Father of murdered Lurgan mother-to-be Natalie McNally among international speakers at Armagh Down Women's Aid Conference
and live on Freeview channel 276
With offices in Portadown and Newry, Women’s Aid Armagh Down has been a vital support system for hundreds of women in this area for decades and is now launching its 40th Anniversary Conference ‘Be the Change’ which takes place on Wednesday 28th February in Canal Court Hotel, Newry.
The conference, which boasts internationally renowned speakers, is aimed at anyone in business, sport or community life who has responsibility for people, such as HR professionals, managers, sports coaches, or community workers.
US-based Jackson Katz, an educator and author who has long been a major figure in the growing global movement of men working to promote gender equality and prevent gender-based violence, will be speaking. His ‘Mentors in Violence Prevention’ programme was the first large-scale prevention initiative in professional sports and the U.S. military.
Jackson will be joined by outstanding female speakers’ – lifelong campaigner and actress Sabina Higgins who is married to the current President of Ireland Micheal D Higgins; Dragon’s Den dragon and serial entrepreneur Norah Casey, who has lived experience, a senior legal figure; and Bernie McNally, Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Board along with young people impacted by domestic abuse. The event will be hosted by renowned broadcaster Donna Traynor.
Noel McNally, whose daughter Natalie was tragically killed along with her unborn child, in her own home in Lurgan just before Christmas 2022, will also be speaking. Noel will be attending with his wife, Bernie.
Eileen Murphy, CEO Women’s Aid Armagh Down said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be bringing such an exceptional line up of speakers to this area to talk to us about the concept of being an ‘active bystander’ in domestic abuse and male violence scenarios. This conference aims to reach beyond the usual audience for Women’s Aid, looking at the role of workplaces, schools, community groups and sport in tackling this scourge in our community.
“49 women have been murdered across the island of Ireland since March 2020 in domestic situations, 18 of these women in Northern Ireland. These are stark and shocking figures as behind each statistic is a woman, often children, and a heartbroken family.
“This needs to stop- we have the power to stop this, but we all need to be part of the change. This starts right from how we educate boys and girls at the earliest age, about how to treat each other and in particular how to treat women; as well as how we teach young people about healthy relationships. We are really looking forward to what will be a fantastic conference discussing these issues. Jackson has come over from Boston especially to join us."
Eileen continued: “We could not have done this without our sponsors and partners, our platinum sponsors Terex Corporation and Murdock Building Supplies with ReGen, Rathbane Group, and Jack Murphy Jewellers. We rely also on our statutory partners for their support with Newry Mourne Down PCSP (Police and Community Safety Partnership), Armagh Banbridge Craigavon PCSP and Southern Health and Social Care Trust partnering us on the event.
Tickets are limited and are available from womensaidarmaghdown.org .