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Tag Archives: health

Gaining confidence, inch by inch

FOR the last few months, Mark Kearney has been drawing puzzled glances from people he meets on the streets, even from people he has known for years. He is close to unrecognisable from the man he was on St Patrick’s Day, after shedding almost 11 stone in the space of seven months. The weight loss came after a religiously-observed diet and the re-introduction of exercise into his life. When he started the weight loss programme in April, Mark, who lives in Ennis, was 25 stone and nine pounds but when he finished in early October, he was down to 14 stone and 11 pounds, a fairly appropriate weight for his 6’5 frame. It’s hardly surprising that he wasn’t satisfied with life at 25 stone and he says the weight was draining the positives from him in all sorts of ways. “Being that weight was affecting my whole life. Going in for interviews for jobs [he was then unemployed], it was …

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Budget not enough to ‘protect basic rights’

A wide-ranging survey of civil society organisations published this Thursday indicates that while Budget 2015 may have offered some positive measures for various social groups, it does not go far enough to restore or protect basic rights downgraded over several years of austerity. Despite the increases in welfare rates and payments, organisations working in areas right across society – social welfare, minorities, health, children, LGBT, women, disabled persons, education and older people – saw either no change or a reduction in accessibility to rights from Budget 2015, according to FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres). The survey was conducted by FLAC and its PILA project on some 39 organisations across all areas of society in the aftermath of Budget 2015. “These results show that groups do recognise that some efforts were bring made by Government, but it is interesting to note that there was no sense of elation or even cautious optimism across the 39 participating bodies. Most felt there was …

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Asbestos investigation in Shannon electoral area

By Owen Ryan CLARE County Council has confirmed it is investigating claims that asbestos has been improperly disposed of at a handful of locations in parts of the Shannon Electoral Area. This follows revelations some weeks ago that asbestos had been dumped at a number of locations around West Clare. In a statement issued this week, the council confirmed that it is looking into complaints in the Shannon area, but that no asbestos has been found to date. “One additional site with intact pipes which need to be removed has been identified at Clonmoney Reservoir near Shannon. A complaint regarding three additional sites in the general Shannon area is still being investigated. No asbestos material has been located at these sites yet,” the statement read. Clare County Council has also said that clean up work is progressing in West Clare. “Of the nine sites phase one works on four sites are substantially complete, it is expected that the phase one …

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Bunratty girl is volunteer of the year

By Owen Ryan   A CLARE teenager was one of two named as All Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year at the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards. Sixteen year old Elysha Ní Chuláin is from Bunratty and is currently a fifth year student at Coláiste Íde in Kerry. She was honoured for her volunteering activities with Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Hospital in Crumlin and Barretstown Camp in Co Kildare. At five Elysha was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was hospitalised in Crumlin for ten years. During that time she underwent chemotherapy and several surgeries, which have left her with permanent kidney damage and without sight in one eye. Speaking on Tuesday she said she was delighted to win the award. “They announced Dayna Ní Shíocháin, the other winner first and I was delighted for her but I was getting a bit worried that I’d be in tears if I didn’t win. When they called out Coláiste Íde I …

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Cahercalla Hospital

Cahercalla surgery unit closure ‘catastrophic’

Thousands of private patients will have to travel to Limerick or Galway for day procedures and consultations with the closure of the surgical unit at Cahercalla Community Hospital from May 1. Catering for up to 2,500 day surgical admissions and 5,000 consultations annually, the unit, which has signicantly reduced waiting times for patients for almost 15 years, is no longer deemed viable.  The ending of this service also places a question mark over the future of 11 employees. Describing the closure as “catastrophic”, HSE West Forum member, Councillor Brian Meaney, said it is another major blow for health services in the county. “Its closure is a significant loss in the options available to Clare people to have their health issues dealt with locally. The availability of   medical  and surgical services at the facility where many Clare people were born, reduced the stress many people encounter when they have health concerns,” he stated. “This also sends out a distress signal for …

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Call for smoky coal ban extention in Clare

WITH a smoky coal ban in place in Ennis since 2011, the Asthma Society is calling for support of an all-island ban that would see it extended to all of Clare. In anticipation of an all-island ban, the Asthma Society has also launched its campaign for clean air, calling on householders across Clare to ‘be a lifesaver’ and burn smokeless coal or an alternative clean fuel to reduce asthma symptoms and save lives. Niamh Kelly, Asthma Society of Ireland said, “With 470,000 people affected, Ireland has the fourth highest prevalence of asthma worldwide. The dangers of smoky coal on public health are well documented and it is also a commonly known asthma trigger. In advance of an all-island ban, we are calling on fuel consumers across Clare to burn smokeless coal or an alternative fuel, to reduce asthma symptoms and save lives.” While many lives have been saved with the provincial bans, Dr  Dermot Nolan of the Asthma Society of …

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Fourth defibrillator for Ennis

A LOCAL  group, who have been bringing potentially life saving defibrillators to the streets of Ennis, have just installed their fourth device. The Ennis Defibrillator Committee is behind the installation of a new defibrillator at Roslevan this week. And there are plans to provide four more in the future with a fundraising quiz planned for next Thursday in the West County Hotel. According to the fundraising committee chairman Paul O’Shea, “Each defibrillator costs €2,300 and the committee have raised enough money to purchase four units. These units are positioned at key locations throughout Ennis. We can’t believe that in these hard times, that we have now purchased four units. The generosity of the Clare public is astounding. In addition, Ennis is in the process of achieving the status of ‘Heart Safe Town’ the much coveted award from the Irish Heart Foundation.” The fund raising committee includes the Clare Red Cross, Ennis Chamber, Avondale Soccer club and other businesses/community groups. The …

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O’Dea on the mend

ENNIS born internationally-renowned artist Mick O’Dea has described his recent accident, which left him with serious injuries, as a “very close call.” The award-winning artist was brought to the Mater Hospital for surgery after an accident on Dublin’s O’Connell Street in January. He said he was “very lucky” to have escaped with his life. Mr O’Dea is now recovering at his home in Dublin, having spent a week in hospital, where he spent a number of days in intensive care. “I just have to take it easy now for a couple more weeks and try and heal,” he told The Clare Champion. He said the impact “shattered” his spleen, which had to be surgically removed. He praised the surgical team and all at the Mater Hospital saying “they saved me”. The accident occurred on January 17 when Mr O’Dea was cycling on O’Connell Street. He recalled, “I was cycling along O’Connell Street and somebody walked out in front of me …

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