After the success of last year’s inaugural Mediation Awareness Week, the programme will take place again this year from October 10 to 15 with events taking place across Ireland.
“Mediation Awareness Week (MAW) will highlight the benefits of mediation and the opportunity it offers to resolve conflict right across our society,” said Stiofán Nutty, public relations officer with the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland (MII).
“MAW is now an international event and the Irish programme is being driven by Austin Kenny and the Irish Commercial Mediation Association with the full cooperation of the MII and other organisations. Its purpose is to help raise awareness, understanding and access to mediation,” said Nutty.
“During the week, mediators from community groups, professional bodies, educational establishments, public bodies and family interest groups will give their time voluntarily to help the Irish public understand what mediation involves and the important role it can play in resolving disputes between individuals, businesses and community organisations.”
These volunteers work in various sectors of mediation practice including commercial, family, community and voluntary, organisation and workplace, elder, peace-building and agriculture.
The launch of a Workplace Mediation Report will take place at 10am on October 10 at Maynooth University to present the findings of a research project commissioned by the MII and conducted by a research team from the Kennedy Institute Workplace Mediation Research Group.
“Dr. Deirdre Curran from the J. E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUIG led the project which aimed to identify the skills, competencies and behaviours of workplace mediators and the implications of this for the development of workplace mediation in Ireland,” said Nutty.
“As the professional association for mediators in Ireland, the MII intends to use this review to further develop and enhance mediator quality standards for workplace mediation in Ireland,” he said.
The launch will feature a panel of experts on workplace mediation in Ireland who will discuss key developments in this area. Panellists include Professor Bill Roche, University College Dublin; Loughlin Quinn, director, Construction Contracts Adjudication Service & Civil and Public Service Mediation Service; Mary Connaughton, director, CIPD Ireland; a representative of the Workplace Relations Commission; Larry Broderick, IBOA; Maeve McElwee, director of Employer Relations, IBEC; and Karen Erwin, president of the MII, 2005-2012.
Peter Cassells, director, Kennedy Institute, Sabine Walsh, MII president and Kieran Mulvey, former director general of the Workplace Relations Commission, will oversee proceedings.
Another MAW highlight will take place on Tuesday October 10th at 16:00 in Court No. 2, Round Hall, Four Courts where the Court Services are holding Mediation and the Courts, “Perspectives from the bench”. The speakers will be Judge Rosemary Horgan, President of the District Court, Judge Petria McDonnell, Circuit Court and Justice Peter Kelly, President of the High Court
“The schedule for the week is continuing to build and a link to the MAW website will be available through the MII’s website,” said Nutty.
“One of the key events of MAW16 will be the MII Annual Conference which takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk on Friday October 14 and Saturday October 15,” he said.
The theme for this year’s conference is Ireland 2016: Mediation as an Agent for Change. Members of the public are welcome to register for and attend the conference.
“At the conference we are trying to improve the accessibility of mediation for the user by explaining how mediation works, its cost effectiveness, confidentiality, and capacity to deliver the best resolution to the parties involved,” said Nutty.
“Often in commercial cases, mediation enables parties to continue their business relationship. It is worth noting too that parties still have full access to the legal process should mediation prove unsuccessful,” he said.
“The new director general of the Workplace Relations Commission Oonagh Buckley will be addressing the conference dinner. Given the current unrest in the transport sector, conference delegates will be eager to learn about the work and operations of the WRC.”
[ITALIC] For more details on Mediation Awareness Week and the MII Annual Conference, see www.themii.ie or call Alison, Tel: 01-6099190 or Stiofán, Tel: 01-8354824 or 087 6175488.