SeanMalone(CUOUT)Dr SEÁN MALONE looks forward to his year as IDA President.

It is with great honour that I write my first President’s news for the Journal of the Irish Dental Association.

A great conference
Firstly, I would like to thank all the delegates who turned up in such great numbers to the Annual Conference in Galway. It was a great success and enjoyed by all. Our speakers were, as always, of excellent calibre, which proves the integrity of the event. Special thanks to our trade sponsors whose support, as ever, we are grateful for. Thanks and congratulations on a job well done to the members of the conference organising committee – Ms Elaine Hughes and Drs PJ Byrne, Mark Condon, Garry Heavey, Saoirse O’Toole and Jane Renehan – who have worked tirelessly in the past year preparing for the event and whose support during the conference I am grateful for.

Current issues
Turning to the year ahead, I will endeavour to serve you as best I can as President of the Association.

One of the first issues to be tackled since my appointment was the vacant Chief Dental Officer post in the Department of Health. The Association met recently with the Deans of the Cork and Dublin Dental Schools and the RCSI in order to agree a joint approach to the vacant post. Our agreed stance was sent in writing to the Department. It is with dismay to all of us that the Department has now decided to fill the hole by assigning the HSE’s Oral Health Lead to the post for two days each week. This is contrary to the independence of the role of Chief Dental Officer and would appear to dilute the effect of both posts. It is indeed a disappointing and shortsighted move by the Department and one that the Association will continue to argue is not appropriate on any level.

Anniversary celebrations
On a positive note, this year marks the 90th anniversary of the AGM of the Irish Dental Association. The Association has published an online version of the history of its first 50 years – The History of the Irish Dental Association 1922-1972 – which is available to view on www.dentist.ie. Both the Irish Dental Association and the Northern Irish Branch of the British Dental Association, which celebrates a similar anniversary, are planning to mark the event. Further details will be announced shortly! We are now appealing to members for your help. We are asking any member who might have photographs of IDA members and events over the years to send them to IDA House. Our plan is to digitise them and display them at the anniversary celebration. The originals will be returned to you.

Many thanks for appointing me as President of the IDA. It is indeed a pleasure and an honour for me. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the next 12 months.

Dr Sean Malone
IDA President