The keynote speaker at the conference was the founder of Pieta House, Senator Joan Freeman. During her inspiring and challenging talk, Joan shared her journey following the death of her sister who took her own life.
Joan shared her belief that we must respond to people with compassion, and that people who feel suicidal can be supported to overcome their desires to end their own lives, if they have the support and help they need to deal with their thoughts and fears. It was this belief that encouraged her to open the first Pieta House to provide a community support to young and old who had mental health issues.
Joan spoke about the need to have proper Mental Health services for our young people, she stated that this was her reason for accepting her nomination as a Senator, she believes that she can be the voice of the young people and families who are effected by Mental Health issues.
The Le Chéile Schools Trust is the only trust who encourage the participation of Students, Parents, staff, and management at their annual AGM and Conference.
Two representatives from each of the 52 Trust schools, worked together on the theme of “Hope and Faith” as part of the journey. A student representative from each of the 14 Congregations from the Trust shared what they saw as the hope that continues from the founders of their Congregations. They also spoke about what they believe are the core values for Le Chéile Catholic Schools Trust today and into the future, which are Inclusion, Respect, Faith, and Justice
Sr. Liz Smyth who has taken a Career break from her position as Deputy Principal at St. Dominic’s College, Ballyfermot to take up the role as a Congregational Councillor was a guest and was honoured by Le Chéile for her commitment to education and the local community of Ballyfermot.