Mindful Nation Ireland
The Co-founding Chairperson of Mindful Nation Ireland, Michael has been practicing mindfulness for nearly forty years and has been actively involved in promoting the practice since his retirement in 2008. In that time, he established a number of meditation groups and became interested in the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness which had been established in the UK Parliament. Having attended one of their open meetings, he set up Mindful Nation Ireland along with Mary Lovegrove, to try to introduce mindfulness into public life and politics in this country.
Michael left a career in banking in 1996 to become Chief Executive of Fighting Blindness, an organisation he co-founded in 1983. He retired as Chairperson of that organisation in 2012.
Michael was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Trinity College, Dublin in 2009 in recognition of his almost three decades of advocacy for patient involvement in developing research for rare and genetic conditions in Ireland and internationally.
He has been a Board member of Retina International, the Health Research Board, and the European Disability Forum. He has chaired the European Platform for Patients Organisations, Science and Industry (EPPOSI), and the Stakeholders Forum of the European Bio Banking and Molecular Resources Infrastructure (BBMRI). He helped establish the Irish Platform for Patients’ Organisations, Science and Industry (IPPOSI), the Medical Research Charities Group (MRCG), and DEBRA Ireland, an organisation promoting research into Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).
In 2019 Michael won the EURODIS Black Pearl Lifetime Achievement Award for making a true and lasting difference for people living with a rare disease through his collegiate approach to advancing and funding medical research and providing platforms that represent the patient voice and improve patient access.