Press Release

Minister O’Malley Opens St Michael’s House 50th Anniversary Conference

Mr Tim O’Malley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, today (Wednesday 30th November, 2005) formally opened the St Michael’s House Conference, “Facing the Future, the Challenge of Developing Innovative Person Centred Services”, which was co-hosted by the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies, in Clontarf Castle Hotel, Dublin. The National Conference marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of St Michael’s House and focuses on some of the challenges to be faced in the future.

The Minister thanked all those involved over the last 50 years in providing a service at St Michael’s House and added that “without their help, dedication and commitment, St Michael’s House would not hold the position it does in the community today.”

The Minister also thanked the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies (NFVB) for the work they have carried out in the area of intellectual disabilities and said “Their philosophy was founded on respect for the dignity of the person. This manifested itself in the Federation’s promotion of equality of opportunities for persons in their care through the provision, maintenance and development of appropriate high quality services.”

The National Conference pulls together an array of expertise from the leading research centres in the UK and elsewhere, as well as drawing on the experience of St Michael’s House and other Irish service providers. The key challenges the conference will address are:

  • Developing person centred services;
  • Supporting people to choose where and with whom they live;
  • Supporting people to develop intimate relationships;
  • Behaviours that challenge service providers;
  • The challenge of autistic spectrum disorders;
  • Supporting people to exercise their rights.

Minister O’Malley also congratulated St Michael’s House on their being awarded a prestigious international accreditation in 2005 from the Council on Quality and Leadership and said “I understand that the accreditation was awarded for two years and that only a few organisations have ever achieved this level of accreditation on their first application”. The Minister concluded by thanking St Michael’s House and the NFVB and all those who helped in the organisation of the National Conference.