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This Is Not My Beautiful House III – Bealtaine Festival, Galway

This Is Not My Beautiful House III – Bealtaine Festival, Galway


31 May 2018

O'Donoghue Centre, NUI Galway


This Is Not My Beautiful House III comes to NUI Galway’s O’Donoghue Centre on Thursday 31 May, as part of the nationwide 2018 Bealtaine Festival.  


Create, Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival, and the Irish Architecture Foundation are pleased to partner once again to deliver this final conference in a series which explores how collaborative and interdisciplinary arts practice engages with our rights to adequate housing, public space and cultural lives as we age. Bringing together a programme of speakers from all over Ireland working in architecture, arts, policy making, the health sector and research, the conference will take the 2018 Bealtaine Festival theme of hospitality as its point of departure.


The programme will include presentations and provocations from a number of speakers as well as a facilitated discussion and deliberation on the themes of hospitality, reciprocity and autonomy in our social and built environment. The conference will be opened by Galway City Council CEO Brendan McGrath and chaired by social gerontologist and Queens University Belfast lecturer Dr. Gemma Carney. Speakers include:

— Niall Crowley, an equality and human rights expert and keynote speaker

— Rosie Webb, Senior Architect at Limerick City and County Council

— Philippa Donnellan, Director of Coiscéim Broadreach, the access and participation programme of Coiscéim Dance

— Professor Eamon O’Shea, Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway

— Vukasin Nedlijkovic, artist and recipient of the Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme Bursary Award 2017: Arts and Activism

— Ciarán Ferrie, architect and co-founder of the Abhaile Project

— Mamo McDonald, founder and former chair of Age & Opportunity and former president of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association

The conference takes place on Thursday 31 May from 10am-5pm and is open to policy makers, researchers, architects, artists, planners, community workers and older people active in housing issues as well as the general public.

The Bealtaine Festival is made possible through the funding support of The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaion.


Niall Crowley is an independent equality and human rights expert. He works extensively with the Council of Europe and the European Commission, and is co-founder of the Values Lab. Most recently, he has worked to devise new values-based approaches to promoting equality and human rights in the public sphere and within institutions. He was Chief Executive Officer of the Equality Authority for ten years (from its establishment in 1999). Prior to that, he was co-director of Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Rights Centre. He is author of An Ambition for Equality published by Irish Academic Press and Empty Promises: Bringing the Equality Authority to Heel published by A&A Farmer.

Rosie Webb is the Senior Architect in Economic Development at Limerick City and County Council. She provides strategic vision and plan implementation using projects, programmes and initiatives dedicated to place-making and physical development. She is a member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland and is accredited in building conservation; she is also a registered architect in the State of Illinois. Prior to her role as a public service architect, she worked in private practice in London, Chicago and Dublin, where she worked on projects ranging in scale from housing and civic offices, to museums and stadiums. She lectures at the School of Architecture at University of Limerick and is founder of the Adaptive Governance Lab at SAUL. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Cornell University, USA and a MA in Architecture (Urban Design) from the University of Limerick.

Philippa Donnellan trained in dance, studying Graham technique and Classical ballet. Her work addresses the importance of creative autonomy and independence, and the right to self-expression in movement and dance in both private and public spaces. She is Director and Choreographer of CoisCéim BROADREACH, a participation and engagement programme – under which she has facilitated residencies and partnerships with leading Irish institutions, and directed projects with different communities of age, place and location. Recent work includes; ‘38 Women’ an intergenerational performance project with a group of women drawn from different communities across Dublin; ‘Emily’ a collaborative project with theatre maker Noelle Brown and a residency at Hyde Park Arts Center, Chicago for the ‘(Re)Public’ exhibition. In addition to receiving a Dance-Artist-in-Residence award at Axis, Ballymun and a residency with Dance Ireland, she is currently developing ‘Dance Latitudes’ a BROADREACH dance/technology project which maps Dublin city through dance.

Prof. Eamon O’Shea is Professor in the School of Business and Economics at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway. He is founding Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG) and Director of the Centre for Economic & Social Research on Dementia at the National University of Ireland Galway. He is an economist with over 30 years’ experience of research in economic and social aspects of ageing and dementia, his current research is focused on the economics of ageing, rural gerontology and dementia. His work has been influential in setting the agenda for reform of services and policies for older people in Ireland, especially in relation to funding, regulation and resource allocation in dementia. He has received a Health Research Board (HRB) Leader Award in Dementia in Ireland and his most recent policy publication (an edited volume) is entitled: Developing and Implementing Dementia Policy in Ireland.

Vukasin Nedeljkovic is a visual artist. He initiated the multidisciplinary project ‘Asylum Archive’ as an open platform for dialogue and discussion, inclusive to individuals who have experienced a sense of sociological /geographical displacement, social trauma and violence. Asylum Archive’s objective is to collaborate with asylum seekers, artists, academics and activists, amongst others, with a view to creating an interactive documentary cross-platform online resource, critically foregrounding accounts of exile, displacement, trauma and memory. Nedeljkovic holds a BA in Photography from the Academy of Arts, Belgrade and an MA in Visual Arts from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology.

Ciarán Ferrie is an architect and principal of Ciarán Ferrie Architects. He is a founding director of the creative community, Fumbally Exchange and also teaches in the Design Faculty in Griffith College, Dublin. In 2017 he teamed up with Michelle Moore and fellow architect, Dermot Bannon to develop the ‘Abhaile Project’ an innovative smart ageing scheme which reconfigures family-sized homes to meet the homeowner’s needs as they age, whilst creating new rental capacity within the home.

Mamo McDonald was President of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association from 1982 – 1995. She has served on the executive of the Associated Countrywomen of the World (ACWW), represented Ireland at the ‘UN End of Decade Women’s Conference’ in Nairobi, Kenya (1985) and was a representative of the European Older Women’s Network at the ‘End of Decade Women’s Conference’ in Beijing (1995). She has been a women’s activist all her life, and is now primarily involved in issues affecting older people, particularly the interests of older women. She was formerly the chair of Age & Opportunity.

Dr. Gemma Carney is a lecturer in social policy and ageing at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast. She began her study of ageing as Policy Officer at the Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament in 2007. She subsequently spent five years researching ageing at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, before moving to Belfast where she has been leading a series of arts based projects, including ‘The Lively Project’ an experimental project exploring how objects can help us to understand the meaning of living a long life. In addition to setting up the Northern Ireland branch of the British Society of Gerontology, she has been appointed to the editorial board of Ageing & Society. She is also Director of public engagement for Northern Ireland’s social policy hub (ARK.ac.uk).

Brendan McGrath is Chief Executive of Galway City Council. He has over 37 years’ experience of working in Local Government in Ireland and has worked across nine county and town authorities. He has held the roles of; Galway City Manager, Acting County Manager for Meath County Council and Director of Services for; Planning & Transportation, Housing, Water Services, Environment, Fire and Emergency Planning and Community and Enterprise. He was also previously Chief Executive Officer of Kildare County Enterprise Board and County Development Officer for Kildare County Council. He holds an MA in Venture Management and Project Finance from the National University of Ireland (NUI) Maynooth.

About Create

Create is the national development agency for collaborative arts. A resource organisation for artists working across artform, in social and community contexts, Create encourages innovative and creative models of engagement that extend and enrich arts engagement and participation with multiple publics and diverse communities of interest and of place. Create’s mission is to lead the development of collaborative arts practice in Ireland, create opportunities for exchange and interaction that benefit a wide constituency of artists, sectors and communities, strengthen the contribution of the arts to society, and encourage artists and communities to create art that reflects and responds to our times.

About Bealtaine

Bealtaine is Ireland’s national festival which uniquely celebrates the arts and creativity as we age. The festival is run by Age & Opportunity, the national organisation that promotes active and engaged living as we get older. Age & Opportunity’s mission is to inspire and empower older people to live healthy and fulfilling lives and to influence policy to ensure the active participation of older people in ways that benefit our communities and wider society. Established in 1995 and placed at the centre of Age & Opportunity’s arts and cultural programming, Bealtaine is Ireland’s largest co-operative festival and the world’s first national celebration of creativity in older age, taking place all over the country each May.

About the Irish Architecture Foundation

Established in 2005, the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) is an independent organisation dedicated to the promotion of architecture as culture. Through diverse programming in Dublin, around Ireland and internationally, the IAF encourages people to engage with their built environment in order to inspire new ways of thinking about architecture. Best known for their delivery of Open House Dublin, Ireland’s largest architecture festival, the IAF curates exhibitions, happenings and talks programmes and increasingly employs a People First Design Process to enable communities to consult and collaborate on the design of their places and spaces.

Eventbrite - Bealtaine Conference 2018
Bealtaine Festival
Irish Architecture Foundation

Age & Opportunity, Create, and the IAF: This Is Not My Beautiful House III Video