19 Aug 2022

Offaly woman joins forum debating media leadership in Ireland

Offaly woman joins forum debating leadership in Ireland

Offaly woman joins forum debating leadership in Ireland

Tullamore native Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman, author and former journalist and broadcaster, has been announced as part of the line-up for a new event series aimed at instigating a high-profile public debate on leadership in Ireland.

Ms O’Reilly will join author and broadcaster Emma Dabiri and Editor of The Currency and Deputy Chair of the RTÉ Board Ian Kehoe to share her views on leadership in the media during a free online event on Thursday, 15th April at 1pm.

The event, ‘Leadership in the Media: A Two-Way Street?’ is the first of four events taking place as part of The Better Leadership Forum, a new initiative from LIFT Ireland aimed at instigating a high-profile public debate on leadership. The four events will take place across 2021, and each will focus on leadership in a particular sector of Irish society, including the media, politics, business and the public sector.

April’s event will explore leadership in the media, addressing topics such as:  the role of the media in calling out good and bad leadership; the importance of press freedom and an independent and well-functioning media sector; and the role of the media in promoting positivity during difficult times.

The Line-Up

The panel discussion will be moderated by Professor Kevin Rafter, Head of the School of Communications at DCU, while speakers include:

Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman, author and former journalist and broadcaster.

Ian Kehoe, Editor of The Currency and Deputy Chair of the RTÉ Board.

Emma Dabiri, author, broadcaster and social historian.

Sinéad O’Carroll, Editor of

Joanne Hession, founder and CEO of LIFT Ireland.

Professor Niamh Brennan, the Michael MacCormac Professor of Management at University College Dublin and Founder / Academic Director of the UCD Centre for Corporate Governance, will serve as rapporteur for all four events in The Better Leadership Forum; and a final report on lessons from the events will be published later this year. 

Background to the Better Leadership Forum

LIFT Ireland is an initiative founded by entrepreneurship and leadership expert Joanne Hession and designer, broadcaster and entrepreneur Sonya Lennon to raise the level of leadership in Offaly and nationwide. Current LIFT partners include ESB, Munster Rugby, Bank of Ireland, NUI Galway CPL, GOAL, Merchants Quay Ireland, SOLAS, Dublin Airport, and over 100 secondary schools across Ireland.

Launching the Better Leadership Forum, Joanne Hession, CEO and founder of LIFT Ireland, said: “Since LIFT was established in 2018, we have focused on building partnerships with organisations in Offaly and across Irish society, working at a grassroots level to promote better leadership in businesses, schools, charities and community groups. Now, we are building on our work to date with the launch of The Better Leadership Forum, an ambitious series of events that aims to spark public debate around the issue of leadership.

“We are delighted to have Ms. O’Reilly joining the Forum and hearing her perspective on some of the most pertinent questions around leadership in Ireland today. What does it mean – particularly in challenging times – to be a good leader? How do we cultivate ethical leadership across all facets of society? Do the media have a responsibility to call out poor leadership; and can they actually do that in practice? These are the sorts of questions we’ll be exploring during The Better Leadership Forum.”

Sonya Lennon, co-founder of LIFT, said: “Challenging times often bring out both the best and worst of leadership. At every level – from community initiatives to international governments – we have seen examples of good leadership over the past year alongside incidences of poor judgement and decision-making. We have a great opportunity now to reflect on what good leadership really means and explore a cultivation of ethical leadership across Irish society, for everyone's benefit.”

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