Press Release

Minister O’Malley Launches ‘Health Promotion in Ireland: Principles, Practice and Research’

Mr Tim O’Malley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, today launched the book ‘Health Promotion in Ireland: Principles, Practice and Research’. The book, the first of is kind to be published in this country, provides a comprehensive exploration of health promotion in Ireland for both students and practitioners.

At the launch the Minister spoke about how he and one of the authors, Denis Ryan, worked together in the area of Health Education in the former Mid Western Health Board, the Minister stated that even then there was an acknowledgement that improving health and well being could only come about as a result of engaging with key stakeholders at community level.

The Health Promotion Unit in the Department of Health and Children was established in 1988 and has focused on the development of settings based interventions which seek to exploit the opportunities afforded by environments such as the school, the work place, the hospital and the community for a more co-ordinated, comprehensive and integrated approach to promoting health. There has also been a considerable emphasis on identifying key target population groups and developing interventions to meet their particular needs.

The Minister commented ‘that the establishment of Health Promotion Departments within all the former health boards led by senior managers and with dedicated budgets was a significant development.’

Speaking on the re-organisation of the Department of Health and Children and the handing over of executive functions to the Health Service Executive, the Minister said ‘this presents an opportunity to address, in a more fundamental way, the broader determinants of health, such as lack of education or low socio economic status, and reduce health inequalities’. He continued ‘this will require collaboration and collective action across Government Departments in association with the private sector and other statutory and non-statutory agencies.’

The Minister thanked the authors stating that along with the Ottawa Charter and the Health Promotion Strategy 2000-2005, he envisaged that this book would become one of the recommended publications required for health promotion studies in Ireland.