A one-day conference

Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin

Date: Thursday 30th May 2019

Ireland in recent years has seen an increase in dramatic weather events; Hurricane Ophelia, Storm Emma and the resulting effects. The demands of Ireland’s emergency response managers are ever changing. It requires them to have an exceptionally high standard of preparedness for any eventuality, either man made or by natures hand.

Their planning and response to events are vital to ensure the best possible outcome for any emergency event.

This conference is a must attend for all emergency response managers or those responsible in cases of emergencies big or small. There will be an expert line up of speakers discussing recent events and anticipated events and how we can improve our response going forward.

Book your place now!

5 Structured CPD Points

This event will be of significant interest to all emergency response managers in areas such as, county councils, government departments, semi-state agencies, communication consultants, fire safety experts, flooding and water service solutions, emergency response associations, universities, technology consultants.




Registration with tea, coffee and pastries


Conference Chairperson & Opening Remarks

Johnny Fallon, Account Director, Carr Communications

National Response to Fire, Snow, Drought and Flooding Emergencies

  • What has been learned from the response to recent weather events?
  • How to utilise state resources effectively on a national and local level
  • What training is needed to ensure staff competency?


Met Eireann

  • Plans to launch a Warnings Alert system for the general public discussed in detail
  • Warnings for Coastal Waters, Coastal regions and Northern Ireland
  • Some slight revisions explored in the warnings criteria.

Speaker: Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting, Met Eireann


Emergence of Drones for emergency response

  • What is the drone research project and U-Flyte?
  • Locating missing persons
  • Beyond the line of site tests
  • Swimmers in difficulty

Terrorist Attacks & Our Emergency Response

  • Brexit and the Terror Threat Assessment – new emerging Terror Threat – Dissident Republicans & Organised Crime overtaking Jihadist Threat On context Brexit & Hard Border 
  • How prepared are we for a potential attack
  • How likely is Ireland to be targeted?
  • Has our national emergency response guidance changed to incorporate terrorist attacks?

Speaker: Dr. Tom Clonan, Captain (Retired) Security Analyst


Traffic and Road Emergencies

  • AA Roadwatch – sources of info, research of traffic incidents, protocols
  • How traffic has evolved over the years – what areas are worse/better, how Ireland has changed with new infrastructure
  • How we handle and communicate major incidents on our roads eg Storm Emma, Storm Ophelia
  • How is AA Roadwatch part of the Government response to weather emergencies
  • Use of social media
  • Our dealings and resolutions with emergency services in traffic situations  
  • Snow/ice/grit management

Speaker: Arwen Foley, Spokesperson for the AA


Coffee break and chance to network


Are recent unusual weather events in Ireland a harbinger of things to come?

  • Is our countries infrastructure resilient enough to withstand these events?
  • A Review of recent unusual weather events such as Hurricane Ophelia, Storm Emma and the drought and heatwave of summer 2018 examined
  • Past weather records, which now stretch back over 300 years, and model projections of future extremes.
  • How can we improve our resilience on the basis of past extremes and will it help protect us against any future increase in extremes?

Speaker: Ray Bates, Meteorology and Climate Centre, School of Mathematics and Statistics, UCD


Fire Emergency Response

  • Developing and managing emergency national fire response at a national and local level.
  • Identifying potential challenges faced by organisations involved in firefighting, safety and rescue.
  • Establishing effective systems of control and communication in fire emergencies – how much responsibility for this lies with county councils?
  • County Councils must ensure the safety, health and welfare at work of its firefighters – repercussions for councils and fire services when this duty fails.
  • Fire in High rise buildings, do we have the equipment to respond to these emergencies?

Speaker: Dr Mike Dennett, PhD MIFireE


Q+A Session


Lunch and chance to network


Crowd management & evacuation procedures

  • Fight or flight – crowd psychology
  • Panic or appropriate response?
  • Bystander intervention – effect on evacuation procedures
  • Run Hide Tell?  Open air events – mitigation measures & conflict with evacuation procedures

Speaker: Sophie Ridley, Event Controller & Safety Consultant


Managing the message in a multi-channel world: social, media and communication in a crisis   

  • Be prepared- Developing an effective crisis management communication plan
  • Creating a time line of information before, during and after the incident
  • Leadership in a crisis and who’s running the business while the CEO runs the crisis
  • Social media and the age of disinformation: how to manage social platforms and fake news in an emergency
  • Reaching the right audience through the right medium – online and offline; internal and external
  • The Truth Squad: Ensuring a system that supports the sharing of accurate information and correcting inaccurate information
  • Managing the crisis when things go wrong
  • Case Study

Speaker: Alan Tyrrell, Managing Director, Teneo


Slándáil Project Trinity College

  • What is the social media monitoring system?
  • The legal and ethical considerations of using a social media monitor
  • How was it developed?
  • Trials of the software
  • How will this be implemented going forward?

Speaker: Khurshid Ahmad. PhD, FBCS, FTCD, CITP, Professor of Computer Science, School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College


Q&A session


Conference close

Alan TyrrellAlan Tyrrell

Managing Director, Teneo PSG, the Irish arm of global CEO advisory firm Teneo

With almost 20 years of experience in the core areas of corporate reputation, C-suite support, and issues management, Alan helps clients resolve critical business issues with sound counsel grounded in strategic and results driven communications advisory.

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Alan is a member of Teneo’s Ireland leadership team and is Managing Director of the Corporate Reputation Centre of Excellence working with clients as diverse as Allianz to Storyful and Krispy Kreme to Saint-Gobain. Alan has worked at senior level in-house and in agency having worked with PSG for a number of years before it was acquired by Teneo.

Alan’s sectoral expertise includes insurance, food, banking, retail, mining, media, and professional services, among others. Alan is also a non-Executive Board member and Vice-Chair with the Glencree Centre for Peace & Reconciliation (www.glencree.ie). An avid learner, Alan holds a Diploma in Company Direction from the IoD, a Masters in Strategic Management and has also lectured at Masters of Journalism level on the topic of Corporate Communications.

Dr. Tom ClonanDr. Tom Clonan

Retired army officer (Captain) who specialises in terrorism, security and defence issues

Dr. Tom Clonan lectures in the School of Media DIT.

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Dr. Tom Clonan is a retired army officer (Captain) who specialises in terrorism, security and defence issues. Captain Clonan has direct experience of armed conflict in Ireland, the Middle East and former Yugoslavia (Bosnia). He also has extensive experience of Aid to the Civil Power Operations (ATCP Ops – Counter Terrorism Operations) in Ireland. Tom has a special interest in Islamist Extremism and the changing nature of the terror threat within the European Union and Ireland.

Dr. Clonan is also Security Analyst with the Irish Times and the Journal.ie – along with national and international broadcasters, such as RTE, BBC, Sky News, Al Jazeera and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – where he provides in-depth defence and military analysis of fast-moving international events. Author of two best-selling books, Tom is an insightful speaker with a unique perspective on radicalisation and the contemporary terror threat.

His first book, ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’, was published in 2012 by Liberties Press. His second book, ‘Whistleblower, Soldier, Spy’ (Liberties Press) was published in 2013.

Johnny Fallon

Johnny Fallon

Senior Account Manager, Carr Communications

Johnny has worked in public affairs and media for almost 20 years and specialises in crisis communications, public affairs and issues-based PR, Johnny has worked with a wide range of clients. He has particular expertise in political communications, stakeholder consultation and media relations.

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At Carr Communications, Johnny provides PR support to a number of key clients. He has worked with some of Ireland’s leading organisations in the public and private sector.

Johnny is also an experienced trainer who has worked closely with several politicians and senior business figures to prepare them for media appearances, and to advise on and develop messaging, writing and campaign material. He has also worked with individuals and organisations appearing before Oireachtas Committees and other public forums. He has worked on a number of strategic branding exercises and assisted companies with their long-term positioning. Previously he worked for A&L Goodbody Consulting. He has significant insight into crisis management and has helped several organisations at key points when faced with difficult situations. He has also been close to several government figures and closely observed crisis management in this sphere.

In 2006 he published the very successful biographical account of life in politics for the ordinary supporter “Party Time: Growing up in politics”. The book has become recommended reading in Academic Institutions such as Maynooth University and has been widely cited in studies of Irish politics since. A regular speaker and conferences and seminars he published a major book on former Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen, entitled ‘Brian Cowen: In his own words’ in 2009.

In 2011 he published his third book ‘Dynasties: Irish Political Families’ which is a timely exploration of family in Irish politics and some of the key figures and decisions taken by leading politicians over successive generations. He is currently writing another book that is focussed on an examination of Irish governments that collapsed and what led to this. He has written a number of academic papers and regularly writes for national media outlets such as the Irish Independent. He is also a regular contributor to radio and TV and is much sought after as a guest providing analysis and assessment on national issues.

As an active user of social media, he was listed as one of the top 100 policy influencers on Twitter in Ireland and won a RaboTweetie in 2013. He is renowned for his love of County Longford and has two children who think he talks a lot of boring stuff.

Evelyn Cusack

Evelyn Cusack

Head of Forecasting, Met Eireann

Evelyn is a Physics and Maths graduate from UCD (1979) and also holds a Masters in Physics (1983 – Spectroscopy with Dr Sé O’Connor).

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She joined Met Éireann, the Irish Meteorological Service, as a meteorologist in 1981 and is now the Head of the Forecasting Division. She is the longest serving committee member of the Irish Meteorological Society (IMS) Committee. Since 1982 she has served as Secretary (twice), Assistant-Secretary (twice) and vice-President. As one of the many enthusiastic and inspirational members of the IMS she has helped organise many outreach and high profile events. She was part of the local organising committee for the Dublin EMS in 2017 and gave a presentation on Storm Naming.

Ray Bates

Ray Bates

Meteorology and Climate Centre, School of Mathematics and Statistics, UCD

Prof. Ray Bates is Adjunct Professor of Meteorology in the Meteorology and Climate Centre at UCD.

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He was formerly Professor of Meteorology at the Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen and a Senior Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. In his early career he was Head of Research at Met Éireann, where he was in charge of the introduction of computer weather forecasting using mathematical models.

Prof. Bates graduated in physics from UCD and holds a PhD in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has carried out research in various aspects of weather and climate during his career. In recent years his research has focused on the sensitivity of the climate system to increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

He has been the recipient of a number of international awards for his scientific work, including the 2009 Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal of the European Geosciences Union. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and the Academia Europaea.

Further details at www.raybates.net

Arwen Foley

Arwen Foley

Spokesperson For The AA

Arwen Foley is the AA’s digital content manager and a spokesperson for the organisation.

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She joined the company in 2007 as a traffic reporter, becoming a familiar voice and name to Irish radio listeners, broadcasting regularly on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio 1 as well as other national radio stations. She rose to become Editor of AA Roadwatch in 2014 before promotion to a more senior role in the AA.

She has also worked in AA’s PR and Public Policy functions and has served in a series of roles across the business.

Sophie Ridley

Sophie Ridley

Event Controller & Safety Consultant

Sophie Ridley has been involved in large scale events for the last 20 years.

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Last year for example she was Event Controller for the Ed Sheeran Irish tour playing to 420,000 over Ireland and was Deputy Event Controller Pedestrian and Transport Management for the Papal Visit. As a Safety Officer she is involved in licensing & event safety for music concerts and festivals throughout the country, marathons, air shows, conferences and exhibitions. Last year for example she acted as safety & licensing consultant to the Laya City Spectacular which attracts over 220,00 people between Dublin and Cork. She has a keen interest in emergency planning and pre hospital medicine particularly mass gathering medicine. Sophie Ridley started her career as a tour manager in the rock and roll business. Having managed world tours by The Smiths, Marc Almond, Ry Cooder, Happy Mondays and Simply Red she met an Irishman, moved to Ireland, had a baby and decided to try for a ‘proper job’! Achieving qualifications in Occupational Health & Safety, Emergency Planning and Management and Event Safety she developed a career in event safety operating as a safety consultant and as an Event Controller.

Khurshid Ahmad

Khurshid Ahmad

PhD, FBCS, FTCD, CITP, Professor of Computer Science, School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College

Professor Khurshid Ahmad is the Professor of Computer Science in the School of Statistics and Computer Science, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland since 2005.

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He was formerly Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Surrey, UK (1999-2005). He is currently working on spinning out his research in emergency management and decision making as a commercial venture: the product will be a social media monitor for use in emergencies. His research areas include artificial intelligence, machine learning, social media and networks, fuzzy logic and behavioural finance. He was trained as a nuclear physicist and worked in high-performance computing covering areas such as forecasting, computer-assisted learning, engineering design, and information extraction from continuous information streams comprising texts, images and numbers. Khurshid’s current focus is on the automatic analysis facial expressions and hand gestures of politicians. His book on Social Computing and the Law (Cambridge, 2018), focussing on emergency management, has just been published.

Dr Mike Dennett

Dr Mike Dennett


From 1964 to 1994 Mike served in all ranks of the fire service up to Assistant Chief Fire Officer working mainly in the Metropolitan areas of Merseyside, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire.

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In February 2002 he was awarded a Research Degree (PhD) at the University of Central Lancashire that encompassed work in fire technology, fire engineering, fire service management and economics.

As a fire investigator he has acted in cases throughout the UK and Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic, Belgium, Greece, the Canary Isles and Hong Kong.

There will be 5 structured CPD points awarded to all attendees at this conference from the CPD certification service

Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin

Booking Rate @ €395 + VAT.

Please note the early bird discount can close sooner than expected once a certain amount of seats fill up, therefore your prompt booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment

CMG Events Conference Discount

  • 10% discount for the third delegate booked or subsequent bookings thereafter from the same company.

The rate to attend includes morning tea/coffee and refreshments on arrival at registration, mid-morning tea/coffee and pastries and buffet lunch. You will receive the speakers PowerPoint presentations within 24 hours after the event. 

   Telephone:+353 1 2933650

Email: bookings@cmgevents.ie

Booking rate: €395.00 + VAT

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Payment for attendance is due within seven days from the date of invoice. This booking is transferable and a substitute attendee may attend on your behalf at no additional cost if you cannot attend. Cancellation of a booking must be received by CMG in writing by email or by post, no later than 14 days prior to the event or course date. Regrettably no cancelations or refunds can be made after this date. Cancellations will be charged an administration fee of 25% plus VAT.

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