A parent-to-parent voluntary support group


Cuidiu National Members Conference 2017

by Waterford Branch

Saturday 13th - Sunday 14th May 2017
at the Woodlands Hotel and Leisure Centre, Waterford

 Conference is always a fantastic opportunity to get together, share and connect with members old and new, from branches nationwide.

We invite you to join us, as we gather as a community.

NOTE: Conference is available to Cuidiú Members ONLY.

Please ensure that you Renew Membership for 2017 or Join Cuidiú as a paid member before registering on our eventbrite.

'Empowered Parent, Empowered Child'

In recent decades, parents have had to raise children in an increasingly isolated way than our predecessors, without close family and community to support us. Yet we are bombarded with information and advice from media and 'experts' on how we should parent. This can lead to confusion and feeling disempowered as a parent.

This year's conference focuses on how we can care for ourselves and pass on the benefits of that state of well-being to our children. This is an important element in the parenting tool box to allow us be confident in our own abilities as parents, to do the best for our children. 


Come join our Cuidiú family at the comfortable setting of the Woodlands Hotel and Leisure Centre, Waterford for this year's National Member's Conference. Ample parking and leisure, spa and childcare facilities available on site (must be pre-booked with hotel). There are hotel rooms being held for Cuidiú Members. So please ensure you book your accommodation directly with the Woodlands Hotel (www.woodlandshotel.ie) and quote CUIDIU-2017 upon booking to avail of 'held' rooms. (fully Booked out)


Conference booking this year is via Eventbrite: cuidiu-national-members-conference-2017.eventbrite.ie

This is a members conference, please renew your membership for 2017 or Join Cuidiú here before registering on Eventbrite. 

Follow the link for Cuidiú National Conference event above to book your place. A variety of options are available so please be sure to book your preferred choice.

The closing date for conference registration is 21st April 2017. Booking accommodation is a separate process this year.

TICKET PRICES (ticket sales closed)

Full Conference inc. Cuidiú Dinner €58.00
Full Conference exc. Cuidiú Dinner €38.00
Full Conference inc. Cuidiú Dinner exc. Sunday Lunch €48.00
Saturday Only inc. Cuidiú Dinner €55.00
Saturday Only exc. Cuidiú Dinner €35.00
Sunday Only inc. Lunch €32.00
Sunday Only exc. Lunch €20.00
Cuidiú Dinner Only Adult €25.00
Cuidiú Dinner Only Child €9.50
Sunday Lunch Only €14.00
BFC Training Sunday FREE

Please note, all ticket prices are subject to a 2% surcharge upon payment via Eventbrite.


If you are a Breastfeeding Counsellor Trainee or Breastfeeding Counsellor, you will be aware that there is a breastfeeding training day on Sunday 14th May 2017 running concurrent to the National Conference.

If you plan on attending this training, you NEED to register via our booking process on Eventbrite (see above).

Breastfeeding Counsellors requiring lunch need to select and pay for this option also in order to join with regular Sunday conference attendees. Breastfeeding Counsellors who wish to attend on Saturday need to register and pay for the Saturday option they require.

ACCOMMODATION (Conference Hotel Booked Out)

For this years conference, you must book and pay for your hotel accommodation entirely separate from conference registration. Special discounted rates have been negotiated in this luxury hotel for rooms and a variety of room options are available.

Room rates are as follows -price per room per night:

  • Single room €90
  • Double room €140
  • Triple room €180

All rates are including Breakfast.

Parking is complementary for all conference attendees including overnight guests. Please note that there is a limited number of bedrooms reserved at the hotel which will be available until the 21st April 2017 at these discounted rates.


To avail of our special conference rates, please book your accommodation via telephone (051)304574, using the promotional code CUIDIU-2017.

All conference booking details are also available on the various Cuidiú Facebook pages.


The hotel has a créche onsite, that is run by a private operator. The service is available from 10am until 4pm on Saturday and 10am until 1pm on Sunday. Delegates that require child minding need to book directly with Mary on 086 1931948.


Keynote Speaker - John Lonergan

John Lonergan entered the prison service in 1968. In the years that followed, he developed a deep understanding both of human nature and of Irish society. Over 30 years, Mr. Lonergan, the former governor of Mountjoy Prison, has been presenting talks for parents based mainly on his own experience as a parent but also coloured by the 42 years he spent working in the prison service. He has put his philosophy of parenting into a book, Parenting: Raising Your Child in Ireland Today, with all royalties going to Barnardos (he has never profited personally from giving the talks either).

Lonergan's main emphasis is on raising awareness for parents by highlighting the simple things that can make such a difference for good, or not so good, as the case may be. He focuses on the pre-teen and teen years but the approach he advocates should start the day the baby is born. He maintains that your long-term objective is to help your child to become self-disciplined, responsible and accountable  and to do that we should involve our children in the decision making process. Lonergan sees presence as being a huge factor in parenting and doesn't hesitate in nominating chatting more with older children as the number one factor.

Keynote Speaker - Caroline Crotty

Caroline Crotty B.Soc.Sc. M.A. (Counselling & Psychotherapy) works on a one:to:one basis with adolescents and adults at her clinics in Cork city and Bantry, west Cork. Caroline regards her role as a therapist as spotlighting the positive (because we are adept at spotting the negative). Caroline's philosophy is that we can become happier and more confident in ourselves when we learn and practice relevant skills and techniques (e.g. challenging negative thinking; being solutions-focused, exercising positive self-talk, controlling anxieties etc).

Caroline writes for publication, tutors on a psychology course, provides training for teachers in the art of being happy and is currently undertaking an M.Sc. in psychology. Caroline also devises and delivers talks, workshops and training courses on a range of well-being topics both in the workplace and the community. For further info or to contact Caroline at www.carolinecrotty.ie.

Catherine Wells

BA Psychology (UCD), M.Sc Behaviour Analysis (TCD, ongoing), BIBTAC Holistic Therapy.

Catherine is the current President of Cuidiú, for whom she has been an active volunteer for over 15 years. She first attended toddler mornings in her Dublin South East branch with her three children and says many of her best friends are Cuidiú mums.

She has been a Parent to Parent Peer Supporter for 15 years and is a Cuidiú Parent Peer Support tutor. Catherine also devises and delivers lively and informative talks, workshops and training courses on a range of parenting and mindfulness topics.  

She is a member of the Teaching council of Ireland and the Physiological Society of Ireland special interest group for Perinatal and Infant mental health. Catherine has a keen interest in postnatal depression, anxiety, well-being and mental health. Catherine has worked with St John of Gods, Dyspraxia Ireland and Autism Action Ireland.

Her mantra is "Positive thoughts, make for Positive living" 

Aoife Hearne

BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics, MSc Sports and Exercise Nutrition, MINDI.

A Waterford native, Aoife has a wealth of dietetic experience, including 8 years working as a Dietician in the United States, returning to Waterford to run her own private practice, and authoring her book The Plan (2016). Of course we all know her from her work on Operation Transformation.

Since becoming a mother in 2014 Aoife has been a passionate advocate of breastfeeding, supporting pregnant women and continuing every child's journey to health from birth.

In her private practice, Aoife sees individual clients and also works as a group facilitator. Her Bump2Baby classes teach about the importance of diet during pregnancy to breastfeeding baby to weaning baby. Aoife works closely with local GP and also provides nutrition services to schools, industry, sports teams and community groups. She has extensive experience in counselling patients with diabetes, cardiac disease, increased cholesterol, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), those with weight control issues and patients undergoing cancer treatment. In addition to this, Aoife completed training on the Low FODMAP diet, at Kings College London, and she has experience and interest in managing gut problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohnans disease and Coeliac disease.

Sue Jameson

Sue Jameson has worked in the field of Education for Parenthood, and Breastfeeding Support for almost thirty years. Sue currently works as a Lactation Consultant in Private Practice visiting parents in their own homes and helping them negotiate the early days with their newborn.

Recognising what is normal in infant behaviour can often reduce the stress and fear that is experienced by many parents who worry that they may not be getting it right. Why babies do what they do, how can we read their signals and above all how to enjoy the first steps into this uncharted territory of becoming a parent are all areas that Sue covers in her talks.

Sue has a special interest is in the physiological basis of attachment and how do we develop and support the tie that infants have to their caregivers. Sue will talk about the newest research on why infants do what they do now validates what generations of parents have known already, that babies are hard-wired to seek out social situations, to engage with their carers on a level heretofore never suspected. The way the brain grows and matures in the early years can have very long lived outcomes so it behoves us to give babies the optimal brain development opportunities in the early weeks and months.

Sue is a widely acclaimed speaker and covers many topics in relation to parenting, infant development and breastfeeding, both for parents and health care professionals. In conjunction with others, she provides in-service education for Public Health Nurses and Midwives under the auspices of the Health Promotion Dept.

Her talks are always lively, humorous and contain sufficient information for even the most up to date practitioner.

Claire Bulfin

Claire has been a Cuidiú member and supporter for many years and completed both BFC training and Antenatal Teacher training. She was one of the founding members of the Cuidiú Waterford branch.

Claire worked in University Hospital Waterford for 13 years and has been a qualified IBCLC Lactation Consultant for the last 8 years. Claire has recently opened her own Lactation Consultancy Practice in Waterford City(www.breastfeedingwaterford.ie). Other roles include coordination of breastfeeding support services for Dr. Justin Roche Tongue Tie Clinic in Clonmel Co Tipperary and Lactation Consultation support with the HSE website www.breastfeeding.ie.

Claire is a great advocate of breastfeeding and draws on her personal experience as well as her professional to bring breastfeeding solutions to breastfeeding problems.

Michael Fitzgerald

BSc (Hons) Psychology, Dip in Adlerian Counselling, Dip in Eating Disorder Therapy, Cert in Counselling, Training, Dip in Life & Business Coaching, Dip in Youth & Community Development, Diploma in Clinical supervision, Diploma in Yoga and Meditation (Nidra). MIACP (accred), MBPScS, MBACP (accred), MASIIP (organisational), RYT (200)

Michael Fitzgerald is a Counsellor, Supervisor, and Life & Parent Coach and studied for many years to get his degree in psychology, and six professional diplomas. He works in private practice at the Dungarvan Counselling Centre, with people with special needs, and in adult education training Adlerian counsellors.

Although Michael specialises in counselling adolescents and children, he also works with adults, couples, families and groups. Michael teaches on the Professional Diploma in Adlerian Counselling, at the international Adlerian summer school (ICASSI), and at the Irish Adlerian summer school.

Adlerian counselling is based on the work of Alfred Adler. Adler began his own therapy based on social goals encouragement, and holism, believing people are more than the sum of their parts and must be treated as creative individuals. Indeed, his therapy is called Individual Psychology. Michael received his training from Dr. Lillian Beattie and Vincent Byrne (Adlerian family therapist and trainer).

Laura Carroll - Live Well Waterford

Live Well Waterford was created with passion and vision by Laura Carroll, a Chartered Physiotherapist with an extensive background in Exercise Science and Pilates Instruction.

Laura became interested in the area of Women’s Health Physiotherapy while achieving her Masters degree in the UK, and has since completed extensive post-graduate training in this area. She has a special interest in spinal and pelvic pain and the area of pelvic floor dysfunction and is passionate about optimising the outcomes of women with incontinence. She has completed training through the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute and the International Association of Infant Massage, enabling her to deliver specialised Pilates and Baby Massage classes.

Originally from Scotland, Laura moved to Ireland in 2007 and has worked in various private and public health care settings. Her most recent position prior to setting up Live Well, was in Waterford Regional Hospital from 2008 until August 2013. Through personal and professional experience, she found that Waterford had limited exercise opportunities for pregnant or post-natal women that were delivered by highly qualified health care practitioners in the field, and noted a gap in the provision of private specialised women’s health and continence physiotherapy. With her previous experience in the fitness industry, her first class honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science and her Masters Level Physiotherapy training, she was very well placed to establish effective evidence-based physiotherapy in Waterford. It was her vision to create a dynamic and professional business that would help optimise the health and wellness of women in Waterford at every stage of their life, whether that be during the child-bearing years, peri- or post-menopausal, or beyond.


This is a time for you to relax and have fun with family on your own and your extended Cuidiú family!

To help accommodate families better, this year, dinner will be at the earlier time of 18:00, with a casual two course buffet (this must be reserved when booking the conference, for adults and childrens 1/2 portions - baby bowls can be ordered separately at the registration desk on the Saturday morning).

Once the children are tucked up in bed (with partners or babysitter in situ*) then the mammies can put on their glad rags. Join us at 8pm, for the Cuidiú Members Branch Clap which is an opportunity for Cuidiú members to warmly and openly Thank other members for their work and freindship through out the year. 

After this entertainment will be an 'Open-Mic' session, each branch is asked to encourage their members to entertain us with songs, poems, music, comedy, dance or magic tricks. Cuidiú members are not known to be shy and hopefully every branch will get into the spirit and have fun doing so. This idea came from talk about the original Cuidiú conferences were members came together to make and share a meal, and spend an evening socialising together. We are empowering you to make your own entertainment!

Followed by dancing along to a DJ until late, a great night not to be missed!

* The hotel has a limited number of garda vetted staff that can provide a babysitting service. This service needs to be pre-booked directly with the hotel.


If you have any queries please fell free to email us at cuidiuconference@gmail.com.

You can also contact us on our Cuidiú National Conference Facebook page www.facebook.com/CuidiuConference. Please make sure to like our Conference Facebook page to be notified of all updates.

We look forward to seeing you in Waterford for what promises to be an exciting and enlightening conference.

For Cuidiú National Facebook Group or see your local branch in our branches pages.
Please renew your membership for 2017 or Join Cuidiú  here before registering on eventbrite. Annual fee is €25

To find a Branch or Group near you , follow this link; Cuidiu National Branches