Ionbhá or empathy is a core element of wisdom and a universal language of the soul. It brings joy to the everyday, making the unbearable bearable. “We need empathy in schools just as we need empathy in the world right now” – Cillian Murphy, Actor and Patron of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre.
The wide range of contributions to the publication Ionbhá act like a compass, guiding us on things that really matter in life. Reflections on empathy illuminate its healing properties, vividly opening our eyes to the countless ways in which its power can shape us all. This collection shows that no matter how big or small, empathetic actions have a massive impact. Although we rarely appreciate how these actions affect people and their communities, they often reverberate long after we act.
89 contributors include Michael D. Higgins, Hozier, Tolü Makay, The Edge, Rachael Blackmore, Blindboy Boatclub, Mary Coughlan, Clodagh Finn, Katy Hyland, Imelda May, Brendan O’Connor, Louise O’Neill, Valery Biden Owens and citizens from all walks of life.
All royalties from the sale of this book will go directly to delivering the Activating Social Empathy education programme in Irish schools and youth work organisations.
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Cillian Murphy is an award winning Irish actor know for his work in the films Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Dunkirk, Breakfast on Pluto, The Winds that Shakes the Barley, Oppenheimer, and many others. His lead role on the BBC series Peaky Blinders, has lead to various awards and critical acclaim. In 2011, he became a patron of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the National University of Ireland Galway. He is major advocate for youth development, youth voice, and empathy education.
Professor Pat Dolan holds the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement, the first to be awarded in the Republic of Ireland. The UNESCO Chair delivers a comprehensive programme of work towards the objective of promoting civic engagement and leadership skills among children and youth. Prof. Dolan is Director of the Institute for Lifecourse and Society at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Prof Dolan has completed an extensive body of research on children youth and family issues including longitudinal research on adolescents and has over 100 peer reviewed academic publications. His research interests include Civic Engagement, Empathy, Family Support, Youth Mentoring Models, and Resilience and Social Support theory. Prof. Dolan has extensive practice and policy experience, both nationally and internationally.
Gillian Browne is currently the administrator for the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre & the Centre for Global Women’s Studies at the School of Political Science and Sociology. University of Galway. Since joining the University in 2006, Gillian has worked on a range of event management and operational areas. Gillian holds a BA in Business Studies from the GMIT, Galway and a Higher Diploma in Education from University of Galway. Prior to commencing employment at the UCFRC, Gillian worked in a number of administrative roles in the Health and Technology sectors.
Professor Mark Brennan (Salisbury University, 1992) is the UNESCO Chair for Community, Leadership, and Youth Development and Professor of Leadership and Community Development at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Brennan’s teaching, research, writing, and program development concentrate on the role of civic engagement, community, and leadership development in the youth and community development process. His work has also increasingly focused on the role of citizens across the lifespan as active contributors to peace building, social justice, and functioning societies. His recent books include Theory, Practice, and Community Development (2013), Community Leadership Development: A Compendium of Theory, Research, and Application (2013), Culture, Community and Development (2021), and Creating Caring Communities to Overcome Times of Crisis (2022).