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Dancing into the light

It has been three years since Ballynacally resident Pascal Kenny found himself in a very dark place but having sought out Pieta House, he said the welcome he received has led him to a place where he is now medication free after 20 months. “I struggled for many years with my mental health, mainly in the form of depression and anxiety. I was on medication and I had been treated by the mental health services for many years. I continued to do the best I could at the time and it was a huge challenge. There were times when things were a little bit better and there were times when things were really bad. When I visited Pieta House three years ago, the light had gone out in my head,” he said. Pascal said he doesn’t remember getting to Pieta House, he just remembers not being able to find it. “The hope I had was to find it. I was …

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Examining State bereavement support

AN Taoiseach Enda Kenny has launched Finite Lives Dying, Death and Bereavement: An Examination of State Services in Ireland, a report by Independent Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell. The report is the first comprehensive analysis of end-of-life issues across all government departments outside health.  Commenting on the report, Senator O’Donnell said that death affects nearly 1,000 people every day between the estimated 80 people who die each day, and the 800 people directly affected by these deaths. Amongst the recommendations in the report is: The need for a whole-of-government strategy on end-of-life A national public consultation process. A socio-economic review of the costs of  death and bereavement An analysis of fuel and funeral poverty Regulation of the funeral services industry Further recommendations include the reinstatement of the Bereavement Grant and an audit to combat financial abuse of pensions of the elderly. In terms of communications, Senator O’Donnell has recommended that the State develops a dedicated website outlining all State services that are available to support …

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Ennis artist paints President’s portrait

ENNIS artist Mick O’Dea has completed an official portrait of President Michael D Higgins, which will hang in Leinster House throughout his time in office, before being moved to Áras an Uachtaráin after his departure from office. “The annual Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) exhibition will be opening on May 22 and I’m going to show the newly completed official portrait of President Higgins,” said Mick. While he has recently exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy and will have another painting in London’s Royal Academy over the summer, he said this is the most important one for him. “For a portrait painter, it is a big honour. I’m humbled to have been asked to do it.” In relation to where the official portrait will be on show, he explained. “It will hang in the Áras, along with the previous Presidential portraits, once he leaves office. I’ll be showing it in the RHA, which I’m currently president of, and when that exhibition …

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Shannon Estuary bird study

A year-long bird population and habitat survey will be carried out along the Shannon Estuary, taking in 1,220 hectares of land. The study is being undertaken by environmental consultants McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan, on behalf of the Shannon Estuary Strategic Infrastructure Framework Plan (SIFP) Steering Group, comprising stakeholders engaged in the development and management of Ireland’s largest and deepest estuary. The region’s local authorities in Clare, Kerry and Limerick have joined with Shannon Group and Shannon Foynes Port Company in promoting ‘Deep Water Marine Investment Opportunities’ on 1,220ha of land at six strategic locations deemed appropriate for marine-related investment. The sites include Moneypoint (280ha) and Innismurry/Cahericon (65ha) in Clare; Askeaton (98ha), Foynes Island (40ha) and Foynes Port and adjoining lands (186ha) in Limerick and Tarbert-Ballylongford landbank (550ha) in Kerry. The proposed bird usage survey area stretches from Limerick City to where the Shannon Estuary meets the Atlantic Ocean in West Clare and North Kerry. The survey will begin in May and is …

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Áine Mae inspires as she awaits transplants

DESCRIBED as an “inspiration” by broadcaster Ryan Tubridy during her appearance on The Late Late Show last November, a Lahinch woman is proving that blindness is no barrier to new challenges. Áine Mae O’Mahony, who is only one of 13 patients nationwide on a waiting list for a new pancreas and kidney, is manager of Kilkee-based Raidió Corca Baiscinn (RCB). Despite restrictions imposed by travelling to Galway for fours hours of dialysis three times a week and managing diabetes, the Fighting Blindness advocate lives life to the full and believes her glass is always half-full rather than half-empty. If Áine Mae is fortunate enough to receive a new pancreas, it would be life-changing, as she would no longer need to take injections four times a day or to check her sugar levels constantly. As there are serious health complications from having Type One diabetes since childhood, her doctor felt she would be eligible for a new pancreas. In November 2015, she …

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Happy Easter from Daisy

Chocolate is harmful to dogs

CHOCOLATE is made with cocoa beans, and cocoa beans contain methylxanthine alkaloids in the form of theobromine and caffeinea, which are toxic to dogs. Chocolate can also contain high amounts of fat, which can put your dog’s health in jeopardy as well. How much is too much? Different dogs react differently to the methylxanthines and reactions can vary according to the age, size and overall health of the dog. The smaller the dog, the smaller the dose needed to produce an effect. If your dog’s health is already weakened by other medical conditions, they are more susceptible. The same holds for older dogs. Theobromine is present in differing amounts in chocolate: white chocolate has 1mg/oz, hot chocolate 12 mg/oz, milk chocolate 44-66mg/oz, semi-sweet chocolate 260mg/oz, dark chocolate 450mg/oz, while baking/bitter chocolate or cocoa powder varies as much as 150-600 mg/oz. A potentially lethal dose in a 16-pound dog is only one pound of milk chocolate. Only two ounces of baking …

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Waterford’s strong finish leaves Clare facing relegation

Waterford 2-21 Clare 1-22 A disappointing two point loss to Waterford in round 5 of the Allianz hurling league at Cusack Park this afternoon means that Clare must play Dublin in a relegation play off next weekend. Understandably, the result left Clare players and management very disappointed as this was a contest they had enough chances to win. While they can point to the fact that they played some great hurling in what was a very entertaining contest, their failure to emerge with victory left the home side’s followers in the attendance of 6,640, leave a sunny Cusack park in a very disappointed mood. The visitors started as if they were going to record a big win, racing into a 1-3 to 0-0 lead after just six minutes when they had the aid of a fresh wind. Then, in the space of six minutes, Clare hit 1-6 without reply, the goal coming from Podge Collins who caused a lot of …

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Newmarket man going green in Finland

Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick, has begun in earnest – kicking off the organisation’s major first half promotional drive to grow overseas tourism in 2017. The annual initiative sees a host of major landmarks around the world turn green for St Patrick’s Day. In Tampere in Finland, James Lenihan, originally from Newmarket-on-Fergus, joined the ‘greening’ fun, when he and his friends took part in the first ever ‘greened’ Irish-Finnish fishing championship. The Siilinkari lighthouse and Näsinneula observation tower provided the green backdrop.  

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