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@MrUlster @NorthernSlant Essays Photography

SEVERE: Interview with Martin SEEDS

SEVERE: Interview with Martin SEEDS
by Allan LEONARD
5 November 2018

A new body of work by Belfast-born artist, Martin Seeds, has just been shown as part of the Brighton Photo Fringe. The works are an extension of Seeds’ application of landscape and allegory. Or put another way, our political landscape — literally and figuratively.

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@SharedFuture @SluggerOToole

Developing respect in our politics: Leaders’ debate @FeileBelfast

Developing respect in our politics: Leaders’ debate @FeileBelfast
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
8 August 2018

The high level of respect displayed by the audience and speakers at St Mary’s University College for a leaders’ debate organised by Féile Belfast belied that of the current political situation in Northern Ireland.

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@SharedFuture @SluggerOToole

“To change the riverflow of history”: Constitutional pasts and futures @UCDdublin #GFA20

“To change the riverflow of history”: Constitutional pasts and futures @UCDdublin #GFA20
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
8 May 2018

Political and legal scholars, peacemakers and peacebuilders convened at the Royal Irish Academy to review and discuss potential constitutional relationships between Ireland and the United Kingdom, especially vis-a-vis Northern Ireland and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and the import of Brexit.

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@SharedFuture

Using our past better: Launch of Divided Society

Using our past better: Launch of Divided Society
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
22 January 2018

Twenty and two years in the making, the Linen Hall Library launched its website, Divided Society, which features documentary material in its Northern Ireland Political Collection, of the peace process during the 1990s, with over 500 journal titles available.

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@SharedFuture

Rewrite our future! Washington Ireland Program Thanksgiving Ball 2017

Rewrite our future! Washington Ireland Program Thanksgiving Ball 2017
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
25 November 2017

The Thanksgiving Ball has become an annual tradition of the Washington Ireland Program, held at this time of year in recognition of the generosity of families in America who host visiting participants. Tonight’s event, with several hundred attending at the Hilton Hotel in Belfast, took on an added significance with the award recognition of Norman Houston and Nuala McAllister.

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@SharedFuture

Peace by piece: Launch of interface exhibition @DoJ_Interfaces

Peace by piece: Launch of interface exhibition @DoJ_Interfaces
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
20 November 2017

Ulster University’s York Street campus, home to the schools of art and architecture, served as a fitting venue for the launch of an interface exhibition sponsored by the Department of Justice and featured ongoing community-based projects as well as artefacts from home and abroad.

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@MrUlster

Book review – The Enlightenment: A Very Short Introduction (John ROBERTSON)

Review: The Enlightenment: A Very Short Introduction (John ROBERTSON)
by Allan LEONARD for Mr Ulster
1 May 2017

The Enlightenment is one of Oxford University Press’s “Very Short Introductions” series; there are over 400 volumes. Written by experts, they “are for anyone wanting a stimulating and accessible way into a new subject”.

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@FactCheckNI @MrUlster Audio Private

Of lying (and truth) in politics (SRF Radio 2)

Of lying (and truth) in politics (SRF Radio 2)
13 March 2017

Martin ALIOTH interviewed Allan LEONARD (Northern Ireland Foundation), journalist Jenny HOLLAND, and Enda YOUNG (Transformative Connections), for SRF Swiss Radio 2 programme, Context (audio extract (German)):

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#TeamBev @MrUlster Private

Seeking better patient outcomes: Music to the ears of occupational therapists #ValueofOT





Seeking better patient outcomes: Music to the ears of occupational therapists
by Allan LEONARD
11 November 2016

The College of Occupational Therapists (COT) held a launch event at the Long Gallery of Parliament Buildings, for their campaign on the value of occupational therapy, “Improving lives, saving money”.

The event was sponsored by Claire Hanna MLA, who apologised for being unable to be present.

Karin Bishop (Assistant Director, Professional Practice, College of Occupational Therapists) welcomed the several dozen attending, and displayed their fresh report, “Reducing the pressure on hospitals”.

She explained that the origins behind their campaign was their own value of providing high quality care amidst challenging financial circumstances in the health and social care services.

Bishop said that there is much good work taking place in Northern Ireland, and now occupational therapists (OTs) relieve pressure at the front door (by keeping hospital admissions low), the back door (by taking steps to prevent readmissions), and through the hospital itself (by getting patients out as quickly and safely as possible).

She encouraged us to read the square leaflet left on our seats, of the six key recommendations of their report.

The first of several intermission videos was shown; Emily’s story was one of re-enablement after a fall down stairs left her with broken wrists and limbs. (I was surprised to see her stairwell not subsequently fitted with a double rail.)

Dr Sean McGovern (Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine, Ulster Hospital) described hospitals as like airplanes: “Everyone’s been on one, but like airplanes, not everyone knows how to fly one.”

He presented a series of slides with key points, such as demonstrating that Ambulance and Emergency (A&E) pressures in Northern Ireland “are not special; there are real pressures here across these islands”.

McGovern said that based on his experience, the number of patients awaiting admission to hospital far outweighs the number of “inappropriate attenders” at A&E. He said that setting a target of a 4-hour assessment for someone who shows up at A&E, while at the same time advising people not to go to A&E if they can avoid it, is a confused message.

He also said that patient discharge from hospital into community support should involve patients and their families from day one in its planning.

Eddie Lynch (Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland) gave an overview of his organisation and its powers.

He highlighted changing demographics — a forecast of a significant increase in the number of older people living independently — and called for a plan to prepare for this.

Slippers matter! Lynch said that he was surprised to learn that a third of falls in Scotland are attributable to worn out or ill-fitting slippers: 120,000 falls are caused this way.

Paula Bradley MLA (Chairperson of the Health Committee, Northern Ireland Assembly) praised the COT report and its timeliness, “because Allied Health Professionals will provide a key role in realising the recommendations from the Bengoa Report”.

Bradley reflected upon her working experience as part of a social work team in Antrim Hospital. She described OTs as invaluable colleagues in assessing the needs of patients and discharging them from hospital: “We needed to work together and we did work together.”

“We do good work, and we need to replicate it all of our [Health] Trusts,” she added.

Bradley finished by saying that she looked forward to those who will come forward and give evidence at the Health Committee, in order to inform and influence the Minister of Health’s actions.

Dr Patricia McClure (Chair of Council, College of Occupational Therapists) said that there are 31,000 members in COT across the UK, with 1,000 members in Northern Ireland.

She described the uniqueness of occupational therapy, as understanding the significant impact that occupations have for people — getting out of bed, eating food, getting out, doing the hobbies and jobs that we love to do: “These are all things we take for granted until we can’t do them.”

McClure said that the Health Minister’s declared mission of “person-centred care” is “music to the ears” of OTs, as is the focus away from action targets, towards patient outcomes.

She called for a greater appreciation of the contribution that Allied Health Professionals make, and a critical role they can play in achieving long-term goals of improving health and social care.

Catherine McLaughlin (Chair, Northern Ireland Board, College of Occupational Therapists) closed the event by expressing a desire to work in collaboration and partnership: “We want to work for change, and change is pushing itself towards us.”

Afterwards, I spoke with Kate Lesslar (COT), who asked me what I thought of the event. I replied that it was good for what it was, but that the emphasis was overly about older service users, and did not feature anyone returning to work, which is another way of demonstrating “improving lives, saving money”. Lesslar took this on board, and advised me that there will be a forthcoming COT report that addresses re-employment.

There is no denying that occupational therapy improves lives and saves money. I look forward to learning more about how this benefits a broader spectrum of individuals.

Catherine McLAUGHLIN, Kate LESSLAR, Julia SCOTT, and Patricia McCLURE

Julia SCOTT, Eddie LYNCH, Karin BISHOP, Paula BRADLEY MLA, Kate LESSLAR, Patricia McCLURE, Sean McGOVERN, and Catherine McLAUGHLIN

Beverley BEATTIE, Allan LEONARD, and Kate LESSLAR
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@MrUlster Private

Changing the conversation with e-petitions in Northern Ireland

Mairaid McMAHON presentation on e-petitions for Northern Ireland. Xchange Summer School, LIFE Church, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Mairaid McMAHON presentation on e-petitions for Northern Ireland. Xchange Summer School, LIFE Church, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Changing the conversation with e-petitions in Northern Ireland
by Allan LEONARD for Northern Ireland Foundation
16 June 2016

As part of the Xchange Summer School, Mairaid McMahon announced the launch of e-petitions in Northern Ireland, which is scheduled to appear on the Northern Ireland Assembly website in September 2016.

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@MrUlster Audio Private

Transformation through collaboration: Foster

Transformation through collaboration: Foster
The Harri Holkeri lecture: Women, leadership and peacebuilding
by Allan LEONARD
23 May 2016

First Minister for Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster MLA, was the guest speaker at the fourth annual Harri Holkeri lecture series, on this year’s topic of “Women, leadership and peacebuilding”.

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@MrUlster Private

Listening to the pschogeography of Belfast

One of the final events of the Four Corners Festival was a discussion on what was described as the psychogeography of the city of Belfast.