Ireland’s COVID19 Crisis Response: Perspectives from Social Science 1st May

The first case of Covid-19 was observed in Ireland on February 29th. In the past month, we have had  unprecedented change in every aspect of Irish society. The response to the pandemic progressed from warnings to school and pub closures, to a comprehensive shut down of non-essential workplaces, and strong guidelines on physical distancing, hygiene, and travel. 

It is urgent to understand how people are responding to these changes. Adherence to physical distancing and protective health behaviours may be vital in delaying the transmission of the virus and allowing the health system to adapt. Understanding how to promote such adherence is a key topic of research for our community. Understanding the short-run impacts on mental and physical health is a key priority, as is understanding how the impacts of the restrictions are spread across groups of people and different types of businesses. 

In the longer term, the Covid-19 pandemic will leave a wide range of public policy challenges in its wake. It would be important to anticipate now what those challenges are likely to be and to explore how research can contribute to finding solutions. It is crucial to understand the implications of different scenarios for inequality, education systems, labour markets, public administration, financial systems, transport, climate change, just to name a few. It is vital that we contribute to this process as scholars and researchers with different areas of expertise. 

With these challenges in mind, we are launching a series of Covid19 crisis policy response events. The first took place on Friday April 17th, the second took place Friday April 24th and the third will take place on May 1st.  

The May 1st conference will take place  on-line via Zoom from 10:00 -1.20.  There will be 4 sessions with 2 parallel sessions in two time slots (10:00 am to 11.30am and 12 am to 1.20pm). 

We will distribute invites through various channels. 

Programme May 1st

Session 1 – 10:00 – 11:30

A. Work and Organisations 

Has COVID19 changed our relationship to work? In this session, research around work, motivation and self-regulation in a crisis will be discussed, along with practitioner views of the challenges facing employees from different perspectives. 

Chair TBD
Dr Deirdre O’Shea, (UL)
Dr Nuala Whelan, (MU)

To register for this panel click here

B Youth Mental Health  

How has covid impacted youth mental health? This session examines evidence and considerations for practice and policy. 

Prof. Eilis Hennessey (UCD School of Psychology) Chair
Dr. Niki Nearchou (UCD School of Psychology)
“Resilience of young people with chronic health conditions during the Covid19 pandemic”.
Prof. Gary O’Reilly (UCD School of Psychology)
“Its normal to feel more afraid, sad or angry”
Dr. Amanda Fitzgerald (UCD School of Psychology)
“My World Survey 2- Mental health considerations for young people during COVID-19”
Rachael Traynor (National Youth Council of Ireland)
“Mental Health in the Youth Work Sector”

To register for this panel click here

Session 2 – 1200 – 13.20

A Citizen Engagement

Never was it more important that citizens be brought into the heart of discussions about how to respond to the Covid19 crisis and what sort of Ireland we might like to see in the future. In this session, we will outline the recent history of citizens’ assemblies in Ireland and internationally, explore their potential in the workplace, and consider how they can be scaled up and moved online to allow a nationwide debate on post-Covid Ireland

Professor David Farrell (UCD)
Dr. Jane Suiter (DCU)
Margaret Heffernan

To register for this panel click here

B Climate Change 

The Covid-19 crisis and associated lockdown has led to a substantial reduction in energy demand leading to a drop in greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland and elsewhere. In this session, we will explore the most significant drivers of the fall in emissions and the implications for future climate change policy and society.

Lisa Ryan, UCD (organiser and chair)
Jim Scheer, SEAI
Joe Wheatley, UCD
John FitzGerald, Climate Change Advisory Council
Sadhbh O’Neill, DCU and Stop Climate Chaos

To register for this panel click here

Registration for this event will close at 18:00 Thursday April 30th

We hope to record each session and for it to be available online after the event.