The Ceifin Centre for Values-Led Change is about holding a mirror up to the reality of modern society. Based in Shannon, it has been doing this in different ways since its foundation in 1998. One of these ways is through its annual conference, which now attracts over 500 people from a cross-section of Irish society and is the focus of widespread media coverage.
Despite our increasing prosperity, there is a growing sense of isolation and disconnectedness in Irish society. For that reason the theme “Filling the vacuum?” was chosen for Conference 2005. What interventions are needed to establish and promote a strong sense of belonging within our society? This was a particularly successful conference, very well attended, with excellent presentations and lively feedback from the floor. These presentations are now contained in this publication and make compelling reading for those of us working towards a better society.
Fr. Harry Bohan, Chairman of the Ceifin Centre, qualified as Sociologist in the University of Wales and is currently Director of Pastoral Planning in Diocese of Killaloe and Parish Priest in Sixmilebridge, Co Clare. Believing in family and community as the two vital systems in fostering human relationships he founded the Rural Resource Organisation. This organisation was responsible for encouraging communities across Ireland to participate in determining their own future and resulted in the building of 2,500 houses in 120 villages, in 13 counties. In 1998 he founded the Ceifin Centre for Values-Led Change to carry on the conversation on the direction Ireland is taking. The purpose of Ceifin is to reflect, debate and direct values-led change in Irish society. He was appointed to the Task Force on Active Citizenship by an Taoiseach in 2006. Recognised as one of the leading social commentators in Ireland today Fr Bohan has written extensively on the subjects of Christianity, spirituality and economic development, the importance of the local responding to the global and on understanding change. He has broadcast widely on national radio and television. Fr Harry is also well known for his involvement in sport and Clare Hurling in particular.