‘RCM and INMO host joint all-Ireland midwife conference in Armagh’

By ‘RCM and INMO host joint all-Ireland midwife conference in Armagh’ on 17 October 2019 Midwifery Safe high quality care Evidence-Based Practice Safety INMO - Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Northern Ireland

Midwives from both sides of the Irish border will join together today as the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) All Ireland Annual Midwifery Conference gets underway in Armagh..

In January 2018 the RCM and INMO formally launched their International Trade Union Partnership and signed a memorandum of understanding. 

The partnership is the first of its kind between two trade unions across borders and the Irish sea. In the context of Brexit it will strengthen the ability of midwives to practice and access education and professional training.

The theme for the 2019 conference is 'Being a midwife in our maternity services - love it or leave it'.

RCM President Kathryn Gutteridge will open the conference with her personal reflections of being a midwife while Mary Brosnan Director for Midwifery at the The National Maternity Hospital (Holles Street) in Ireland will discuss how to retain world class midwives.

The conference will examine and discuss professional challenges faced by midwives both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland with a strong focus on safety within maternity services.

The Director for Quality Risk and Patient Safety National Maternity Hospital Luke, Feeney will lead a session ‘ Adverse Events - Why and How We Must Learn and Share from them’.

RCM Board Member Sasha Wells – Munro is set to deliver an inspirational session on ‘Leading Lights in Midwifery and Maternity Services’.


Commenting, Karen Murray RCM’s Director for Northern Ireland said; “The RCM and INMO have, for over 25 years, worked closely together and our annual joint all Ireland Conference is a fantastic way to further strengthen our connection.

“Bringing midwives together from Northern Ireland and the Republic provides an opportunity for them to share their professional experiences and to learn from one another particularly when it comes to best practice, which ultimately goes towards improving the care women and their babies receive.

“This years programme acknowledges the challenging circumstances in which Midwives work but aims to highlight positive ways in which, by working together, we can achieve great things”.


Tony Fitzpatrick, Director of Industrial Relations at INMO says; "We're proud to stand with our colleagues across the whole island. Working closely with the RCM and its members means that we can move midwifery forward on both sides of the border.

"Midwifery faces real challenges - particularly with Brexit looming. Short staffing, a global shortage of midwives, and unsafe working conditions are problems which our members have to face across Ireland, whether in the HSE, NHS, voluntary or private sectors.

"Working collaboratively to solve shared problems allows us to deliver effective solutions for the members of both the RCM and INMO. We look forward to the conference in Armagh which will assist us to grow and develop the profession of midwifery for the betterment of the entire island of Ireland."



Notes to Editors


In January 2018 the RCM and IMNO signed a memorandum of understanding at the Embassy of Ireland in London where both organisations committed to the following;


  • defining employment assistance to members working in the country of the other ie INMO – Ireland, RCM – UK
  • working together to seek to identify areas for common approaches to influence on behalf of our members whether nationally or internationally
  • hosting joint events and conferences  for midwives and MSWs across Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • exploring and providing appropriate assistance on the professional development needs of midwife members on an agreed basis
  • exploring and providing appropriate assistance on the future routes to influence within the European Union.

To contact the RCM’s Media Relations team call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected]






About the RCM

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. It provides workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with a broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at