The 2008 AGM took place over the weekend of 7th to 9th November 2008 at the Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, Co Kildare. The event was very well attended with approximately 100 members and their families in attendance.
Proceedings started on the Friday evening with the AGM and the election of officers and committee members. The Chairman, Patrick Farrelly, expressed his gratitude and that of all the SOFT members for the tremendous work carried out by secretary Carmel Reilly throughout the year.
On Saturday the other main business of the weekend – the launch of the SOFT Ireland Booklet ‘Why Our Baby’ took place. And who better to carry out the official launch than the SOFT special children themselves who read poems and verses about what SOFT means to them. Needless to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
Whilst the launch was extremely appropriate and successful it was generally felt the subsequent lack of media profile, either visual or written, was disappointing and did not do justice to the extremely professional quality of the book and it’s contents. The tremendous effort put in by Paula Doyle in particular and indeed various members of the sub-committee cannot be underestimated.
Guest speaker at the launch was Dr Siobhan Gormally from Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda who gave a very informative talk regarding the current research, care and treatment of Trisomy 13/18 babies. The launch was also attended by Prof Andrew Green from the genetics department of Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin and by a number of Jack and Jill personnel.
During the scheduled book launch the younger members of the party were whisked off for a few hours of play and fun in the ENRG play centre in Newcastle and all had a very enjoyable time. The busy weekend also included the launch of the new SOFT website.
Saturday evening commenced with a very enjoyable meal followed by great music provided by Eddie Quinn.
The weekend closed on Sunday morning with the traditional closing ceremony, reading of poems and verses by family members and culminated in the release of balloons in memory of all those special children no longer with us.