Faculty of Public Health Medicine Summer Scientific Meeting 2022

The Faculty of Public Health Medicine held its annual Summer Scientific Meeting on 24 & 25 May in the home of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, No 6 Kildare St. 

Public Health professionals have played such a crucial role in the pandemic response. This two-day, hybrid conference was the first in-person event held by the Faculty in over two years and a wonderful opportunity to gather in the building again as colleagues to address the ongoing challenges that are impacting public health today.

A leading advocate for public health sector reform, the Faculty continues to support and drive nationwide efforts to reform structures and better resource public health in Ireland to benefit the health of the population and ensure our future preparedness.  Forums like the summer scientific enable us to share knowledge, practical information and experiences from the front line and we are grateful to our colleagues for coming out in force.

Leading experts addressed topics such as the ongoing COVID-19 response and the public health and societal supports being put in place to address the terrible conflict in Ukraine.

34 new Members and Fellows were welcomed into the Faculty in a Conferring ceremony. During the event, we also had the opportunity to award some of the key figures who provided leadership during the pandemic with honorary conferrings including Professor Mary HorganProfessor Philip NolanProfessor Karina ButlerProfessor Rose-Anne Kenny and Professor Colm Bergin.

Recently-appointed Faculty Dean Professor Cecily Kelleher congratulated all new Conferrees in her address:

Congratulations to all those conferred with Membership and Fellowship of the Faculty. It is a tribute to the Faculty and the entire RCPI that education and training continued in the face of this upheaval, even while much needed public health and health care delivery continued. The future will necessitate a fully resourced framework for future pandemic preparedness and I expect the newly appointed consultants in Public Health Medicine will be playing an instrumental role in the future re-oriented health services.

Prof Cecily Kelleher

Dean, Faculty of Public Health Medicine
Professor Karina Butler receiving her certificate of Honorary Fellowship from Dean Cecily Kelleher (left) and Immediate outgoing Dean Emer Shelley (seated)

The Faculty of Public Health Medicine was formally inaugurated in 1976 and was the first formally-constituted Faculty of RCPI. It was a joy to see so many past Deans return for the Summer Scientific to reflect on what has been achieved over that time.

Prof Kelleher paid tribute to the late Professor Geoffrey Bourke, founding Dean of the Faculty who sadly passed away in September 2021. We were honoured to welcome his daughter Jennifer and son John to celebrate his life and achievements. 

Regarded as an outstanding, widely published academic, Prof Bourke had a seminal role in the development of public health practice in Ireland and was a well-known international figure. He first wrote a textbook entitled Interpretation and Uses of Medical Statistics with James McGilvray and later with Leslie Daly, which ran to five editions and is still in print today.

You can read more about the life of Prof Bourke in an obituary written by Prof Cecily Kelleher for the British Medical Journal March Edition.

"Prof Geoffrey Bourke was an International leader who was a friend and mentor to many in this Faculty as well as at UCD. The training programme established in this period has been followed through by each of the Deans who succeeded him."

Prof Cecily Kelleher

Dean, Faculty of Public Health Medicine
Jennifer & John Bourke, daughter and son of the late founding Dean of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine Prof Geoffrey Bourke, with Prof Michael Keane, Registrar and Prof Cecily Kelleher, Faculty Dean