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You don’t need sight to have vision

YOU don’t have to have sight to have vision. Those are the words of Lahinch woman Aine Mae O’Mahony, whose determination never to quit in the face of adversity provided inspiration to others at the national launch of the Irish Kidney Association’s Organ Donor Awareness Week. Aine Mae, who lost her sight in her twenties, was among those invited to speak about their health experiences at the launch, having undergone a double transplant last year. She received a kidney and pancreas and is enjoying a life without diabetes and dialysis, as a result of the gift of life given to her through organ donation. At the age of eight, Aine Mae was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. “There was not much known about diabetes at the time, nor any new developments in terms of its management and it was quite terrifying holding that syringe for the first time preparing to inject myself,” she recalled. At 25, she lost her eyesight …

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Coping with narcolepsy

IMAGINE knowing that you, or your child, could just suddenly fall asleep at any time. Think of the implications for careers, education or something as simple as travelling on public transport. That’s the reality of narcolepsy. Think about how difficult every-day life would be if you were a young person with narcolepsy in terms of study, exams, work, using public transport, finding accommodation and socialising. It’s a reality for approximately 100 young Irish people today because they developed narcolepsy after receiving the 2009/2010 H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine Pandemrix (manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline) at the behest of Irish State. Sound (Sufferers of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder) was set up by parents of children who developed narcolepsy. The support group and registered charity continues to be run by a small voluntary team of parents of children with narcolepsy and young adult narcolepsy sufferers. Sound provides support for 87 Irish families affected by the vaccine and wants the State to provide a pathway for the …

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Eyes opened by West Clare town

THEY always envisaged ending up in a rural idyll, gazing contentedly across green fields and at big, empty skies. Instead, Pádraig and Julie Neylon, along with their now 19-month-old daughter Theola, pitched up in a near 200-year-old, six-bedroom house in Kilrush. Both are self-employed and Pádraig’s office is what was once the coal house in Kilrush House, which is located in Merchant’s Quay at the bottom of Frances Street. They sense that their decision to settle in Kilrush reflects a growing trend, where young families are opting to live in smaller towns, where the cost of living is manageable and the quality of life less hectic. For decades, towns like Kilrush have lost generations of young people, who either emigrated or settled elsewhere in Ireland, primarily for work-related reasons. Other friends and acquaintances are either living in, or considering moving to, the town. “I always had it in the head to move back home to Kilmurry McMahon, build a house …

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Lisdoonvarna hits the screen in Oz

LISDOONVARNA and other areas of North Clare featured in an episode of a popular Australian TV show, The Living Room last week. The show aired on Network Ten and included an interview with matchmaker Willie Daly, and a visit to the Cliffs of Moher Filming took place last autumn and was supported by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. The Living Room is presented by Dr Chris Brown , an Australian veterinarian, TV personality and author, famously known as the ‘Bondi Vet’. Sofia Hansson, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Australia, said, “Tourism Ireland is delighted that Dr Chris and the team from The Living Room chose to film in County Clare. With an audience of about 700,000 viewers per episode, it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase Lisdoonvarna and the county to a huge Australian audience. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on prospective visitors and Tourism Ireland regularly works with TV and production companies around the world, to facilitate the making of travel …

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Daisy enjoying her dogguccino after visiting the vet.

Keeping your dog in tail-wagging good health.

By Daisy Galvin It’s absolutely vital to keep an eye on your health, particularly when you’re a media star like me. I always make sure that I have regular checkups at the vet and insist that my innoculations are always up to date. The innoculations are especially important if you go on trips like I do. Most hotels will insist on seeing your medical records and I would be mortified if I was ever found wanting. It’s also vital for your passport if you want to go abroad. I’m not saying a visit to the vets is a particularly pleasant experience but it’s just something you have to do. I was very lucky to be looked after by the wonderful Charlie Kenny ever since I arrived in Ennis. He always had a kind word for me before doing any work and was always able to calm me down even when I was anxious about what was about to happen. Charlie …

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Going back to your family roots

THERE will be an opportunity to go back to your roots in The Old Ground Hotel next week. The Clare Roots Society’s next meeting, on Thursday, September 21 at 8pm, will focus on tracing ancestors and beginning family histories. According to John Bradley of the society, “The desire to delve into the history of your family can be triggered by various events, a marriage and the joining of two families, a new baby bringing a new generation and new grandparents, retirement and the need to fill your leisure time or the more challenging discoveries. “Whatever triggered an interest in the subject, it is always wise to start with the known facts and verify these by obtaining the proof in the civil or church records. “Everyone starting their family history these days instantly turns to the internet. It is essential, however, that a new researcher knows where to look. “Maybe you have encountered a barrier in your genealogy research and you …

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President launches children’s website

PRESIDENT Michael D. Higgins has launched a new website for children interested in learning more about their Head of State. The Children’s Section of www.president.ie is a new interactive website providing information about the role and work of Uachtarán na hÉireann, the President of Ireland, as well as the official residence of the President, Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Four animal guides (Daithí Deer, Fiachra Fox, Sorcha Squirrel and Blaithín Bird) provide young visitors with information about the work of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and illustrate the history of the office of the president, the official residence and its surrounding gardens, as well as the Phoenix Park. The dedicated children’s website is available in Irish and English at: http://www.president.ie/en/childrens-section http://www.president.ie/ga/childrens-section

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Ennis woman joins RTÉ children’s news team

AN Ennis woman has become the newest face of RTÉ TV news. First-time television presenter Zainab Boladale is the latest addition to the news2day team. Following a call-out to media and journalism graduates across the country, and a comprehensive audition process, Zainab was chosen to join the team and began broadcasting live this week on RTÉ Two and RTÉ News Now. News2day is RTÉ’s news service designed specifically for children, featuring Irish and international news of interest to a young audience. Zainab studied journalism in Dublin City University (DCU) and has previously worked as a digital news reporter. In 2017, she was named Journalist of the Year at the DCU Hybrid Awards and was nominated in the same category in the Union of Students in Ireland Achievement Awards. Zainab was born in Lagos, Nigeria but has lived in Ennis since she was four-years-old. The 20-year-old went to primary school in Scoil Chríost Rí, Cloughleigh and spent the first three years …

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