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Helping partners through cancer diagnosis

The benefits of relationship counselling in maintaining communication and intimacy between partners following a cancer diagnosis is being highlighting, as Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to an end and Movember begins. “Being diagnosed with cancer can be life-changing,” said Dublin-based Relationships Ireland’s clinical director, Maura Leahy. “One of the challenges a cancer patient may face is how to respond and deal with the effect of the diagnosis on the people closest to them. They may not know how to react and how to give you the support you need. Partners may stay silent due to the shock of the news or have difficulty responding to the anger or sadness that can often be felt, which can leave the patient with a sense of abandonment at a time when support is critical. Counselling can help improve communication between the patient and their partner at this difficult time, which will improve emotional and practical support on the road to recovery,” Ms Leahy said. …

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Paint it Pink for breast cancer

Early detection, more personalised treatment and more knowledge about the causes and risk factors behind breast cancer mean that more people are surviving the disease than ever before. That’s the message for Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, as the Irish Cancer Society looks back over 40 years to see the advances that have been made in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship associated with this disease. Forty years ago the outlook for a breast cancer patient was vastly different from today. In 1976, almost half of women diagnosed with breast cancer died from the disease. Today, survival rates for breast cancer have increased to 85% over five years. As part of the Irish Cancer Society’s Paint it Pink campaign, taking place throughout October, people across Ireland are encouraged to raise vital life-saving funds that will support our continued investment in breast cancer research, advocacy and services. People can raise funds by hosting a pink coffee morning or event – …

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‘Intelligent’ trousers to walk the walk

There is a strong North Clare influence in a multi-disciplinary science project which could have life-changing benefits for people with mobility difficulties Belharbour-based Dr Adam de Eyto is a member of the University of Limerick group that is part of the European team of researchers, led by the Italian Institute of Technology, which has begun work on XoSoft, a wearable soft-robotics intelligent-clothing system. Researchers working on the project, aimed at improving movement for people with reduced mobility, plan to build the first fully-functional prototype of ‘intelligent’ trousers by 2019. The soft, biometric exoskeleton would allow older people or people with disabilities to move their legs by detecting movement intention. The Design Factors Research Group, based in UL’s School of Design, is part of the ground-breaking health-robotics project to develop the soft, modular, lower-limb exoskeleton. The total value of the project to UL is €550,000 over three years. The UL group is led by senior lecturer in design ergonomics and Health …

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Breaking new ground in prison law

A proposal to introduce a database that would record details of those who have died in Irish prisons has resulted from research conducted last year by ten University of Limerick law students, among them Cratloe woman Róisín Cahill. Now graduates, the group worked closely with Judge Michael Reilly, Ireland’s inspector of prisons, to compile the report, which is to be issued to Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. At an event hosted by the School of Law in UL, Judge Reilly, the country’s first and only inspector of prisons, released the report, which highlighted the importance of having a system to record and learn from deaths that occur in prisons. He said Ireland is only now getting to grips with prison law, highlighting that it is only since January 2008, when the Prisons Act 2007 was enacted, that his independent judicial appointment was made to oversee prisons. To date there has been no system to accurately record prison deaths …

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Killaloe rallies around ‘miracle’ baby

A KILLALOE premature “miracle” baby, who suffers from a rare and life-threatening blood condition, has defied all the odds. There is no recorded case of a premature baby surviving with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in the UK or Ireland, so Shaye Collins has confounded medical experts. Parents Eoin and Veronica Collins said they have been “blown away” by all the support for the treatment of baby Shaye, who remains in Great Ormond Street, London. Shaye was born by emergency C-section at Holles Street, Dublin on September 6, at 30 weeks and six days. He weighed over four pounds but, when he lost excess fluid, he went down to just over three pounds. Three days later, doctors diagnosed Shaye with HLH, in which the body makes too many activated immune cells. Shaye was transferred to Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin and, once stabilised, he was airlifted to Great Ormond Street Hospital on October 11. Eoin said a doctor on the helicopter transporting Shaye to London …

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Pupils gain space exploration insight

JUST 24 people have ever flown to the moon and one of the exclusive club was in Shannon last Thursday, where he spoke to children at St Aidan’s and St Caimin’s national schools. Al Worden was command module pilot on Apollo 15 in July 1971, alongside commander Dave Scott and lunar module pilot Jim Irwin. During his time in space, he entered the record books as the most isolated human being ever, at times being 3,600km away from his companions. Addressing children at St Aidan’s National School, he said that one of them could be among the first humans to go to Mars, if they persist with education. “When you get through college, you’re going to be the right age to go to Mars. Some of you may be able to do that and that’s going to be a very cool thing to do. It took me two weeks to go to the moon and come back. Going to Mars …

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Nuala is the cat’s whiskers

A FORTUNATE feline has managed to land on his feet after finding a ‘purr-fect’ friend in Ennis. A stray cat has become a regular fixture around Glór and six months ago, he caught the attention of an animal lover who has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure all his nine lives are kept. Nuala Costello, wife of Ennis vet Michael Costello, feeds the stray she has nicknamed Pio every day, even travelling from her home in the Burren on weekends. In a positive ‘tail’ that gives ‘paws’ for thought, Nuala explains that when she first caught sight of the cat in the undergrowth of the car park, he was “small, puny and miserable looking” in desperate need of food. However, with her care and attention Pio, named after Padre Pio, has thrived. It seems Pio himself thinks that Nuala is the cat’s pyjamas, rushing to her whenever she arrives on the scene. “When I first noticed him, I called him …

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Vicar General post for Fr Des Hillery

MILTOWN Malbay born Fr Des Hillery has been appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Killaloe. Speaking at the appointment, Bishop Fintan Monahan said, “I am happy to call upon the experience of Fr Hillery in assisting with the administration of the diocese. I am very grateful that he has accepted to take on the role at this time along with his work as parish priest of Nenagh. His gentle and effective leadership during his time as Administrator of the Diocese was a great source of encouragement to the clergy and people before my appointment as bishop.” Bishop Monahan said Fr Des brings a breadth of vision and experience to his appointment. “He has a great knowledge of the local church from his time in education and parish work in St Flannan’s College and Nenagh, while his missionary experience in Latin America gives him a wider consciousness of the needs of the universal church. As I make the appointment in …

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Shannon’s Garrii unbowed by homophobic bullying

CRUEL, sickening homophobic violence overshadowed Garrii Bailey’s teenage years in Shannon, but now he is bringing his drag act back to his hometown in November. In the aftermath of last year’s same-sex marriage referendum it is easy to forget how deeply ingrained homophobia was, to the point that violence and verbal abuse aimed at gay people was relatively commonplace, something which often went unremarked upon. But Garrii’s stories of growing up in Shannon during the 1990s shine a light on just how intolerant things were in the quite recent past. “I’m kind of open about speaking about it now because I feel like I’ve got respect for being who I want to be and I feel like I can talk about it. We had our house bricked, egged; my mum’s car got thrashed. I used to have to walk down a boreen to get home and I’d be petrified. I even walked through it the other day and I was …

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Sky is the limit for high-flying Sabena

SOMEHOW Sabena Moylan manages to mix working as an air hostess for Virgin Atlantic with rugby refereeing in Munster, along with extensive charity work for the London-based Atlas Foundation. As recently as August, her work brought her to almost every continent. Rugby-wise she has attended the Rugby World Cup and the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa. Next month, the former Shannon Comprehensive and IT Tralee student will touch down in Chicago for the Ireland v New Zealand international. Currently working her way back from a knee injury, Moylan started refereeing in 2012. She calculates that there are four female rugby referees in Munster and 10 in Ireland. “There was a bit of communication between me and the Munster branch. I was touch judge in my first game out in St Mary’s. I wasn’t thrown in at the deep end in the middle of the pitch. They’re good like that. They let you touch judge for a month or two …

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