Ireland is represented in JPIAMR by the Health Research Board, HRB.

Ireland has a good track record in addressing antimicrobial resistance with prevention and control of health care associated infections (HCAIs) and AMR being a significant long standing patient safety and public health priority for the Irish Department of Health.

The Health Research Board (HRB) is the lead agency in Ireland responsible for supporting and funding health research, information and evidence. The vision is Healthy people through excellent research and applied knowledge.

National AMR research program and activities

AMR Research program

A National Interdepartmental AMR Consultative Committee was set up in 2014 between the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The objective was to raise public and professional awareness of the threat of AMR to both public and animal health, addressing the repercussions for human health, agriculture, food industry and environment.

Another initiative which the Health Services Executive has established in Irish acute public hospitals is good systems for recording and benchmarking antimicrobial prescribing, and for recording and comparing antimicrobial resistance rates for serious infections with other European countries. Ireland also has an established national system for reporting on antibiotic consumption in the community.

Ireland has contributed to reporting to the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System since 1999 and through its membership of the World Health Organisation, is part of the international effort aimed at tackling the global public health treat of AMR.

National AMR research calls

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding news:

  • Under the Aquatic Pollutants Joint Transnational Call 2020 the EPA has provided funding for two research projects with IE research partners. One of these projects relates to AMR – ‘A smart forewarning system for contaminants of emerging concern and pathogens (FOREWARN)’.
  • Within the ERA-NET Cofund AquaticPollutants, EPA Ireland, alongside a number of other participating countries, will be participating in the AquaticPollutants Thematic Annual Programming (TAP) Action, which is a joint venture supporting a network of national projects. The general theme has been defined as ‘Measuring of inputs and taking actions to reduce CECs, pathogens and antimicrobial resistant bacteria in the aquatic ecosystems (inland and marine)’. The EPA has nominated the EPA-funded project ‘Public health Impact of Exposure to antibiotic Resistance in recreational waters (PIER)’ (Project Coordinator: Dearbhaile Morris, NUIG) to participate in this international network of researchers, as the Irish representative.

Activities on AMR actions at national level

  • 1st Annual Scientific Meeting of the One Health European Joint Programme on Food-Borne Zoonoses, antimicrobial Resistance and Emerging Threats; Dublin, May 22nd-24th 2019.
  • Our Environment, Our Health: One Health” Conference NUI Galway, 28thSeptember 2018. Kay Duggan-Walls, Management Board Member made a presentation on JPIAMR
  • EPA also assisted with a One Health event held in the Convention Centre on 20th Nov 2018. The event was held to mark World Antibiotic Awareness Week and was targeted mainly at healthcare and veterinary professionals.
  • European Commission, European Centre for Disease and Prevention Control One Health AMR Country Visit took place in Ireland on 7-11 October 2019. See report
  • Work ongoing on One Health AMR national second action plan – iNAP Ireland National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2017-2020
  • Publication of National healthcare quality reporting system annual report 2019. Section on Healthcare Associated infections and antibiotic consumption.
  • Workshop on Tackling AMR on the Island of Ireland took place on 5th June 2019. Dame Sally Davis Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Department of Health gave the keynote speech. The event was organised by the British Embassy in Ireland.
  • Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine & Irish Farmers Journal Joint One Health Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Campaign was launched 2019/2020
  • A national research gap and horizon scanning analysis in relation the environmental dimension of AMR was commissioned by the EPA in 2020 work was undertaken by team of researchers from NUIG (Dearbhaile Morris, Niamh Cahill), MU (Fiona Walsh) and UCD (Finola Leonard). The resulting report entitled ‘Gap analysis of research needs to understand the environmental dimension of antimicrobial resistance in preparation for iNAP2’ has been reviewed and will be published by the end of 2021. An accompanying database of national AMR funding and AMR publications has also been produced as part of this work.
  • In Nov 2020, the EPA, HSE and ESRI held its annual Environment, Health and Wellbeing conference. The second session of the conference focused on examining progress in the human and animal health domains under the first iteration of the National Antimicrobial Resistance action plan (iNAP1) and discussed the common challenges and learnings to be taken through to the second plan, iNAP2.

National action plans

Management Board representative

  • Catherine Gill, Health Research Board