Ireland’s new Loneliness Taskforce Research Network is launching

Loneliness is a growing worldwide problem, that is felt acutely in Ireland where levels of loneliness are higher than the EU average. This presents a serious health risk as loneliness is proven to affect physical as well as mental health. This growing need is being met by NGO’s while we campaign for more research and coordinated action.


With support from Ireland’s Loneliness Taskforce and ALONE, at the end of 2023 a group of researchers met to establish a community of researcher and research users to focus on the issue of Loneliness. This network will act as a place to bring together the latest knowledge on loneliness, to share best practice, and to create evidence-based policy recommendations for government.


Dr Joanna McHugh Power , Chairperson on the Network said, “We are delighted to take the next step and launch the network at a time when Ireland needs to know more to solve what is the problem of loneliness. The work today will form the first part of our response to a health issue that affects all corners of our society.”


Seán Moynihan, ALONE, CEO said “ALONE as an organisation has been dealing with loneliness for over 40 years now, we have many successful interventions with our Support & Befriending volunteers across the country. Unfortunately, though we are seeing the issue continue to grow and welcome this first step and ask for government to work with us to develop a national plan aimed at addressing loneliness across the life course, taking into consideration the need for a ‘whole-of-government’ approach.”


There was a huge response with more than 100 people registered to attend the launch event on the 16th of April marking the next chapter of loneliness research in Ireland. Attendees from across Ireland made up of researchers, service providers, health and care professionals, housing coordinators, members of the public, and charity staff came together to discuss loneliness research in Ireland.


The event will include inputs from ALONE’s CEO, Seán Moynihan, an overview of loneliness research from Professor Brian Lawlor, insights from ongoing research on loneliness from Dr Anne-Marie Creaven and Emma Kirwan, University of Limerick, and a look at the UK’s experience of tacking this issue from Assoc. Prof. David McDaid, London School of Economics.


The event will conclude with round table discussions to develop research priorities on loneliness.


In setting up this group ALONE and the Loneliness Taskforce aim to produce evidence-based research proposals for government and the Dept of Health to insure we tackle loneliness in Ireland.



About the Loneliness Taskforce

The Loneliness Taskforce is a coalition of organisations and individuals who work to address loneliness. The purpose of the Taskforce is to increase awareness of loneliness and to advocate for policy change to address loneliness at local and national level.


The Loneliness Taskforce is chaired by Dr John Hillery, Chairperson of the Mental Health Commission.


Members of the Taskforce include: ALONE, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Disability Federation of Ireland, Family Carers Ireland, Prof Roger O’Sullivan, Jigsaw, LGBT Ireland, Mental Health Reform, Muintir Na Tíre, Prof Brian Lawlor, Samaritans Ireland, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), The National Women’s Council of Ireland, The Wheel.

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