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Adoption is a “terrible option”

Clarecastle resident Geraldine Gregan made the difficult decision to give her baby up for adoption, a decision she has regretted ever since. Her pregnancy as a single woman brought shame, she was branded as damaged goods and had to hide out half way across the country for the last month of her pregnancy, writes Carol Byrne. Originally from County Cork, Geraldine Gregan acquired a rare job as a quality manager in a dairy business in Cavan. After receiving a BSc in Dairy Science, her job security, being a single woman, was put in jeopardy when she became pregnant in the mid-1980s. “The relationship had ended when I realised I was pregnant. I felt a deep sense of guilt and sadness. It was so wrong and selfish of me to be bringing a baby into the world that would not have a dad. My own dad passed away when I was 16 and I still missed him. I also felt sadness for …

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A Race Against Time For Rohingyas

WHITEGATE native Marie Madden joined Concern Worldwide as their communications officer last October and has spoken to The Clare Champion about her experience working for the NGO, particularly in dealing with the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh. CONCERN have recently launched the Bangladesh Monsoon Appeal as nearly one million Rohingya people face further catastrophe at the makeshift refugee camp they are currently occupying in the coastal region of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. Marie Madden, from Whitegate, has just returned from a two week trip to Cox’s Bazar where she has seen first hand the conditions these people, primarily made up of women and children, have been living in. She explains how these people have already been through so much pain and suffering and now stand to lose the makeshift homes they have made in monsoon rains. She explained that the Rohingyas are an ethnic minority based in Myanmar, and despite having been there for generations they don’t have citizenship and are …

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Dr Christina Larkin

‘It’s never too late’ for education

WITH Leaving Certificate students across the county preparing for the next stage of their lives, they would do well to listen to the advice of one Ennis-based woman who certainly knows a thing or two about studying. Christina Larkin has become the first Doctor of Nursing to graduate from University College Dublin. As she says herself, she was “a very average student” while in secondary school; however, at 46, she has gone on to graduate with the highest educational honour. Dr Larkin hopes that by sharing her story, it will show people that there are many ways of achieving what you want and that it is never too late to follow your dreams. “I am also quite excited to be speaking about my study at the Horatio Congress for European Psychiatric Nurses in the Faroe Islands in May. I have become a member of the European Violence in Psychiatry Research Group so I am looking forward to meeting other researchers …

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New Research Paper Highlights Inequity in Anomaly Scan Offering

A NEW research paper published by the Irish Medical Journal, which was co-written by a South East Clare obstetrician, has revealed pregnant women living outside of Dublin only have a 38% chance of being offered an anomaly scan in the public system. Parteen native Dr Karen McNamara is a specialist registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology and a clinical research fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University College Cork. She was involved in compiling the recently-published research, Maternity Ultrasound in the Republic of Ireland 2016; A Review. Dr McNamara noted the number of women being offered an anomaly scan outside of Dublin stands at 38%, a number that has remained largely unchanged despite it being highlighted in previous pieces of research in 2007, 2012 and 2013. She said the review she conducted with Dr Deirdre Hayes Ryan, Dr Noirin Russell, Professor Louise Kenny and Dr Keelin O’Donoghue, showed an inequity in the service that pregnant women are receiving; most notably, that 100% of public patients are being offered the anomaly scan if they attend maternity services in Dublin but only 38% are offered it elsewhere in the country. …

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Life after prostate cancer

MARK Bowers was shocked when consultant urological surgeon, Garrett Durkan looked him in the eye in the Mid-Western Radiation Oncology Centre, Limerick and confirmed he had prostate cancer.

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New era blowing for Cnoc na Gaoithe

A BUILDING with a 130-year history in Tulla has been transformed over the past three years from a shell to a community asset. It preserves not only the building’s heritage but also the music and history of the locality. 

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Progressive pastor inspired by North Clare

INSPIRED by the works of John O’Donohue, American pastor Reverend Ed Bacon sat in a room overlooking the Burren and Galway Bay for a month in 2010 writing the first drafts of his book, 8 Habits of Love. Last week, he was leading a retreat in a hot and humid Mississippi but this week, he is having a retreat of his own and launching that book back on the rocky North Clare coast.

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Jordan’s team talk inspires Share A Dream team

HE might not have given them the ‘hairdryer treatment’ but five-year-old Jordan Perez certainly helped inspire the Share A Dream soccer team at the weekend’s Jeff Power Soccer tournament.

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