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Epilepsy Ireland National Conference 2024

Gibson Hotel Dublin

We’d like to invite you to the Gibson Hotel Dublin on the 21st September – but not for a first date! The home of RTÉ’s First Dates will instead play host to our 2024 National Conference.

Earlier this year we conducted a survey asking people what they would like to see at our conference, and we have put together a packed agenda that reflects the key areas respondents highlighted.

Our annual conference brings people with epilepsy from across Ireland and their families to learn more about the condition and listen to expert speakers discuss their areas of interest or research. Most importantly, the conference represents an opportunity for people with epilepsy and their families to meet others with the condition, alongside the Epilepsy Ireland team.

We hope you will in a position to attend in-person on the day.  Early bird and members tickets are now available at the price of €35 until the 6th of August! You can buy your tickets via the button below.  Ticket prices include a 2-course lunch for all attendees.


Will the conference be streamed and recorded?

The conference will be live streamed and recorded, with conference recordings added to our website in November. We do understand that attending in-person is not an option for everyone, but we would encourage you to join us in-person if possible. As part of the survey we issued, one of the overwhelming parts of feedback was that the conference give time for people to meet each other. This is why specific time is allocated within the draft conference agenda to allow people to meet and why we are encouraging people to attend in-person if possible.

Due to the costs of offering a hybrid event and live stream, there will be a charge of €20 (€10 for members) for those seeking to access the live stream. We will post a link to book your ticket for the live stream in July. Details on how to access the live-stream will be sent in advance of the Conference and the link to join will be issued on the morning of the conference as well.

Conference Agenda

Please note that the conference agenda is still in the process of being finalised and these are working presentation titles. The below is a DRAFT timetable – while speakers included have been confirmed, please note that there may be slight variation to times and the agenda below is subject to change. 

9:00 – 10:00: Registration
Arrive at our conference and get registered for the day ahead. Meet our team or other attendees and have a cuppa while you visit our stands.

10:00 – 10:05: Welcome and official opening!
Our Conference will be officially opened by our Training & Quality Manager, Edel Curran, who will go through any housekeeping and warn our speakers about her famous stopwatch (previous attendees of our other conferences will know what we mean!)

10:05 – 10:45: Dr Sophia Varadkar – Developments in diagnosis and treatment of complex childhood epilepsies
Dr Varadkar is a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at Great Ormond Street London and has specialist interests and expertise in complex epilepsy. She holds new and follow-up epilepsy clinics, epilepsy surgery clinics jointly with the epilepsy neurosurgeons, and transition clinics jointly with the adult neurologists (Dr Varadkar is an Honorary Consultant at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery). She is also the clinical lead for the Vagus Nerve Stimulation therapy programme. As part of her input, Dr Varadkar will discuss her expertise in the field of complex paediatric epilepsies and developments in its treatment.

10:45 – 11:20: Professor Tony Marson – The First Epileptic Seizure
Professor Marson leads the Liverpool Epilepsy Research Group and is an honorary consultant neurologist at The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust. Prof Marson’s research has focussed on improving the treatment of epilepsy in the UK and worldwide, and in particular on the assessment of interventions and outcomes in epilepsy. As part of his input, Prof Marson will present a unique insight from a neurologist’s perspective on the decision-making process in treating a person’s first epileptic seizure, as well as discussing the importance of people with epilepsy contributing directly to research.

11:20 – 11:35: Questions and Answers
Following our first two presentations of the morning, both Dr Varadkar and Prof Marson will take questions from our attendees.

11:35 – 11:50 – Movement Break
Take a short comfort break to stretch the legs and chat to fellow attendees!

11:50 – 12:30 - Dr Cristina Ruedell Reschke – Circadian Rhythms and epilepsy and sleep hygiene
Dr Ruedell Reschke is a Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences (SPBS) at the RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences and is a Funded Investigator in the FutureNeuro SFI-Research Centre. Dr Reschke is currently leading on Epilepsy Ireland funded research investigating Circadian biomarkers in Dravet syndrome and she will discuss this work and what it might mean for potentially preventing SUDEP in the future. Dr Ruedell Reschke’s post-doctoral researcher, Radharani Benvenutti, will also be on hand to provide an input on sleep hygiene and its importance to epilepsy and to all round health.

12:30 – 1:00 – Epilepsy Ireland Updates and Volunteer of the Year awards presentation
Our CEO Peter Murphy will provide some organisational updates on the work of Epilepsy Ireland, and we will also recognise the outstanding contributions of our Volunteers of the Year for 2024. The Volunteers of the Year awards has been a fixture of our conferences since 2016 and recognises the outstanding contributions of an individual volunteer, or group of volunteers.

1:00 – 2:15 Lunch
We’ll take a break from proceedings to pop out for a bite to eat an enjoy our 2-course meal at the Gibson!

2:15 – 2:50 – Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Epilepsy, Sinéad Murphy – Women with epilepsy, the need to knows!
RANP Sinéad Murphy, who has a special interest in women with epilepsy and runs specialised clinics for women with epilepsy in Beaumont, the Rotunda, Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda and the Mater will discuss a number of topics of interest to women with epilepsy with topics including pre-conceptual planning, pregnancy and much more.

2:50 – 3:25 – Professor David Henshall – From Dogs to Humans? The microRNA treatment for epilepsy.
Prof David Henshall is the Director of FutureNeuro, the SFI Research Centre for Chronic and Rare Neurological Diseases. Prof Henshall and colleagues have a number of ongoing research projects focussed on epilepsy, some of which are part-funded by Epilepsy Ireland. In this presentation, Prof Henshall will discuss an ongoing METriC veterinary clinical trial of a microRNA drug to treat epilepsy in dogs, which is showing exciting results. Where could this lead? Professor Henshall will discuss this and more as part of his input.

3:25 – 4:00 – Dr Aoife Morrin – AI, seizure scents and dogs!
Dr Aoife Morrin from the school of Chemical Sciences at Dublin City University will join us to discuss two exciting new projects: the first involves analysing the chemicals our skins secrete as indicators of various physiological states and then investigating if a stable, seizure-specific scent-based signature from skin across individuals, types of seizures, and time points can be determined and what this could mean for seizure detection. The second involves dogs responding to seizure scents and the use of artificial intelligence to potentially develop a wearable seizure detection device which can be triggered by the dog’s response to a seizure related scent. Given previous inputs on this topic, we are sure this will be of interest to many of our attendees on the day!

4:00 – 5:00 – Epilepsy Community Meet-Up!
The day will close with attendees grabbing a cup of coffee or tea and meeting with others who are in attendance on the day, or with the Epilepsy Ireland team! As noted, the importance of an opportunity to mingle with other attendees was highlighted in our survey so we have set aside this specific time for people to meet and make connections with others.

Further information

If you have any further questions, please contact our team by calling 01 455 7500 or by emailing Thank you for your interest in attending our conference and we look forward to welcoming you to the Gibson on September 21st!