A parent-to-parent voluntary support group


Cuidiu National Members Conference 2018

19th – 20th May 2018

The Talbot Hotel

Stillorgan Co Dublin

Hosted by Cuidiú Dublin South East


The Cuidiú National Members’ Conference will be taking place this year on the 19th and 20th May 2018, hosted by the Dublin South East Branch. The event will take place at The Talbot Hotel in Stillorgan, Co Dublin. We are looking forward to welcoming the Cuidiú community for two days of reflection, learning, chat & fun.


Tickets available -  http://cuidiuconference2018.eventbrite.ie
Urgent queries - Grainne 087 759 6718
Email - cuidiuconference@gmail.com


The 2018 Conference theme is: "Nurture through Nature".

As parents we all know that there is no greater joy than a young child splashing in a puddle!  Yet in this fast paced, modern world that we now live in, there is rarely the time for the simple experiences of being in nature.

Research has increasingly shown the importance of the outdoors to our existence as humans on this planet. Outdoor play is essential for children's development in many ways and we are also beginning to understand the positive impact that being in nature can have on our own mental health as adults.

Through this theme of Nurture through Nature we will explore the different ways that we can utilise this connection with Nature and the Outdoors to nurture not only our children but also ourselves as parents, individuals and part of our wider Cuidiú community.

Conference Speakers

In advance of the conference here is a brief synopsis of the speakers we have planned.

Keynote Speakers - Orla Gallagher and Trisha MacLoughlin

Orla Gallagher

Orla is an Early Childhood Professional, Forest School Leader and founder member of the Irish Forest School Association. A graduate of Early Childhood Care and Education, Orla developed an interest in both outdoor and risky play experiences, and then undertook a qualification in Forest School Leadership in 2015. Following her undergraduate research into unstructured outdoor play habits of children aged 3–6 years, Orla began studying for an MA in Child, Youth and Family Studies where she currently is undertaking a research project exploring the engagement of families with school-aged children in woodland environments in Ireland. Orla works freelance with several nature-based initiatives, including the Phoenix Forest School, Earth Force Education and Wexford Forest School Project, at the Irish National Heritage Park, in addition to support work with early years education services. Orla has a particular interest in supporting children's learning in wild outdoor spaces. 

Trisha MacLoughlin

Trisha has worked in both Early Childhood Care Education and Community Development sectors for over 10 years as a practitioner, researcher, consultant and lecturer. She holds a Research Masters in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education and qualified at Level 3 (UK) Certificate in Forest School Program Leadership in May 2016. Her key area of research is outdoor risky play. Trisha is the founder of Sligo Woodland Schools, and currently works delivering an outdoor preschool service in addition to her Forest Friday Educational Program. This provides a range of outdoor educational sessions to children aged 3–12 years through existing childcare services. The philosophy of the outdoor educational program is to approach learning in a holistic and experiential way. It allows children to engage in outdoor and wild natural spaces in an investigative, sensory, and physical way. The children participate in a range of activities, such as nature watching, sensory embodiment, and ‘bush craft’.

Orla and Trisha will be giving the keynote speech on Saturday entitled “Mud pies and Buttercups: Guiding your Child’s Experience in Nature based Play”.

Niamh O’Connell

Niamh O'Connell is delighted to be speaking on Saturday morning at the Cuidiú conference. Niamh is a home-schooling mother of three and Director and Nutritional Therapist at The Wellness Clinic (www.thewellnessclinic.ie). Niamh promotes no-nonsense back-to-basics self-care, prioritising simple home-cooked meals, sleep, exercise and stress management as the backbone of her approach with clients. She devised the popular URBANMAMA self-care program for women, and is co-organiser of the Irish Natural Family Health Conference this March 10-11 in Dublin 8 as well as continuing a private practice with one-to-one consultations in person and over Skype. Niamh will be speaking about self-care for mothers, getting good quality sleep (even if it is broken sleep!) and how the outdoor lifestyle boosts our immune systems.

Niamh will be presenting a talk on Saturday entitled “Natural Health for Parents”.


Katie Losty

Katie Losty, Physical Therapist, has almost twenty years’ experience in private practice specializing in The Elbaum Intelligence Integration Programme which is based on a series of Coordinated Movements and Stress Reduction Techniques to help children with learning difficulties.

In recent years, Katie Losty has been involved in a research project with Trinity College assessing the link between movement and learning. She has developed and delivered various Movement and Mindfulness programs for class teachers and resource teams in primary schools.

Losty believes many of the social, emotional and cognitive difficulties children struggle with today can be lessened by an awareness of the hugely valuable role outdoor activity and physical skill plays in development.

Katie will be giving an interesting talk entitled “Off the Beaten Track” on Saturday afternoon.

Catherine Wells

BA Psychology (UCD), MSC Behaviour Analysis (TCD, ongoing), BIBTAC Holistic Therapy.

Catherine is the current President of Cuidiú, for whom she has been an active volunteer for over 17 years. She first attended toddler mornings in her Dublin South East branch with her three children and says many of her best friends are Cuidiú mums.

She has been a Parent to Parent Peer Supporter for 15 years and is a Cuidiú Parent Peer Support tutor. Catherine has worked with St John of Gods, Dyspraxia Ireland and Autism Action Ireland. She is a member of the Teaching council of Ireland and the Perinatal and Infant mental health special interest group in the Physiological Society of Ireland. Catherine has a keen interest in postnatal depression, anxiety, well-being and mental health. Her mantra is Positive thoughts, make for Positive living.

Catherine will be opening the conference on Saturday morning and will also be exploring the fascinating topic of ‘The Importance of Boredom’ in a child’s life on Sunday morning.

Jackie Maguire

hDip Arts Education (NCAD); MA Equality Studies (UCD); BA Drama & Theatre Studies and Environmental Studies (Liverpool Hope University College)

Jackie is currently a Research Associate at TCD, a lecturer on early childhood arts at Maynooth University on the BA Early Childhood Teaching & Learning degree and is an early childhood artist.  Although Jackie works predominantly through music using the renowned Colourstrings approach, her practice is influenced by her formal drama training, which she incorporates as a performative element in her working methodologies. Jackie’s background includes over 15 years of working with children in Ireland and the UK. Recent early years arts programs include; Artful Dodgers (2017) and Big Way, Little Ways (2017) at the National Gallery of Ireland (2017).  Jackie has presented at a number of national and international conferences on her work as an early year’s artist and researcher.

Jackie will present a talk entitled ‘Nurturing your Child’s Creativity’ on Sunday morning.

Antenatal Ireland

The Cuidiú Antenatal Teachers will be bringing a very interesting workshop to this year’s conference entitled Nurturing the Wisdom Inside and Out: Antenatal Teachers’ Tools for Decision Making Throughout Parenthood.  This promises to be an interactive, lively group presentation by antenatal teachers, students and tutors, showcasing Cuidiú antenatal class activities, with a focus on informed decision-making tools that can be applied to all aspects of parenting from pregnancy to the teenage years.

Antenatal will be covering the topical ‘Nurturing the Wisdom Inside and Out: Antenatal Teachers' Tools for Decision-Making Throughout Parenthood’ on Saturday afternoon.

Ann Rigney and Doris Prokosch

Nia is a holistic fusion dance fitness that combines elements from dance, martial arts (like Tae Kwon Do) and healing arts (like Yoga). The routines are easy to follow and adaptable for any ability and fitness level. Nia is a fun, playful practice that can help to improve your health, fitness and overall wellbeing. Some people say Nia is like chocolate.  Just try it!

Ann is originally from Portland, Oregon, where Nia was founded. She has a background in dance and took Nia classes in Studio Nia. In 2006 she trained with the founders Debbie and Carlos Rossas to become a Nia teacher. Ann has been teaching Nia in Dublin ever since. She has danced and taught Nia throughout three pregnancies.

Doris discovered Nia in 2015. She researched Nia online, liked what she saw and was reminded how she had always loved to dance. Doris trained in 2016 with the brilliant Ann Christiansen and started teaching Nia in May 2017.

Both Ann and Doris regularly teach Nia Classes in Dublin and are very excited to be offering a fun class at this year’s conference on Saturday afternoon!

Catherine Barrett

B.SC Earth Sciences, M.SC Oceanography

Catherine is an active member of Cuidiú Dublin South East and is a trained Breastfeeding Counsellor and a qualified Parent-to-Parent Supporter. She is a Mum of two boys, aged 9 and 6 years old.

Catherine spent most of her time in college looking at rocks, rock pools, tides and coastal erosion but when she moved to Dublin her resident’s association were carrying out street cleans, and beach cleans. So, before she knew it, looking between the rocks in her spare time was becoming the norm. At the same time ‘Fishing for Litter’ with commercial fishermen, as part of her ‘day job’ in Bord Iascaigh Mhara, kicked off and pastime and passion fused.

The beach holds a wonder of exploration and creates a great opportunity to spend quality time with your kids…doing something we love today for their tomorrow. In her workshop Catherine will look at some initiatives that we can do on the beach with our babes.

Catherine will be carrying out an interactive workshop at the conference on Saturday afternoon called “Beach ‘n Babes”.


This year’s conference will take place in the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Co Dublin. https://www.talbothotelstillorgan.com This four-star rated, premier Dublin hotel has 150 bedrooms in total and all the comforts that you will need for your stay while attending the conference. 

The hotel is holding 40 bedrooms for Cuidiú conference attendees which will be released for sale to the public on 20th April if not booked. Please book your accommodation directly with the hotel at 01 2001800.

The hotel is easily accessible by car, situated on the N11 approximately 10 km from the city centre. There is ample free on-site parking available. Detailed driving directions can be found on the hotel website https://www.talbothotelstillorgan.com/location.html

The 46A and 145 buses stop directly outside the hotel and the journey takes approximately 35 minutes from the city centre (take a bus from D’Olier Street if leaving from city centre).


Room rates in the Talbot Hotel are as follows:

Single Room €119 per night B&B - based on single occupancy

Double Room €129 per night B&B - based on double or twin occupancy

Family Room €159 per night B&B - based on family occupancy

Please contact the hotel directly on 01 2001800 to book and be aware that the hotel will only hold bedrooms until Friday 20th April. Use the code CUIDIU to reserve your room.

Should you need to explore other accommodation options there are nearby alternatives to the Talbot Hotel. Please be aware that hotels in the area are booking up quickly for the weekend of the conference. There is a particularly popular concert on in Dublin that weekend.

Other nearby hotels include:

Rochestown Lodge Hotel, Dun Laoghaire

Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire

Haddington House Hotel, Dun Laoghaire

Tara Towers, Ballsbridge

Conference Booking

Tickets for the conference can be booked on Eventbrite and you can access the event at: http://cuidiuconference2018.eventbrite.ie

Please note that you must be a fully paid up member of Cuidiú to attend the conference.  

You can join or renew your membership here https://www.cuidiu-ict.ie/membership

The closing date for booking your conference ticket is 27th April 2018.

NOTE: Your accommodation should be booked directly with the hotel.

Breastfeeding Counsellor Training:

The Breastfeeding Sector of Cuidiú are holding a full days training for qualified or currently training Cuidiú Breastfeeding Counsellors (BFCs) on Sunday May 20th. It is held at the Conference to facilitate the 160 BFCs and 100 Trainees to attend conference and training in one weekend.

Please note that if you only intend to attend the Breastfeeding Counsellor training on Sunday 20th May you do need to register on the above Eventbrite link. The training if free and you only need to book lunch if required.


Full Conference inc. Cuidiú Dinner



Full Conference exc. Cuidiú Dinner



Full Conference inc. Cuidiú Dinner exc. Sunday Lunch



Saturday Only inc. Cuidiú Dinner



Saturday Only exc. Cuidiú Dinner



Sunday Only inc. Lunch



Sunday Only exc. Lunch



Cuidiú Dinner Only – Adult



Cuidiú Dinner Only – Child



Sunday Lunch Only



BFC Training – Sunday


Saturday Evening Entertainment

There is a fantastic evening of entertainment planned for you and your Cuidiú family!

Join us for dinner at 7pm. This will be followed by the Branch Clap – a chance to say a big thank you to your valued branch members. A raffle and some not-to-be-missed entertainment will be followed by music and dancing until late.  Full details to follow but be sure to bring your dancing shoes!!


If you have any queries please feel free to email us at cuidiuconference@gmail.com.

We will be very happy to assist. You can also contact us on our Cuidiú National Conference Facebook page www.facebook.com/CuidiuConference.

Meanwhile please like our Conference Facebook page to be notified of all updates!!