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National Chairman wins International Award
(l-r) Allen O’Connor was presented with MSIF’s 2011 James D. Wolfensohn Award for International Person with MS by Peer Baneke of MSIF
MS Ireland is delighted to announce that Chairman Allen O'Connor has been declared the 2011 winner of the James D Wolfensohn Award for International Person with MS. The award, presented by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), recognises the valuable contribution people with MS make to the worldwide fight against MS.
Allen has been active at a local, national and international front, continuously advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and people with MS. In his time he has been involved in many Irish organizations such as the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities and the Disabled Drivers Association. He has also held posts in the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP) and MSIF.
It was in 1993 that Allen first became involved with MS Ireland, first as a local branch treasurer, followed by National Treasurer. He became a Director in 1999 and was elected Chairman in 2002. He is currently Chairman of the organisation. This is indeed his second term as Chairman.
Allen says he is humbled to have received the award,
"I am truly honoured to win the award. There are so many of us who try to make the voice of people with MS heard in their own countries and abroad. I believe passionately that people with MS can live positive, fruitful lives with the correct support. I hope I have play a part in ensuring that support is there for people with MS and their families.”
Allen lives in Cork with his wife June. They have two adult children, Gayle and Shane. He became a grandfather in 2010. He is a retired bank manager. Allen was diagnosed with MS in 1985 after a number of personal tragedies.
The Wolfensohn Award is a biennial award made by MSIF to recognise the valuable contribution people with MS make to the worldwide fight against the disease. The award is named after James D. Wolfensohn, former President of MSIF.
Peer Baneke, MSIF Chief Executive, said, “So many people with MS drive the worldwide fight against the disease. The Wolfensohn Award exists to shine a light on them. All the nominees this year showed remarkable qualities, but Allen stood out because of his tireless campaigning for people with disabilities, both in Ireland and internationally, and his leadership of MS organisations".
Read more about Allen and his achievements
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MS Ireland joins coalition of patient groups to launch initiative to fight for rights of people in chronic pain.
Answer Ireland’s Call: Annalisa Flanagan, Co. Down, holder of the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s loudest shout, joined forces today with former Ireland Rugby International Malcolm O’Kelly to launch a new health awareness campaign entitled Can You Feel My Pain?
MS Ireland has joined forces with Pfizer Healthcare Ireland, Chronic Pain Ireland and leading Patient Advocacy Groups and Citizen Organisations across Europe to raise awareness and generate support for the 13% of people living with chronic pain in Ireland today.
The Can You Feel My Pain? campaign will harness the huge opportunity presented by the Internet and social networks to reach a wide audience, raising awareness and generating support for real change in the field of chronic pain.
The campaign is hosted on the Chronic Pain Ireland website and we’re asking all our members to play a vital role by signing the petition online
The ‘Bill of Rights’ – a chance to register your support
The Bill of Right consists of five key rights that we believe will help improve quality of life for those affected by chronic pain. These rights draw upon examples from other organisations (European Charter of Patients’ Rights2 and Chronic Pain Ireland’s Charter of Rights3) and call for improvements in the understanding and management of chronic pain.
Getting involved – the vital role you can play
Many of you will have experienced first-hand the dramatic impact chronic pain can have on all aspects of life. To fight for improvements in the management of chronic pain we first need to improve awareness and understanding.
By signing up to the Bill of Rights, you’ll be helping to drive change in the way chronic pain is perceived and the priority it is given. It’s time to make a difference and have your say!
Download CYFMP Press Release
1 Breivik H, Collett B, Ventafridda V, Cohen R, Gallacher D. Survey of chronic pain in Europe: prevalence, impact on daily life, and treatment. Eur J Pain 2006;10:287-333.
2 ‘European Charter of Patients’ Rights’ Active Citizenship Network, 2002. http://www.chronicpainireland.org/index.php?q=membership. Last accessed July 010www.adexo.pt/internacional/EuropeanCharterofPatientsRightsEnglish.pdf. Last accessed July 2010
3 ‘Charter of Rights for people living with Chronic Pain’ Chronic Pain Ireland
The campaign is being launched nationally by Chronic Pain Ireland with support from Pfizer Healthcare Ireland
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