Skip to main content


Parkinson’s Community Meeting and Art Exhibition at Glucksman Gallery, UCC.

11 Sep 2015
Gerard O'Keeffe, Aideen Sullivan and Shane Hegarty meeting organisers. Margaret Garvey and Mary O' Sullivan at the exhibition launch.

On Monday, 7th September, the ‘Parkinson’s Community’ meeting took place at the Glucksman Gallery.This event was organised by Dr Shane Hegarty and Professor Aideen Sullivan of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, UCC, as part of the BRAINTALK project (

The purpose of the meeting was to bring together People with Parkinson's, Parkinson's researchers and clinicians, to create an interconnected Parkinson's Community in Ireland. Over 200 participants, the majority of whom were People with Parkinson’s and their carers, gathered in the Glucksman Gallery for a variety of presentations by Parkinson’s advocacy groups, People with Parkinson’s, therapists, neurologists and neuroscientists.

Move4Parkinsons and Kilkenny Voices of Hope choir led by Jennefer Grundulis. Speakers Jon Stamford, John O’Neill, Margaret Mullarney & Brian Magennis

The event began with a session on “Living with Parkinson’s”, which included talks by Margaret Mullarney of Move4Parkinson’s Ireland and Dr Jon Stanford of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, UK, both of whom are People with Parkinson’s and inspirational patient advocates. This session also included presentations on practical ways to improve daily life for People with Parkinson’s, by a specialist nurse, Brian Magennis, and a speech therapist, Jennifer Grundulis. There was an uplifting performance by two choirs : the Move4Parkinsons choir from Dublin, with the first public recital of their song “Live Your Life”, and the Kilkenny Voices of Hope choir. Both choirs joined together for a moving rendition of “Something Inside So Strong” which brought everyone in the room to their feet.

Neurologists Professor Tim Lynch, Mater Hospital and Dr. Sean O’Sullivan, Cork University Hospital with Professor Aideen Sullivan and Dr Shane Hegarty.

The “Understanding Parkinson’s” session included talks by Ireland’s two leading Parkinson’s neurologists, Professor Tim Lynch of the Mater Hospital, and Dr. Sean O’Sullivan from Cork University Hospital. The final session, “Challenging Parkinson’s”, involved presentations about the latest research on novel therapies and patient-centered research, by Professor Maeve Caldwell of Trinity College Dublin, Professor Aideen Sullivan of UCC and Dr. Denise McGrath from UCD.

 Speakers Dr Denise McGrath, Professor Maeve Caldwell and Professor Aideen Sullivan. Action from the Neuroscientists and Parkinson's paired dance.

To conclude the event, several People with Parkinson’s paired up with neuroscientists for a set-dancing session directed by Pat O’Dea. This dance was as a dialogue between those affected by Parkinson’s and those working to develop new therapies, and thus a fitting finale to the day.

John O' Neill gets a lesson from Pat O'Dea. Margaret Mullraney and Pat O'Dea take to the floor.

After the meeting, the ‘Parkinson’s Community’ art exhibition was launched. This includes paintings made by People with Parkinson’s in an ‘Exploring Parkinson’s with Art’ workshop held at the Glucksman Gallery on 28th July, as well as photomicrographs showing the ongoing scientific work by Parkinson’s researchers in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, UCC. Two additional artworks were made at the event on 7th September : the recital of “Live Your Life” was recorded and exhibited by Fearghal Cunningham as an audio waveform in digital print on tracing paper. The dance by People with Parkinson’s and researchers is exhibited in a digital video by Brid Corcoran, with the movement and interaction within this piece exemplifying the spirit of the meeting.


This exhibiton is in the Glucksman Gallery until Sunday 13th September.

The ‘Parkinson’s Community’ meeting and exhibition and the ‘Exploring Parkinson’s with Art’ workshop were funded by the Irish Research Council’s “New Foundations Award” through the BRAINTALK project, awarded to Dr. Shane Hegarty, Professor Aideen Sullivan and Dr. Gerard O’Keeffe.

 For more photographs and videos link to BRAINTALK Parkinson's Community Meeting and Exhibiton website

(Photos B.Riedewald)