Dr Bohan founded the Céifin Centre for Values-Led Change, of which the purpose is to reflect, debate and direct values-led change in Irish society. He was appointed to the Task Force on Active Citizenship by the Taoiseach in 2006. Recognised as one of the leading social commentators in Ireland today Dr Bohan has written extensively on the subjects of social and economic development, the importance of the local responding to the global, and on understanding change. His published books include 'Roots in a changing Society' and 'Community and the Soul of Ireland'.

The seminar will take place on Tuesday, 28 August from 2pm - 3.30pm at Teagasc's Mellows Campus and is open to the general public, community organisations, and to those who work in areas that are broadly impacted upon by the problem of suicide. For further information on this complimentary event, please contact Áine Macken Walsh at aine.mackenwalsh@teagasc.ie <mailto:aine.mackenwalsh@teagasc.ie> or to confirm attendance, please contact Frances Conerney at tel. 091-845244/email: frances.conerney@teagasc.ie.