About Ag Eisteacht

Who we are


Cork based training charity

Ag Eisteacht is a Cork based training charity (CHY number 20668). Founded in 2001 by Maeve Hurley and health visitor Kathy Jones, we were initially called Brief Encounters® Ireland but later rebranded as ‘Ag Eisteacht’ to reflect the wide range of training programmes on offer and the core skill of listening as key to empowering people.


What we do

Empowerment training for frontline workers

We equip frontline workers with the knowledge, skills and confidence to respond effectively and sensitively to the needs of others. Our aim is to train practitioners so that they are in a position to empower those they support. By providing new insights, we enhance people’s capacity to engage with confidence and listen constructively without feeling they have to fix it.


Why we do it

Relationships matter

Relationships are at the heart of what we do. We recognise their impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and children. In short, we show people that by learning to listen, they can listen to learn, and that by following some simple techniques and strategies, they are empowered to help those around them.




For our ABLE training we use two experienced and licensed trainers. Here are some reasons for this:

  • Brings different experiences and attributes to the group.
  • Means a greater sharing of skills, resources and energy.
  • Co-facilitating can generate synergistic outcomes through the personal and professional interchange that results from working toward a common task.
  • Trainers are modelling the behaviours and attitudes they see as being central to a relational approach to working with each other and the group. This provides additional learning opportunities for the group.

Meet the team


Our Vision

Ag Eisteacht aspires to an Ireland where all frontline workers are empowered to respond in a sensitive and focused manner when someone turns to them for support.

Our Mission

Our mission is to enhance frontline workers’ capacity to engage with and support clients, particularly those in distress. We provide evidence-based training that develops and strengthens this process.

The Evidence


There is lots of evidence to support our belief that relationships matter.


Relational Capacity

The capacity of people to establish and maintain relationships at home and in our wider social networks is a key determinant of health and wellbeing (L Gasser, OnePlusOne)


Outcomes for Children

The evidence is clear that it is strong stable relationships between adults in the home – parents, grandparents and other caring adults – and among all these adults and children in a family that have the biggest impact on children’s happiness and healthy development (Support for All: The Families & Relationships Green Paper, Department for Children, Schools & Families, UK)


Inter-parental Conflict

Most parents argue with one another, it is a normal part of family life, but it is clear that the way in which parents argue affects their children. Children exposed to badly managed conflict are at risk of poorer physical and mental health and failing to reach their potential at school (Reynolds et al., 2014)


Workplace Productivity

The most successful organisations effectively engage their employees, leading to higher productivity and better financial outcomes (Gallup Research).


Pathways to Homelessness

One of the trigger events for homelessness is relationship breakdown which impacts most severely on economically vulnerable households (The 2014 Implementation Plan on the State’s Response to Homelessness)


The Benefits


People come away from our courses:

  • Enriched with new knowledge and skills for working and living
  • Enlightened with a new awareness and lots of insights
  • Empowered to take opportunities to support clients in their relationships

Participants report:

  • Increased engagement and more effective relationships with their clients
  • Greater resilience and ability to cope with role expectations and work pressures
  • Better outcomes by incorporating relationally minded practice in routine work