The Future Role of the EU Structural Funds to Advance Community Living, 3rd May 2013

The speakers will be drawn from civil society, policy makers, philanthropy and regional and international organisations.  They will include:

Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Older People, Equality & Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch, T.D.

Kathleen Lynch is the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Department of Justice, Equality and Defence with responsibility for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People – Ireland. She was appointed Minister of State on 10th March 2011.
Portfolio: Department of Health and Department of Justice, Equality and Defence, Ireland
The Minister of State is accountable for developing and articulating Government    policy on Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People. Minister Lynch is leading a fundamental Mental Health Reform Programme in Ireland (Vision for Change).
Political Career: In 1994 Minister Lynch was first elected to the Irish Parliament (Dáil Eireann) for the Labour Party. She was subsequently elected again in 2002 and has retained her seat since. In March 2011 the Labour Party formed a new coalition government with the Fine Gael Party with an agreed programme for government, including major Health Care Reform.
Memberships: Joint Parliamentary Committee on Health 2007, Joint Parliamentary Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights 2002-2007, Joint Parliamentary Committee on Enterprise and Small Business 2002 - 2006.


Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science (via video message).


President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne.



Senator Katherine Zappone, Senate of Ireland.

Senator Katherine Zappone is one of Ireland's foremost thinkers and legislators on equality issues. She was formerly a Commissioner with the Irish Human Rights Commission (2002-2012) and currently serves on the Irish Parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). She is also a member of the Committee on Equality and Non-discrimination of PACE and a member of the Irish Parliamentary Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality. She took a leading role in the pioneering Irish Senate hearings on the rights of older people which published a landmark report in March 2012 ('Report on the Rights of Older People'). The Irish Senate was one of the first parliamentary bodies in the world to consider the human rights of older people. Her previous work with the Joint Equality and Human Rights Forum of Ireland (North & South) on multiple identities established her as one of Ireland's foremost thinkers on the overlaps between identities such as disability and age ('Re-Thinking Diversity: the Challenge of Diversity', 2003) She has published research in national equality frameworks, effective children's services, equal opportunity in education, theology and spirituality, and human rights. She was Chief Executive of the National Women's Council of Ireland, and has taught ethics, practical theology and education in Trinity College Dublin.  She holds a PhD from Boston College and an MBA from the Smurfit Business School at UCD.


Professor Jerome Bickenbach, Director, Disability Policy Unit, Swiss Paraplegic Research &
 Permanent Visiting Professor, Faculty of Humanities and social Sciences, University of Lucerne.

Disability Policy Unit Head, Swiss Paraplegic Research Steering Committee member, ICF Research Branch of WHO Collaborating Centre for the Family of International Classifications in German Department of Health Sciences & Health Policy at the University of Lucerne.
Dr. Jerome Bickenbach is a full professor and holds the Research Chair in the Department of Philosophy and Faculties of Law and Medicine at Queen’s University. He is the author of Physical Disability and Social Policy (1993) and the co-editor of Introduction to Disability (1998), Disability and Culture: Universalism and Diversity (2000), A Seat at the Table: Persons with Disabilities and Policy Making (2001), Quality of Life and Human Difference (2003) and numerous articles and chapters in disability studies, focusing on the nature of disability and disability law and policy. He was a content editor of Sage Publications’ five 5 volume Encyclopaedia of Disability. His most recent book is Ethics, Law and Policy in the Sage Disability Resource Library. Since 1995 he has been a consultant with the World Health Organization (WHO) working on drafting, testing and implementation of the ICF, and continues to consult with WHO on international disability social policy. His research is in disability studies, using qualitative and quantitative research techniques within the paradigm of participatory action research. Most recently his research includes disability quality of life and the disability critique, disability epidemiology, universal design and inclusion, modelling disability statistics for population health surveys, the relationship between disability and wellbeing, disability and ageing issues and the application of ICF to monitoring the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As a lawyer, Prof. Bickenbach was a human rights litigator, specializing in anti-discrimination for persons with intellectual impairments and mental illness. Since 2007, he has headed the Disability Policy Unit at Swiss Paraplegic Research in Nottwil, Switzerland and is Professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Lucerne.


Camilla Parker, Just Equality, London.

Camilla Parker is an independent consultant specialising in mental health, disability and human rights law and policy and is one of the founding partners of Just Equality – a human rights and equality consultancy based in London, UK. She is a member of the Mental Health and Disability Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales.  Camilla also works as a consultant for the Open Society Mental Health Initiative and is an LLM tutor at Cardiff University, Wales. She has a particular interest in the human rights of young people in need of mental health care, which is the subject of her (part-time) doctoral research at Cardiff Law School.
Camilla’s publications include: Open Society Foundations, The European Union and the Right to Community Living: Structural Funds and the European Union’s Obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2012 (with Luke Clements) and United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Europe Regional Office, Forgotten Europeans – Forgotten Rights: The Human Rights of Persons Placed in Institutions, 2011.  


Madeleine Clarke, Founding Director, GENIO, Ireland. 

Madeleine Clarke is Founding Director of Genio, an independent organisation established in 2008 to harness public, private and non-profit interests to support and scale solutions to social problems. Prior to establishing Genio, Madeleine worked in the social sector for thirty years. During that time she undertook a number of roles including inaugural Chair and co-founder of the Children’s Rights Alliance of Ireland, Deputy CEO of Barnardos and an independent consultant working across statutory, philanthropic and non-governmental agencies. Madeleine is a psychologist by profession and an Ashoka Fellow. She holds an M.A. in psychology from University College Dublin and a M.Sc. [Econ.] from the University of Wales.


Maureen Piggot OBE, Council Member of Inclusion International and Director of Mencap Northern Ireland.


Pat Clarke (Executive Committee Member, European Disability Forum).

Pat Clarke is Chief Executive of Down Syndrome Ireland and Past- President of Down Syndrome International.

He is a member of the Executive Board of the European Disability Forum where he chairs its Youth Committee and its Committee on Stereotypes and Access to Health. 

He serves on the board of the Disability Federation of Ireland and the boards of the Children Rights Alliance Ireland, the European Down Syndrome Association and the Governing Body of the International Disability Alliance.  He also serves on the advisory board of the European Coalition on Community Living.  He was a member of the Council of Europe Committee which investigated the involvement of persons with disabilities in political and public life.  He has been a long-time advocate for the full inclusion of people with Down syndrome in particular and all people with disabilities in general in society at every level.  His son David has Down syndrome and is a self- advocate.


Professor Thomas Scharf, Professor of Social Gerontology and Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway.

Tom Scharf is Professor of Social Gerontology and Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, Ireland. He is also current Academic Director of the Lifecourse Institute, which combines the strengths of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology with those of the Child and Family Research Centre and the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway.

With a first degree in German and Politics from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and a doctorate in political science from Aston University, Tom’s research encompasses the fields of social gerontology, social policy and political science. Tom moved to NUI Galway in 2010 having previously been Director of the Centre for Social Gerontology, Keele University, UK. He was elected to the UK Academy of Social Sciences in 2009 in recognition of his work on ageing.

Tom is best known for his work on aspects of advantage and disadvantage faced by older people. At NUI Galway, Tom is working with colleagues on a major programme addressing issues relating to ageing in rural communities. He is also engaged in a variety of projects concerning poverty in later life and aspects of intergenerational solidarity.

His latest book is From Exclusion to Inclusion in Old Age: A Global Challenge (co-edited with Norah Keating; Bristol: The Policy Press, 2012).


Louise Richardson, Vice President, AGE Platform Europe.


European Commission:

  • Inmaculada Placencia Porrero, Deputy Head of Unit, Rights of Persons with Disabilities Unit, DG Justice.
  • Andor Ürmös, DG Regional Policy.


Professor Gerard Quinn, Centre for Disability Law & Policy, NUI Galway, Ireland.

Gerard Quinn is the Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the NUI Galway School of Law.  Called to the Irish Bar in 1983, he holds a masters (LL.M.) and doctorate in law (S.J.D.) from Harvard Law School. His specialization is international and comparative disability law and policy.

He is a member of the Irish Human Rights Commission and helps co-ordinate the work of National Human Rights Institutions worldwide on disability issues. He led the delegation of Rehabilitation International (RI) during the UN Working Group that elaborated the basis for the new Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He has worked in the European Commission (as a civil servant), and held a number of posts such as Director of Research for the Irish Government’s Law Reform Commission and Vice President of the European Committee of Social Rights (Council of Europe).  He sits on various advisory boards dealing with disability law and policy issues such as the Commonwealth Secretariat, SOROS-OSI (Washington, DC), Disability Rights Fund (Boston, MA), European Foundation Centre Consortium on Disability(Brussels), European Coalition for Community Living (London), Interights (London).

In January 2012 President Michael D. Higgins appointed Professor Quinn to the Republic of Ireland’s Council of State.


Ines Bulic, European Network for Independent Living (ENIL).


Kathy Greenlee, Administrator of the Administration for Community Living and US Assistant Secretary for Aging.

Kathy Greenlee serves in the dual roles of Administrator of the Administration for Community Living and Assistant Secretary for Aging. Ms. Greenlee was appointed by President Obama as Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Senate in June 2009.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is a new federal agency operating within the Department of Health and Human Services. ACL brings together into a single entity the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability, and the Administration on developmental Disabilities. ACL is charged with working with states, tribes, community providers, universities, nonprofit organizations, businesses and families to help seniors and people with disabilities live in their homes and fully participate in their communities.

Assistant Secretary Greenlee believes that people with functional support needs should have the opportunity to live independently in a home of their choosing, receiving appropriate services and supports. She is committed to building the capacity of the national aging and disability networks to better serve older persons, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities.

Kathy Greenlee served as Secretary of Aging in Kansas, and before that as the Kansas State Long Term Care Ombudsman. She also served as the General Counsel of the Kansas Insurance Department and served as Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations for then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

Ms. Greenlee is a graduate of the University of Kansas with degrees in business administration and law.


Miguel Angel Cabra de Luna, European Consortium on Human Rights and Disability, European Foundation Centre, Brussels.

1997, Ph.D. in Law. Present position(s): 2000- Director for Social Relations, International Affairs and Strategic Planning of Foundation ONCE; 1998- Member of the European Economic and Social Committee; 2001- Regular Member of the European Platform Social Economy Europe (SEE); 1995- Member of the Governing Body of the Spanish Business Confederation of the Social Economy (Confederación Empresarial Española de la Economía); 2003- Deputy Member of the Council for Promotion of Social Economy (Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs) (Consejo para el Fomento de la Economía Social del Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales ).

He has published 34 books together with other experts as well as numerous scientific articles on issues related to Social Economy, Foundations and Non-Profit Organizations.

Since 1994, author of an annual book about legal regulations on disability in Spain and the European Union.


Jan Jarab, Regional Representative, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Europe Regional Office), Brussels.


Ludovica Banfi, EU Fundamental Rights Agency, Vienna.


Raluca Bunea, Open Society Foundation, Mental Health Initiative, Budapest.

Raluca Bunea is Senior Program Officer at the Open Society Foundations Mental Health Initiative, where she has worked since 2006. In her current role, Raluca leads MHI’s strategy development and implementation in several countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, and provides support to the Program Director with budget and staff management. In Moldova and Romania she has led MHI’s systemic reform work in partnership with governments aimed at the deinstitutionalization of people with mental disabilities and the establishment of community-based support systems alongside the development of policies and financial mechanisms to sustain them.

Previously, Raluca worked at Habitat for Humanity Romania on the development of community programs to address local poverty housing, and as Senior Program Manager overseeing Habitat’s programs in the country. Raluca designed and led the implementation of Habitat’s first emergency intervention in the Europe/Central Asia administrative region, as a response to the 2005 flooding disaster in Romania, which had left thousands displaced.

Raluca holds an MSc in Development Management from the Open University, and a BA in English Language and Literature from the Faculty of Letters, University of Oradea, Romania.


Prof Michael O’Flaherty, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.



Professor Michael O'Flaherty took up the position of Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in September 2011. He is on partial leave from his posts as Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway.
From 2004-2012 he was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, latterly as a Vice-Chairperson. He is a member of the UK government's advisory bodies on freedom of expression and the prevention of torture. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. He also sits on a number of advisory boards of human rights groups and journals internationally.
He read law at University College Dublin, theology and philosophy at the Gregorian University, Rome, international relations at the University of Amsterdam and is a Solicitor of the Irish Courts.
O'Flaherty was the principal drafter of the General Comment of the Human Rights Committee on the freedoms of opinion and expression (adopted in 2011). He was also rapporteur for the Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law with regard to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (the Yogyakarta Principles)(2007).
He initiated and directed the opening and closing expert consultations of the Dublin Process on the Strengthening of the UN Human Rights Treaty Body System and was rapporteur for its Dublin Outcome Document (2009-2012). He was a member of the UN Expert Task Force on Human Rights Indicators that concluded its work in 2012.
O'Flaherty's recent publications include volumes on the law and practice of human rights field operations, the professionalization of human rights field work and on human rights diplomacy.
Prior to taking up academic positions, O'Flaherty was a senior United Nations official. He established the UN human rights field missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994) and Sierra Leone (1998) and subsequently guided UN headquarters support to its human rights programmes across the Asia-Pacific region. He has served as Secretary of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and UN human rights advisor for implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. From 2000 to 2002 he chaired the UN reference group on human rights and humanitarian action.


Duncan Wilson, European Group of National Human Rights Institutions (led by the Human Rights Commission of Scotland).


Session chairs will include:

  • Senator Katherine Zappone.


  • Minister of State for Public Service Reform and the Office of Public Works, T.D, Brian Hayes.

Brian Hayes TD is Minister of State for Public Service Reform and the Office of Public Works. He has held a number of senior positions on the Fine Gael Front Bench and represents the constituency of Dublin South West. Minister Hayes has also served as Leader of the Party in the Seanad and as a member of South Dublin County Council.


  • Hywel Ceri Jones, Co-Chairman of the European Consortium of Foundations on Disability and Human Rights, European Foundation Centre, Brussels and former Deputy Director General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, European Commission.

Hywel Ceri Jones graduated in 1962 from the University of Wales. He held administrative posts at the University of Sussex, including deputy director of the Centre for Educational Technology and Curriculum Development, and served as part of the team that created the Open University. In 1973, he joined the European Commission as Head of Department for Education and Youth Policies where he was responsible for launching a range of flagship programs, including ERASMUS, COMETT, TEMPUS, LINGUA, PETRA, FORCE and YOUTH FOR EUROPE. In 1993, he was appointed as Deputy Director-general of the Directorate General for Employment, Social Policy and Industrial Relations of the European Commission, where he was responsible for the European Social Fund, and for external relations of the EU in the field of social policy; social protection, disability and equal opportunities policies. He was responsible for the design and development of Community Initiatives including: EQUAL, ADAPT and YOUTHSTART.

Since retiring from the European Commission, Hywel Ceri Jones has served both as senior social policy adviser and European adviser to the Secretary of State for Wales, chaired the Governing Board of the European Policy Centre (Brussels), and served as director of the Network of European Foundations (NEF). He is Adviser to the Freudenberg Foundation and to the European Forum on the inclusion of Roma in Europe, and is Co-Chairman of the European Consortium of Foundations on disability and human rights. He is a member of the steering group of the think-tank “Tomorrow’s Wales”. He has received numerous awards, including being made a “Commander of St Michael and St George” (CMG) for services in Europe, and doctorates from the universities of Sussex, Leuven and Ireland. He is an honorary fellow of Glyndwr University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

  • Martin Naughton (European Network for Independent Living).