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Mature Living Magazine - February 2012





    A Holiday with heartMany travellers are using their vacation time and skillsto give something back.

    Pets: breedsfor allergysufferersThese dogs and cats might bethe solution for pet lovers.

    February 2012

    The alternativeambulanceserviceJames Murray outlines theingredients for a qualityambulance service.

    See Page 33 For details

    All this pluslots, lots more!

    A story of a particularly

    Irish success


    Published by: IBS PublishingRiverview House, Barrett Street, Ballina, Co. Mayoand Cleveragh Road, Sligo

    Tel/Fax: 071-9154538 / 096-77743Web: Email: [email protected]




    Seamus CaseyEditor

    THE third issue of Mature Livingcomes to you as we leave winterbehind and enthusiasticallyembrace the spring for all that itdelivers. From the noticeable stretch inthe evenings to the sight of new bornlambs bouncing and frolicking in thefields, springtime really is a time forbeing positive and shaking those winterblues well and truly from us.

    As you all know at this stage we are set to lose over 8,000public sector workers at the end of the month. Much hasbeen made of the handsome pensions and lump-sums thatworkers will walk away with and sectors being left in chaosbecause of these irresponsible people. It is worthremembering that it was not these workers whoimplemented this scheme. And I would like to take thisopportunity to wish them a long and healthy retirement.You have put in the years and now it is time for a little rest& recuperation. This month also saw the passing of DavidKelly, the legendary actor who graced our screens for thethe past five decades. From Rashers in Strumpet City toSylvie in Glenroe or indeed Mr O Reilly in one of the classicepisodes of Fawlty Towers, David will be fondlyremembered. Once again we have been particularlyencouraged by the request for bulk deliveries from so manyorganisations throughout Connacht. Likewise, we regretthat many of you have been unable to source copies.

    For those of you experiencing Mature Living for the firsttime, we are a free monthly publication available inrestaurants, pharmacies, doctors surgeries, dentalpractices, hospital waiting rooms, butchers, golf clubs,hotels, day care centres, government buildings, banks,community centres, shops, etc., etc. We are also availableonline at where we have a fullyinteractive online edition along with archives.

    In this issue we invite readers to take a nostalgic lookback at the showband era in Ireland and we are verygrateful to for supplying al thematerial. We have a one on one with the man who leftteaching to set up Supermac's; we also chat to JamesMurray about his ambulance service and many other timelyarticles we hope you will find both interesting andrejuvenating.

    If your group or organisation would like to receive bulkdeliveries of Mature Living please send your request [email protected] or post it to: Mature Living, 28Cleveragh Road, Sligo.

    We also welcome input from your organisation and if youwould like to have articles or photographs of recent eventshighlighted please send them to the same address,[email protected]

    Our next issue will be available on March 14th and thedeadline for submissions is 7th of March.

    February 2012


    NewsSugar as harmful astobacco, experts sayOne one One with Pat Supermac McDonaghThe quality alternativeambulance serviceCharlie EasterfieldInspirational in LeitrimBig Apple on a budgetA holiday with heartPets Corner: The bestbreeds for allergysufferersDown Memory Lane: The Kim Newport BandLump Sum InvestmentsTechnology: MobilesMotoring: How to reducethe perils of parkingSustainable KitchensHypnosis: Science andApplicationCompetitionFood and Drink: Chia- TheAncient Super SeedWoman: Just 50Speaking Clearly ... andSlowly!EmploymentIs aging to blame forweight gain?The Joy of Gardening withGrandchildrenServices DirectoryPuzzlesDating: Meeting Place














    Editor: Seamus [email protected]:[email protected] & Design: Stephen [email protected]

  • News


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    After a hugely successful run last year,Roscommon Drama Festival once againpresents a packed nine-nightprogramme of theatre from Friday 2ndto Saturday 10th March, 2012.

    The festival provides an exciting mixof excellent amateur drama with groupsfrom all over the country competing forawards and nominations to the AllIreland finals. Roscommon DramaFestival offers something for allaudiences: from comedy to tragedy,classic plays to contemporary dramaand lots more in between

    President Michael DHiggins called on olderpeople to realise theirpotential at the launch of theEuropean Year for ActiveAgeing and Solidarity betweenGenerations in Dublin Castle.If ageing is to be a positiveexperience it must beaccompanied by opportunitiesto realise the potential of all

    people and to participate inall facets of society. This isthe essence of active ageingthe President said.

    Speaking to delegates fromall over the country, who willbe celebrating the Year withan impressive number ofevents, he continued with themessage: The Year alsoprovides an opportunity tosend a clear and strongmessage that active ageing isnot meant for older peoplealone, it is of relevance toeveryone in Ireland no matterwhat age he or she may be.

    President Higgins said that,during his 14 monthscampaigning for thePresidency, nobody -- youngeror older -- had asked foranything at the expense ofanother generation. There isin the people a fine ethicalbalance of wanting inter-generational solidarity, hesaid. This is something thatis natural. The year enablesus to have a vision celebratingageing and valuingcontributions from all ages.

    Ronan Toomey, Office forOlder People, NationalCoordinator of the Year saidthe opening event was justone of a number of nationalseminars his office will hostthroughout the Year. We willbe encouraging people of allages to take part, enter intodialogue with each other andultimately foster and build onthe contact and supportbetween generations thatalready exists in Ireland, hesaid.

    While the Office for Older

    People in the Department ofHealth is responsible fororganising the Year, wewanted this to be acollaborative process. Theresponse from the NGO sectorand colleagues in otherGovernment Departments hasbeen very encouraging. Thereis a real sense of partnershipin the planning and delivery ofevents taking place aroundthe country throughout theYear, he continued.

    Mary Cunningham, Directorof the National Youth Councilof Ireland, said that this wasjust the beginning of anexciting year of eventscelebrating the great workcarried out by younger andolder people together. Thisintergenerational contact is sopositive. It leads to morerealistic images of olderpeople and younger peopleand puts young people at theforefront of challengingageism, she said.

    This is the European Year forActive Ageing and Solidaritybetween Generations whichcalls on everyone to reflecton how Europeans are livinglonger and staying healthierthan ever before and torealise the opportunities thatrepresents. People of all agescan enjoy an extensiveprogramme of events takingplace in Ireland throughoutthe year. Details are availableat

    A key message for the Yearin Ireland is that you are nevertoo old or too young to engagewith life and its manyopportunities.

    40% of retiring nurses managers /specialistsJUST over 40% of nursesquitting the health servicebefore the end of themonth are in senior man-ager or specialist posts, ac-cording to latest figures.

    Latest estimates for thenumber of health servicestaff leaving the service bythe end of this month indi-cate that around 1,360nurses and 90 consultantswill be quitting, accordingto Health Minister JamesReilly.

    He said the current esti-mated total staff retiringfrom the health service was3,800.

    The Minister said hewould be reviewing the HSEservice plan once the fullimpact of the staff exoduswas known.

    The Minister, in a Dail re-ply, said 2,200 people havealready retired betweenSeptember and January,and the remainder have in-dicated that they will leaveby the end of this month.

    Dr Reilly said these fig-ures are subject to changein the event of additionalapplications being receivedor existing applications be-ing withdrawn.

    Staff are retiring to availof favourable pension termswhich will no longer be of-fered to retirees after Feb-ruary 29.

    He said contingency plan-ning is being undertaken to

    prepare for the departures.The latest breakdown of

    staff leaving given by theMinister shows that of theapproximately 1,360 nursesquitting, 123 are in mana-gerial posts of directors ofnursing.

    An additional 456 are ei-ther clinical nurse managersor clinical nurse specialists -the latter provide specialistcare to patients with spe-cific conditions such as can-cer.

    A total of 641 staff nursesare set to quit the healthservice and 37 midwives aredue to retire.

    The latest breakdownshows that 93 consultantsare set to quit the healthservice by the end of themonth.

    Retiring HSE staff can berehired.

    Roscommon DramaFestival 2nd - 10thMarch FOLLOWING the success of their first TRADE & TOURISM

    SHOW last April, which attracted 1,500 members,Active Retirement Ireland are pleased to announcethat this years show will be held at The CITYWESTHOTEL on Tuesday 17th APRIL between 12 noon and6pm. This is a perfect opportunity for companies(small and large) as well as voluntary & statutoryorganisations to reach a prime target group of ActiveRetirement Association members from every county inIreland.The Show takes place during the 3-day AGMand will be open to all delegates as well as members ofthe public. It is expected this event will attract over2,000 visitors. Entrance will be FREE. Stand spaces costjust 350 (nil VAT). Sponsorship opportunities from500 to 1,000 available. For a booking form pleasecall 01 873 3836 or email [email protected]

    Active Retirement Irelandannounce Trade & Tourism Show

    President Higgins Calls onOlder People to RealiseTheir Potential

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  • Age Action welcomed publication of researchwhich highlights the difficulties which someolder people experience to secure informationabout their entitlements and how to access publicservices.

    The findings of Caught In the Web, Mapping OlderPeoples Information Pathways to Public Servicesare very much in line with the experience of manycallers to Age Actions telephone informationservice. The report was commissioned by Older andBolder and researched by Olga McDaid. Withincreasing numbers of organisations in the publicand private sector reverting to automatedtelephone services and the growing dependency onwebsites as the main means of dispersinginformation, more and more older people arestruggling to access data about vital entitlementsand services, Age Action spokesman EamonTimmins said.

    The older peoples charity believes that providingpeople with timely, accurate and accessibleinformation is essential if older people are to beempowered. By providing barriers to older peopleseeking information, the State is denying themaccess to vital entitlements and hindering theirability to make informed decisions about how theywish to live their lives, Mr Timmins said. AgeAction works to address these problems byproviding a telephone information service, whichdealt with over 3,000 queries last year. It alsoprovides computer training courses for older peopleto enable them access information online. Over11,000 older people have been trained to date. AgeActions information service operates Monday toFriday, 9.30am to 5pm. To contact the informationservice or book a place on a computer trainingcourse contact 01-4756989.

    Page 6 Mature Living February 2012



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    THE Ombudsman Emily OReillylaunched Caught in the Web - anOlder & Bolder report whichshines a spotlight on thedifficulties older people have inaccessing vital information aboutaccess to public services.

    Isolation, sensory problems,lack of access to the internet, thefailure of some service providersto offer adequate or appropriateinformation about their servicesall create barriers between theolder person and what they needand are entitled to in order to getthe most from their lives, Ms.OReilly said. Director of Older &Bolder Patricia Conboy called for a

    simpler system to be adopted toavoid the real hardship people areexperiencing throughout thecountry. One man interviewed inthe report waited a long time fora wheelchair and then got two onthe same day. Older peopleshould not have to battle withbureaucracy. They should be ableto make a telephone call and havetheir query tracked through acentral tracking system the sameway you can if you buy a book onAmazon or buy a flight or send aregistered letter in the post. Thiswould not entail enormousexpenditure and indeed may savemoney in the long run.Ombudsman Emily OReilly

    Caught in the web

    AGE & OPPORTUNITY are piloting a new course tohelp people to develop confidence and skills incontributing to and working for change in theircommunities. Research shows that fewopportunities of this type are targeted at retiredpeople something that is illogical, given thepotential resource to their communities that theyrepresent. The course complements Age &Opportunitys other education initiatives, offeringthe chance for a follow-on course, somethingparticipants often request at the end of the courseslike Ageing with Confidence. This courses working

    title is On TRACk Turning Retirement into ActiveCitizenship. It will be developed to reflect theneeds and experiences of those taking part who canshape its content. This course is being developedwith CAN (Community Action Network), and is beingpiloted with eight partners across the country: ClareLocal Development, Artane Coolock Resource andDevelopment Centre, Dun Laoghaire VEC, FORUMConnemara (with the Irish Centre for SocialGerontology, NUI Galway), Kildare VEC, LongfordCommunity Resources, Waterford City VEC, WexfordLocal Development.

    On TRACK - Turning Retirement into Active Citizenship

    Age Action welcomes research whichhighlights difficulties older people experience accessing information

    WE HAVE ALL heard the stories about how dangerousswans are. They can break a mans arm, you know(actually were still not sure if this is true or not).

    But these three little ducks today paid no heed tothe warnings/urban myths as they took on a game ofswans to grab their share of this slice of bread In the last edition of Mature

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  • Mature Living is full to the brim with information on events, finance, travel, pets, food and drink,health, hobbies and much much more! For just 28 (to cover postage and admin costs) you can haveMature Living delivered to your door. Mature Living is published once per month and a subscriptioncovers 12 months.Complete the form below. You can pay by cheque or Postal Order made payable to IBS Publications

    I would llike to subscribe to Mature Living Magazine for 12 issues.




    Alternatively, you can pay via telephone using your credit or debit card. Simply call us on 071-9154538 withyour details.

    Cut out this form and send it to us at: Subscriptions, Mature Living Magazine, Cleveragh Road, Sligo.

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    No more looking for your copy - We will post it to you!PROMOTING A HEALTHY & POSITIVE LIFESTYLE



    A Holiday with heartMany travellers are using their vacation time and skillsto give something back.

    Pets: breedsfor allergysufferersThese dogs and cats might bethe solution for pet lovers.

    February 2012

    The alternativeambulanceserviceJames Murray outline theingredients for a qualityambulance service.

    See Page 33 For details

    All this pluslots, lots more!

    A story of a Particularly Irish Success




    Bands of ourShowband EraBands of every size anddescription travelled theroads and borheens.

    Worldsgreat trainjourneysRelive the golden days oftravel on these 10 classictrain journeys.

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  • Sugar is so harmful that it shouldbe controlled in the same way astobacco and alcohol, accordingto a team of leading public healthexperts.

    Three US scientists from theUniversity of California at SanFrancisco (UCSF) maintain sugar ismore than just "empty calories" thatmakes people fat.

    They argue that high calorie,sweetened food is indirectlyresponsible for 35 million annualdeaths worldwide due to lifestyle-related conditions such as heartdisease, diabetes and cancer.

    Professors Robert Lustig, Laura

    Schmidt and Claire Brindis call forrestrictions and controls on sugar thatmirror those on tobacco and alcohol.

    The three set out their views in thescience journal, Nature.

    They point out that, at the levelsconsumed in the West, sugar alteredmetabolism, raised blood pressure,disrupted hormone signalling andcaused significant damage to theliver that was still not fullyunderstood.

    The health hazards were similar tothe effects of drinking too muchalcohol which was, in any event,manufactured from the distillation ofsugar.

    Speaking about the commentarticle, Professor Lustig, from theUCSF Benioff Children's Hospital,said: "As long as the public thinksthat sugar is just 'empty calories', wehave no chance in solving this.

    "There are good calories and badcalories, just as there are good fatsand bad fats, good amino acids andbad amino acids, good carbohydratesand bad carbohydrates. But sugar istoxic beyond its calories."

    Worldwide consumption of sugarhas tripled in the last 50 years,fuelling a global obesity epidemic.

    The main culprit is said to befructose, a sugar molecule that iscommonly added to processed food insweetening agents such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). There isincreasing evidence that excessfructose has harmful effects on thebody.

    In their commentary, the expertspropose adding taxes to processedfoods that contain any form of addedsugar.

    These would include carbonateddrinks, other sugar-sweetenedbeverages such as juice andchocolate milk, and sugared cereals.

    Other strategies includedcontrolling access with measures suchas age limits for the purchase ofsugary drinks, and tightening controlson vending machines and snack barsin schools and workplaces.

    However, the scientists stressedthat to achieve a societal shift awayfrom high sugar consumption, thepublic had to be better informedabout the emerging science behind

    sugar.Professor Schmidt, from UCSF's

    Philip R Lee Institute for HealthPolicy Studies, said: "There is anenormous gap between what weknow from science and what wepractice in reality.

    "In order to move the healthneedle, this issue needs to berecognised as a fundamental concernat the global level."

    She added: "We're not talkingprohibition. We're not advocating amajor imposition of the Governmentinto people's lives. We're talkingabout gentle ways to make sugarconsumption slightly less convenient,thereby moving people away fromthe concentrated dose.

    "What we want is to actuallyincrease people's choices by makingfoods that aren't loaded with sugarcomparatively easier and cheaper toget."

    Professor Brindis, director of thePhilip R Lee Institute, said: "Werecognise that there are cultural andcelebratory aspects of sugar.Changing these patterns is verycomplicated."

    The experts concluded in theirarticle: "Regulating sugar will not beeasy particularly in the 'emergingmarkets' of developing countrieswhere soft drinks are often cheaperthan potable water or milk.

    "We recognise that societalintervention to reduce the supply anddemand for sugar faces an uphillpolitical battle against a powerfulsugar lobby, and will require activeengagement from all stakeholders."

    Sugar as harmful as tobacco,alcohol, experts say


    Page 8 Mature Living February 2012

    DPMS, which stands for DisabledPersons Mobility Solutions, wasformed in 2004 providing highquality mobility products at excellentprices. Due to the demand of our loyalcustomers we have never stoppedgrowing from the first day.

    DPMS provide many different types ofproducts and services throughout Irelandincluding sales, repairs and servicing of:Mobility Scooters, Stairlifts, Rise &Recline Chairs, Adjustable Beds, WalkingAids, Manual & Electric Wheelchairs. Werepair and service all major brands ofdisabled and elderly products at a costeffective price no matter the location.

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  • Sonas Villages, located at Ard naGreine, Enniscrone, Co Sligo,Cloverhill, Roscommon andCloghanboy, Ballymahon Road,Athlone, promote independent livingto older people who decide for variousreasons to move from their ownhomes to a supportive and safe envi-ronment.

    The villages are set in the peaceful,yet secure, grounds of Sonas Care Cen-tres and are within walking distanceof the town centre offering a range ofamenities. The villages are an exclu-sive development of one and two bed-room houses which offer anindependent lifestyle with 24/7 accessif required to the care and servicesavailable at the nursing home on thesame grounds. A central social centre,managed by a residents committee,provides a focal point for activities andservices.

    Sonas villages are managed andmaintained by Sonas. The houses, eachwith a high specification, have a 24hour emergency call system to adja-cent nursing home. Associated serv-ices include emergency nurse on call,personal care if required, social cen-tre, maintenance of grounds, externalmaintenance of houses and insurance.

    Sonas Village prides itself in creating

    a home-from-home for all its resi-dents. These houses, which can bepurchased or rented, provide a uniqueopportunity for older people to pursuean independent lifestyle in a safe en-vironment.

    Care packages to include personalcare, meals, cleaning service andhouse maintenance are available andcan be tailor-made to meet the indi-vidual needs of residents.

    Further information can be obtainedby calling to view the houses or youcan telephone or email Enniscrone 09637840, [email protected] ;Athlone 090 [email protected] All information inrelation to Sonas services can beviewed at

    Sonas Village promoting independent living in a friendlyand safe environment

  • Feature by Stella Carroll

    Pat McDonagh received his nickname from a witty supporterduring a Gaelic football matchmany years ago. The name stuck andbecame the obvious choice for his

    fast food business.Supermac's is Irelands'most successful home-grown quick-servicerestaurant, with over

    103 outlets, both Northand South. However,

    life could havebeen verydifferent if thisGalway man hadnot made somecourageouscareer choices,and then backedthose choices up

    with hard work,enthusiasm andpassion.

    While workingas a secondaryschool teacher

    in his native Ballinasloe, Pat madehis first tentative steps into the fastfood business. A chip van at theGalway races and sporting eventssoon gave way to the opening of theinaugural Supermacs restaurant in1978. Giving up the day job andbeginning a new career meantworking nights, days and everywaking minute. It was a bold choice,particularly for a family man.However, leaving the relativesecurity of a salaried, pensionablepost was undoubtedly the bestdecision of his life. In the ensuingyears, he has established Supermac'sas one of Ireland's best knownbusinesses, employing over 2,500people nationally.

    Pat is married to Una, and has fourchildren. Marie, Siobhan, John andConor, and he credits his solid familylife as an integral part of hissuccess. The family is hugelyimportant, in that the support andcomfort of home life helps you relax

    and unwind he laughs Its a trueleveller, when some one is askingyou to make the tea or whatever itis that you should have done, you

    are brought firmly back to ground.Its all good fun and part of anygoings-on in a family. Una hasalways been involved in the businesstoo. I think she has moreknowledge of the day to day runningof things than I do and this isessential when you are makingdecisions. says Pat You canbecome a bit removed from thingsover time, so its really great thatwe talk things over together.

    Expansion has never frightened Patand when he sees an opportunity, hegrasps it with both hands. TheCladagh Irish Pubs and Restaurantsprovided such an opportunity andPat now has fifteen locations in theWest and Midwest of the UnitedStates. A firm fan of the Americancan-do attitude to business, hedivides his time between Ireland andvisits to the U.S. to oversee hisinterests. There is always a new andexciting development to take backto Ireland.


    Page 10 Mature Living February 2012

    Work harder,work smarter,and see what

    otheropportunitiesare out there

    for yourbusiness.

    Pictured at the site ofthe new Supermacs 7

    million, new travelplaza in Moneygall

    are Pat and UnaMcDonagh of

    Supermacs. This 12acre site will be a

    major purpose-builtmotorway services

    facility along the M7route between Dublinand Limerick and willcreate more than 50

    jobs in the area. It willinclude a Supermacs,Papa Johns Pizza and

    other food offeringsincluded in a foodcourt, as well as a

    convenience shop, fuelpumps and other


  • Page 11 Mature Living February 2012

    Papa John's Pizza was one suchbusiness which Pat felt could thrivein an Irish setting. He was provedright once again and there are nowover 30 outlets throughout Ireland.Last year, he introduced the QuiznoSubs franchise to this country.Quizno Subs offers healthy eatingoptions which are proving verypopular. Some might say he has aMidas touch. This may be true, butthere is also the culmination of yearsof hard work and business acumen.There is a loyalty and respectamongst close staff which can onlybe inspired by admiration of his workethic and personality. His advice towould-be entrepreneurs in thecurrent economic downturn is simpleand clear Work harder, worksmarter, and see what otheropportunities are out there for yourbusiness.

    As a business man Pat isoutstanding and exemplary, but he

    has not forgotten his roots and hismain passions. It is all aboutbalance in your life. Whether thatcomes to you through, religion,sports or whatever, it is aboutmaintaining that work life balance.He remains committed to educationand provides inspiration to youngpeople through events likeSupermacs Bright Sparks Awards,which encourages secondary schoolbusiness students to develop andpresent their own business ideas. Hefeels that young people should stilldream big dreams, particularly inthe challenging economic climate.The sponsorship of Our School's GotTalent competition in aid of SpecialOlympics continues this positivereinforcement of students. Pat andUna have always felt that in eachcommunity where he opens abusiness, there is a corporate socialresponsibility too and an impressivelist of over 114 organisations, eventsand Charities, like Trocaire, havereceived funding over the past fewyears.

    Sports, both within the schoolsystem and within the community,continue to be a joy and pleasure forPat. Its a great outlet in thesetimes of stress in peoples livesgenerally he laughs If you can goto a match and you are not tooinvolved in the organising, its asource of great relaxation andenjoyment . The Galway Hurlingteam may be well associated withSupermacs, for they have beensponsored in excess of 1.5 millionover the years, but equally the localHurling Club, Killimorday, havereceived the benefits of investment.Pat has worked with teams fromprimary school level right through tosenior county and believes thediscipline and commitment sports,

    demands of players, translates intomany other aspects of school, workand family life.

    It is wonderful to be able to tell astory of a particularly Irish success,especially in these times of doomand gloom. A story of a local manmade good. A man who can seizeopportunities in business and yet,remain loyal to his own roots. Inthese times of global recession andeconomic downturn, the teacherwho turned entrepreneur, Pat'Supermac' McDonagh, is aninspiration.

    If you can goto a match andyou are not tooinvolved in theorganising, its

    a source ofgreat

    relaxation and


    Family is atrue leveller,

    when some oneis asking you tomake the tea,

    you are broughtfirmly back toground. Its allgood fun andpart of any

    goings-on in afamily.

    Pat and Una McDonagh

    Pat McDonagh, managing director of Supermac's, and Galway seniorhurling star Ollie Canning. Sport plays a major part in Pats life.

  • Page 12 Mature Living February 2012

    Feature ArticleFeature

    The company now employ 18people at three service centresin Castlebar, Galway andLimerick. The service caters forprivate patients who are funded byVHI, private patients who pay for theservice themselves and publicpatients who receive funding fromthe HSE. In addition the Murraybrand can be seen regularly at publicevents, i.e. GAA Championshipgames, Mayo Stages Rally, horseracing and other high profile events.

    Whilst mainly operating on thewestern seaboard Murray AmbulanceService provides a valuable serviceto speciality centres in Dublin whenpatients from the west have to betransferred there. In addition thecompany has, from time to time,taken patients to the UK and Europe.

    James Murray explained to us thatevery case is different and oftenthere are differing means of fundingpatient transfers. Hence, mostpeople ring in advance to see howthe service operates and how it isfunded. He has here compiled a listof some of the frequently askedquestions to assist people who maybe deciding to engage a privateambulance company for theirambulance transport.

    People should call 094-9250999

    should they have any queries. Andremember, "Dont Worry, ask forMurray", and your problem will besorted for you..

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Q. Does my health insurance coverme for ambulance transport withMurray Ambulance Service.A. Murray ambulance Service dealsonly with VHI, who have rules setout in the Members rule book. Therule of thumb is: Ambulance

    transport is usually approved for theinter hospital transfer of a patientfrom one hospital to another forfurther treatments or investigationsor from a hospital to an approvednursing home to facilitateconvalescence subject to conditions.Murray Ambulance Service would bedelighted to answer your questionson this if it arises for you.Telephone 094 9250999, 24 Hours.

    Q. Can I engage Murray AmbulanceService privately?A. Yes, of course. Murray AmbulanceService is frequently engaged byindividuals to supply ambulancetransport on a self-paying basis; Thefee is discussed and set before theservice is supplied. As each journeyis unique in time and distance etc itwould be impossible to list pricesuntil the full facts of the call andthe clients requirements areknown.

    Q. Why use an ambulance service tofulfil an out patients / admissionappointment.A. All Murray Ambulance ServiceStaff, like their counterparts in theNational Ambulance Service, areregistered and licensed by the PreHospital Emergency Care Council(the de facto regulatory body forAmbulance Services in Ireland,operating under the auspices ofHIQA) and as such are trained todeal with all issues that may arisewhen transporting a patient fromhospital to hospital, from home tohospital, or indeed from hospital tohome. These issues may includemobility issues, toileting,treatment, monitoring, etc. Weinteract with all departments of allhospitals along the westernseaboard as well as the majorhospitals in Dublin and Cork. Wepark in the dedicated ambulanceparking areas and know exactly howto access services as quickly aspossible.

    Q. Can a family member / friendaccompany the patient?A. Murray Ambulance Service arepleased to accommodatecompanions provided the patient isagreeable to the arrangement.

    Q. What equipment is carried on theAmbulances?A. Murray Ambulance Serviceoperates two distinct types ofAmbulance vehicles equipped todifferent levels. One is a front lineemergency vehicle that is equippedwith all the emergency equipmentcarried to deal with any pre-hospitalemergency that may arise. Thesevehicles are deployed to facilitatethe transfer of potentially unstablepatients, usually from one hospitalto another.

    The second type of vehicle is a nonemergency vehicle equipped withbasic life support equipment andpatient comfort equipment. Theseare usually employed for thetransfer of stable patients that arenot expected to becomeemergencies.

    We also have capacity to transferbariatric patients (obese patients).In this context we configure ourstretcher clamps to the centre ofthe floor of our ambulance so as toaccommodate a special stretcherthat is larger than the standardstretcher and is rated to carry up to300kg (47 stones approx.). Thisservice needs a little extra notice asit needs some set up time.

    The quality alternativeAmbulance Service"Dont Worry, Ask for Murray" This is a catch phrase of Murray Ambulance Service Ltd.,established by James Murray in Castlebar, Co Mayo, in 2009.

    With Murray Ambulance Serviceyou will benefit from a qualityalternative ambulance experience.

    Murray Ambulance Service Coarsepark, Castlebar, Co Mayo Tel: 094 9250999 Fax: 094 9250999 Mobile: 087 9250999 / 0876474999.

    James Murray with Luziminda OSullivan & Aoibhinn Ni Suillibhean (bothformer Roses of Tralee) at the launch of Murray Ambulance Service in 09.

    One of Murray Ambulance Servicefrontline emergency ambulances.

    Ambulance set up for BariatricPatient (stretcher set up withwider cushion and stretcher fixingssituated in the middle of theambulance floor). This stretchercan accommodate patients withweights up to 300kg or 47 stones.

  • The nursing home provides 24hrs of quality nursing care, respite andconvalescent care, singla en-suite rooms, qualified escort nurse / carer to

    assist you with any local and international travel. Family and friends arewelcome at our nursing home and we provide a self catering cottage on the

    grounds of the nursing home to accommodate and to facilitate for such visits.

    The Ethos in our home is to encourage residents to live life to the full basedon a holistic approach with wellness of mind, body and soul. Our residents

    enjoy a healthy balanced diet with a variety of home-made breads and organicvegetables grown on site. Residents partake in a busy social life with music,gardening, bingo, frequent entertainment from the local foroige youth club,

    daily visits from the local Eucharistic Ministers who lead prayer and reflectionand other finer things of life that offer you a "home away from home"


    The Home is situated in the picturesque village of Tooreen located 8kms from KnockInternational Airport. We are located in a dreamy country side with green pastures,

    organic vegetable gardens, beautiful walks with views of grazing cattle, loitering freerange hens that offers a genuine cairn and peaceful county life experience.

    Tooreen, Ballyhaunis County Mayo

    Tel: 094-963 9999 / Fax: 094-963 9998Email: [email protected] /

    L-R CynthaClampett, CEO ofMayo RoscommonHospice Knock,Tommy Feeney,Proprietor of AveMaria NursingHome, MaryMarsden, GNM3PallitiveHomecare Team,Anne Feeney,Proprietor AvaMaria NursingHome and NoraWhelan, PallitiveCare Nurse.


    Branleys Yard, Rathcormack, Co. SligoTel: 087-2644494 / 071-9145589

    E-mail: [email protected]



    Opening hours: Tues - Sat 2:00pm - 6:00pm


    (Stove Body)

    4KW Non Boiler Stove -215Mt

  • Feature Article

    Charlie Easterfield has the mostwonderfully warm and quirkywooden house nestled in therolling hills near Manorhamilton. Astove warms the main room. A pileof animal skulls in one corner,waiting their use in a sculptureproject. Plants, photographs andsketch work abounds. Books, woodcarvings and interesting littlequotations catch the eye. There is awooden swing hanging from theceiling. If a home is a reflection ofthe state of mind, then Charlie hasan intriguing, busy and amazingmind.

    Quick to laugh, youthful andpositive, Charlie Easterfield is aninspiration to us all. Born in England,sixty something years ago, shemoved from Cork to Co. Leitrim in1998, primarily to study stonecarving at the Sculpture Centre inManorhamilton. However, the landand people inspired her so much,

    that she designed and built herunique house and set about plantingthe two and a half acre site. Hergarden is a rambling walk in beauty,with sculptures and interestingstones hidden in the blooms andfoliage Flowers and trees are myfirst love, but I grow somevegetables too, and I have plantedan orchard and bio mass willows. Ilove this land and it is the first placethat I have really set down myroots. she says. I think it isbecause I was adopted, following theearly death of my parents, that Inever felt a sense of belongingbefore. But here, I feel Ive putdown solid roots, and really feel athome. Much of Charlies woodcarvings adorn churches both hereand in the U.K. We discuss theintangible things that keep a personyouthful. A curious mind? A busy life?A healthy attitude and a sense ofhumour? It is obvious after a fewminutes that Charlie does not thinkon age really, she just does whatinterests her next. Changing themedium I work in helps. I amsketching more now, sometimesincorporating words with theimages. Words that uplift me. Imeditate most days. It could be forjust twenty minutes but it cleansesthe brain and it informs my work.

    This vitality and enthusiasmpervades all of Charlies art, herconversations and her life. She takesa healthy interest in world politicsand current affairs. In the past, shewas an activist at the famousWomens Greenham Common peacecamp, opposed to nuclear weapons,and she retains a keen interest in

    the environment and Human Rights,and works with Refugee families inIreland. Now, in her more matureyears she finds that she is areluctant activist once more. I amdesperately worried about theannouncement that gas drilling,fracking, is to take place in Leitrim,and around the country. Its adisaster for the environment. If ourwater is contaminated, as happenedelsewhere, we will have huge, andirreversible problems. Charlie isactively campaigning with otherlocals to stop fracking in Leitrim andshe welcomes the decision by theCo. Council of Sligo, Roscommon andLeitrim to declare a moratorium ofone year in order to investigate itmore. These announcements thatLeitrim may or may not have billionsof gas under the ground dont takeinto account the real price ofextracting it and our Agriculture,Tourism and Food industries could be

    destroyed. Yes, we need jobs but notat this price. Looking out over thewinter fields, a small streambabbling and the birds singing, I feelCharlies passion for this unspoiltbeauty.

    When you are young, your lifestretches like an endless road, but aswe age time becomes precious and Itry not to waste it. My days are fulland exciting. This fracking businessis taking a lot of my energy and youcan even see the effects of it in myrecent artwork, but age makes youcalmer and I hope that my home,which I designed and built, remainsthe firm base for my two sons tocome to, and even to live and workif they want, and for me to enjoy inpeace. High on the kitchen wall, aninspirational quote in large goldletters reminds us to 'Share happilyand reap endlessly' Charlie puts thekettle on, a cat snores in the cornerand the evening settles around us.

    Feature by Stella Carroll

    Charlie EasterfieldInspirational in Leitrim

    A selection of Charlies artwork

    Charlies home

  • Page 15 Mature Living February 2012

    OLIVERS was established in Ballina, Co Mayo,in 1991 by Oliver and Marian Murphy and islocated in the heart of the town at BridgeStreet, very close to the famous River Moy.

    Oliver's is recognised as a leading menswearshop housing the best of Irish and Internationalclothing brands. Their clothing range has gotsomething for everyone. Whether you arelooking for classic coats, tailored suits,contemporary casuals or superb knitwear youwill find it here.

    Olivers is a family owned business,specializing in Menswear, Suit Hire and CasualWear for the younger man. Alongside is SarangraLadies Boutique. Both outlets are renowned forthe highest quality clothing as well as theirspecialist advice and personal attention. A true,one-stop shop which caters for the needs of allwho wish to dress stylishly and to whom qualityis very important.

    Olivers extensive hirewear department offersthe best in quality and service for that specialoccasion. Our Dress Hire Department has its ownprivate area where you will receive individualattention, professional advice and will be able toselect from one of the most comprehensivecollections of menswear available. There aremany colours and jacket styles to choose from,together with a fabulous array of classic, modernand contemporary waistcoat designs andaccessories.

    At Olivers Menswear we offer a great choice ofmenswear with well known brands such asMagee, Van Kollem, Profuomo, Baumler, Olymp,with shirts from Jaques Britt and Andre. Oliversprides itself on the personal service andattention to detail which they give to everycustomer. Without question, it is quality,durability and, therefore, true value for moneythat has sustained Olivers Menswear for the pasttwenty years.

    Think of other men hovering on one side orthe other of the cusp of 50: Tom Hanks, AndyGarcia, Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton,Kevin Costner, Dennis Leary, and Billy Idol. Bet youstill think of these guys as looking pretty vital.

    They are also pretty true to their own stylejust adapted it to stay with the times, to bemodern.

    By the time youre half way to 100, you shouldhave been able to gather the style momentum tofigure out your own personal style. Getting oldermeans learning from your past fashion mistakes,like being the guy in the Speedo who was not builtlike Mark Spitz, and forging ahead in a morestreamlined and easy manner. Give up the idea oflong hair when you barely have 3-hairs on the top.Look in the mirror and be real about what youhave to work withat any age!

    As we mature, fashion needs to be less fussy andmore sleek and sophisticated, but not fuddy-duddy. Top quality mens fashion designers haveclothing that is designed for style not your date ofbirth. Sure, there are some pieces in everycollection that are cut for the very young, butthat is such a small part of an overall designerline. Buy fewer pieces, but better pieces eachseason. If you cant afford clothing from the bigguns in mens fashion, get inspired by their designand find less expensive versions of similar styles.Look like youve made it rather than youre

    hopelessly still trying to figure it all out.Most important, stay modern and avoid the

    traps of wearing the same clothing that dates youfor years and years.

    Olivers Menswear, dressing the men of the west for over 20 yearsFashion for the mature man

    Mens Fashion

    [email protected]

  • Travel

    Page 16 Mature Living February 2012

    Big Apple on a Budget

    New York, New York! Romanticcity breaks dont come muchbetter than this and with dailyflights from Ireland every week youand your loved one can be statesidein the blink of an eye, and all forless than 600 (each) return. Dublinhas its double deckers, and of courseNY is famous for its yellow cabs, butif its just the two of you checkoutAirTrain JFK ( With direct links to the sub-way (which runs 24/7) you can be in

    Manhattan within the hour for a bar-gain basement $7.25 as long as youdont mind carrying your bags thatis.

    When it comes to accommodationyoure spoilt for choice frombudget hotels to hostels, rentalapartments to five star luxury. If youwant to be at the heart of the actionwithout stretching the purse stringstoo tightly settle for the EconoLodge Times Square (www.econolod- No Ritz by anystretch of the imagination - thinkmore along the lines of a stars andstripes version of a Travelodge - butfor around 100 a room per night,complete with continental break-fast, one can't complain.

    New York can seem a little over-whelming at first so why not getyour bearings with a bit of help fromone of the locals? Big Apple Greeter( is a to-

    tally free service that matches vol-unteer guides with sightseers theseguys really know their stuff and asintroductions go you cant domuch better. For a birds eyeview of the city take a trip upthe 102-story Empire StateBuilding, the tallest sky-scraper in Manhattan. Avoidthe lengthy queues by buyingyour tickets online ( beforeyou go. The RockefellerCentres Top of the RockObservation Deck is alsopopular with tourists andup until mid April youcan get a sky skatecombination ticketwhich also gives you astint on their famousice rink.

    To see the island fromanother angle take aride on the Staten Is-land Ferry. It wontcost you a penny and isunbeatable for viewsof the harbour and theultimate photo oppor-tunity of Americasmost famous lady - theStatue of Liberty.Speaking of which,tickets to the museum,pedestal and muchcoveted crown arelimited and can only

    For a birds eyeview of the citytake a trip upthe 102-storyEmpire StateBuilding, the

    tallestskyscraper in


    Fancy treating yourself to a bite of the Big Apple, without breaking the bank? Herewe let you in on a few secrets about the city that never sleeps.

    You cant visit New York without treating your other half to aBroadway show

    The Brooklyn Bridge

  • Page 17 Mature Living February 2012

    be purchased beforehand so go on-line ( to avoiddisappointment.

    One of the best ways to exploreManhattan, and really get a feel forthe city, is on foot. Hop on the tube(which is pretty safe during daylighthours) and wander back over Brook-lyn Bridge for breathtaking views ofone of the worlds most famous sky-lines. Of course, it isnt quite thesame without the twin towers butyou can stop and pay your respectsat the 9/11 Memorial which sits onthe site of the former World TradeCentre. Tickets are free but youneed to reserve passes online( Afterwardswhy not sample some authentic cui-sine in Chinatown or Little Italy?Check out the art and ultra chicshopping on the streets of SoHo(which literally means South ofHouston street). Grab a coffee inGreenwich Village (which you mightrecognise as the backdrop to the TVshow Friends) or escape the con-crete jungle, for a little while at

    least, in Central Park. Dont missStrawberry Fields, a tribute to thelate John Lennon, and the 18-acrelake used for ice-skating in the win-ter months and boating in the sum-mer.

    One of the most famous areas of NYis Times Square which, as the namesuggests, is just a few minutes walkfrom the Econo Lodge . Best knownfor its iconic bright lights and giantbillboards Times Square is also thegateway to the theatre district. Youcant visit New York without treatingyour other half to a Broadway showbut tickets can be expensive unlessyoure prepared to queue that is.TKTS ( offer dis-count seats to musicals and playsand with up to 50% off its worth thewait!

    For your own 15 seconds of famevisit the American Eagle clothingstore on Times Square and pose intheir miniature photo studio. Withinminutes your picture and messagewill be beamed onto the buildings25 storey LED screens for everyoneto see! Shopping is something NY isespecially good at so make sureyou leave plenty of space in yoursuitcase for the return journey...There really is something for every-one - from FAO Schwarz toy store(the scene of Tom Hanks giant pianoplaying in the film Big) to Tiffany &Co, where Audrey Hepburn hadbreakfast. And since you saved so much dosh onthe sightseeing, why not show theMrs. just how much you love herwith a sparkly reminder of a trulymagical trip?

    wander backover Brooklyn

    Bridge forbreathtaking

    views of one ofthe worlds

    most famousskylines.

    The Statue of Liberty

    Times Square

    China Town


  • Page 18 Mature Living February 2012


    A holiday with heartMany travellers are using their vacation time and skills to give something back. What to know if you're considering a volunteer vacation.

    Shortly after the earthquake inHaiti, a friends Facebook statuscaptured what many peoplewere feeling when she wrote shewishes she could do more for Haitithan just throw money at it.

    Its not just recent events that tugat the heart strings. Its hard to beinundated with images and videos ofhardship and disaster around theworld and not want to help in ameaningful way. To an increasingnumber of people, that means doingmore than simply opening theirwallets: it means packing their bags.

    Volunteer tourism orvoluntourism, for short is onetravel trend that shows no signs ofwaning. Its more than a way toimmerse oneself in the local cultureand experience the daily life of aplace; its an opportunity to giveback. For instance, travellers on a

    volunteer vacation might findthemselves building homes forvictims of natural disasters,providing education and medicalassistance to children in animpoverished area or helping farmersin a Third World country upgradetheir techniques.

    Volunteer vacations arent just forstudents on a gap year getaway.There are hundreds of short- andlong-term opportunities for people ofall ages, including families, solotravellers and Zoomers. Theres roomfor a wide range of skills and abilitiestoo, like health care, construction,environmental conservation andteaching. Some organisations such asthe Niall Mellon trust specialise inone particular type of volunteer work(like constructing new homes), whileothers like Goal offer a range ofopportunities like teaching businessskills to entrepreneurs in developingcountries or working for womensempowerment.

    If youre thinking about avolunteer vacation, here are sometips to help you plan:

    Access your strengths. Theres no shortage of activities tochoose from, but youll be able tocontribute more to an organisationor project where your skills are agood fit. For instance, if you enjoyworking with your hands, considerhelping to build a school or digwells. If your strengths lean moretowards reading and writing,volunteer to teach English instead.

    Consider locations. There are a lot of choices as towhere you can employ your skills,and its okay to consider your owninterests as well. Are there otheractivities and sights nearby youdlike to see? Is there a culture youdlike to learn more about, or a cause

    in which you strongly believe? Canyou speak the local language?

    If your budget is tight, you donthave to fly half way around theworld to volunteer. Check outprograms that are based here inIreland and in the Uk

    Dig into the details. Part of the point is to get outside ofyour usual comfort zone, so expect torough it a little. Are youcomfortable staying in a localshome, or sharing accommodationswith other volunteers? Are you up fortravelling by ground or sea? Evaluateopportunities carefully to make surethere arent any surprises.Think about timing. Its a knee-jerkreaction to want to fly to the sceneof the latest disaster, but its noplace for untrained workers. Leave itto the military and internationalrelief organisations for the first fewmonths at least. Once order andinfrastructure are back in place,there will be many opportunities tohelp out in the months and yearsahead.

    Weigh the costs. Unfortunately, your time and effortarent the only price. Youll mostlikely be paying for your own flights,accommodations, equipment, mealsand other incidental expenses notto mention the trip prep youll needbefore you go (like training orvaccinations). As with any vacationpackage, find out what costs are andare not covered, and do somecomparison shopping.

    Look into fundraising. Trips can run into thousands of euros,but there may be help covering thecosts. Find out if there are any grantsor fundraising opportunities to helpout. Many companies offer

    suggestions and tips for fundraising tohelp volunteers finance their trip.

    Consider health and safety. How safe is the location, and who islooking after health and security?Reputable organizations should havesolid emergency plans and a way tostay informed about changingcircumstances. If you have any healthconcerns, make sure there arefacilities nearby that can addressthem in an emergency. Youll alsowant to make sure you have travelinsurance that includes medicalevacuation. Unfortunately, women,people who are homosexual andpeople who are of certain religious orethnic backgrounds face additionalchallenges when travelling in certaincountries. Its important to look intothe laws and customs that can helpkeep you safe.

    Check travel requirements. Make sure your paperwork is in order.Some countries require work orvolunteer permits, and you may berequired to show proof of vaccinationfor certain conditions like yellowfever.

    Research the organisation. Unfortunately, where there arepeople willing to do good there arescammers eager to take advantage ofthem. Fraudulent advertisements andoffers have robbed would-bevolunteers of their cash.

    As with any kind of travel, itsimportant to work with organizationsyou trust. Take the time to do a littlebackground research to find out if theorganization provides good trainingand preparation before you go, if theyoffer foreign language support, iftheir programs are sustainable and ifthey use their funds wisely. Be on thelookout for con artists and offers thatsound a little too good.

    Its hard to beinundated with

    images andvideos of

    hardship anddisaster aroundthe world andnot want to

    help in ameaningful


  • SANDWICH Generation women those between the ages of 35 and 54who care for children and for elderlyparents and who sometimes alsowork outside the home as well needto ensure they dont burn out. Manywomen think they should be able toshoulder all responsibilities on theirown and dont ask for help, saysHeather Gately owner of Home In-stead Senior Care Galway, butsandwich women as they are some-times referred to need to ensurethey dont neglect their ownhealth.

    There are 8 signs to look out for aswarning signs that burn-out may beapproaching.Heather advises, Take stock of yourstress level by asking yourselfwhether you're experiencing any ofthe following emotional and physicalsymptoms. For an even better realitycheck, have your partner or someoneclose to you answer the questions foryou honestly. There's no formulafor defining your stress level, but ifyour yes answers outnumber yourno answers, or if just two or threeof the categories seem to apply toyou, consider taking steps to easeyour situation.

    1. Do you have a short fuse? Do you lose your temper easily?Do you feel angry with your parent? Do you feel irritable toward otherfamily members or find yourselfsnapping at them?One of the more obvious signs ofstress is losing your cool easily. Frus-tration may particularly increasewhen obstacles or challenges comeup, whether major or minor.

    2.Emotional outburstsDo you cry often or unexpectedly?Do you experience feelings of de-spair? Do you have dramatic mood swings?It's natural to grieve as a parent'scondition declines. It's also normal tofeel a complicated range of emotionsabout having to parent your parent.But if you're increasingly emotionalor feeling emotionally fragile, theremay be something more going on.Depression is a real risk for thosecaring for others. Even if you're notclinically depressed, emotional out-bursts can be an unconscious outletfor feelings of being overwhelmed.

    3.Sleep problemsDo you have trouble falling asleep?Do you have trouble staying asleep? Do you wake up tired?Trouble getting to sleep or stayingasleep can also be caused by stress,anxiety, and depression.

    4.Significant weight changeHave you recently gained weight?Have you recently lost weight?For some people, stress can result inweight loss when they can't seem tofind time to eat adequately or nutri-tiously. Anxiety often lowers the ap-petite as well. For others, feelingstressed or guilty leads to weightgain from mindless or emotionallytriggered eating, frequent snacking,or quick but unhealthy food choices.Changes in eating and sleeping habitscan also indicate depression. If yourweight has changed by more thanfive or ten pounds since you begancaring for your parent(s) as well asyour children, your body may besending you a signal that you needhelp.

    5. Lethargy Is it difficult to get motivated toaccomplish things?Do you feel sluggish even after agood night's rest? Is it hard to concentrate when youread or perform other mental tasks? Do you feel bored?Do you feel "off" instead of "on,"? Isit hard to perform all your duties ad-equately? You may need to restoresome you time to your life.

    6.Physical ailments Do you get headaches often?Have you had colds one after an-other? Does your back or neck ache, or doyou have other chronic pain? Have you developed high bloodpressure?Mental and emotional stress can causephysical disorders. For example,stress can lead to headaches that aremore frequent, more persistent, orstronger than you're used to. Understress, your body is in a constant stateof alert, which can cause your body toproduce excessive amounts of thehormone cortisol, which can havemany effects. You'll also lack the timeor inclination to properly take care ofyourself, setting the stage for morestress. People under stress may alsofind themselves suffering from highblood pressure or more frequentstomach aches, cold symptoms, mus-cle aches, or other health problems.

    7.Social isolation If not working outside the home, doyou sometimes go a whole day with-out seeing another adult aside fromyour parent(s)?Have you dropped out of your usualactivities as you dont have time forthem? Can you remember the last time youhad a whole day to yourself? Do you feel like nobody under-stands?

    Do you sometimes feel that otherfamily members don't care as muchabout your parent's fate as you do?Whether intentionally or not, with allthe demands on your time, you maybecome withdrawn. Unfortunately,social isolation itself contributes tostress, whereas being with friends andtaking time for yourself are both re-plenishing.

    8.Complaints from family Have you been accused of being a"control freak"?Have you been told you don'tspend enough time with your partneror children? Are arguments with siblings overyour parent's care on the rise?A Stress test can also be

    How to restore balance:Heather Gately comments, It's acommon temptation -- and mistake

    especially for women - to take onthe entire burden of care. Here aresome things you can do to restoresome balance to your life: set asidea little time every day to talk to afriend even if you cant meetthem, have a chat on the phone, ifjust for a few minutes; also, carveout a niche every week for afavourite pastime whether itsreading, gardening, keeping fit time for you. If you cant get out ofthe house, have a movie night athome and invite a friend or twoover; ask extended family, friendsand neighbours for help; find outwhats available in the community for example, a day care centre orother respite help, or get in touchwith Home Instead and one of ourCARE GIVERS can come in for anhour or so a week and give you abreak. For further information,visit or call(091) 384 160.

    Sandwich Generation Women need tocare for themselves8 signs you may be heading for Burn-Out

  • Pets Corner

    The best breeds for allergy sufferers

    Its hard to be allergic tosomething you love, but furry andfeathered friends can triggerreactions that arent so lovable,from sniffling and sneezing toasthma attacks. Whats a pet loverwith allergies to do?The obvious answer: Buy a fish. Anaquarium has many advantages, butpet affection isnt one of them.

    Snakes, lizards, turtles and smallanimals like hamsters and mice areoptions too, and they dont requireas much care or attention. Still,theres no getting around the factthat cats and dogs are the mostpopular pets in Ireland.But there is good news for pet loverswith allergies: not all cats and dogsare equal when it comes to allergies.

    With some careful research, it ispossible for people will less severeallergies to share their home with afour-legged companion so long asthey proceed with caution.

    Finding the right fitFirst, its important to understandthe cause of allergies. Despite whatyou may have read, no dog or cat is

    truly allergen-free or hypoallergenic even those hairless or non-shedding varieties. Thats becauseits not the hair thats the issue,according to experts. Most peoplereact to the dander those tinydead skin cells that slough off.Theyre so small that they canbecome trapped in fur, clothes,carpeting and furniture, and once

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    Are there pet allergies in your household? These dogs and cats might be the solution for pet lovers.

    Maltese Puppy

  • theyre in the air, we can easilyinhale them. Its usually certainproteins in the skin secretions thatmake people sick.In addition, these allergens arepresent in urine and saliva, makinggrooming and cleaning litter boxesdodgy tasks as well. When thesefluids dry, particles can becomeairborne and stay in the air forhours.However, some breeds get the nodfor being more compatible thanothers with people who have minorallergies. There hasnt been a lot ofclinical investigation into the issueas of yet, but here are some breedsto consider.

    Better breeds for allergies CatsIf youre dreaming of a fluffy kitty inyour lap, you might be a littledisappointed by this list at leastuntil you get to know the breeds alittle better. According to theexperts at, these cats arethought to be less allergenic:

    Rex breeds (like the Cornish Rex,Deven Rex and Selkirk Rex). When itcomes to fur coats, these breeds aremissing a layer. Theres no top coat just a short, fine undercoat thatwont hold as much dander andsaliva from grooming.

    Sphynx cats. With big ears andnearly bald bodies, these cats lookeerily like felines straight out of

    ancient Egyptian artwork. While theterm hairless isnt quite accurate these cats are covered in a finedown they wont shed much andallergens could be kept to aminimum with a regular rub-down.

    Siberian blue and Russian blue. Ifyou prefer some hair on your cat,these might be your breeds. Whilethere isnt a lot of scientific proof,its thought that these cats produceonly negligible amounts of the Fel d1protein, the allergen that most catsproduce, or at least they produceless than the average house cat.

    (For more information,

    Better breeds for allergies DogsWhen it comes to canines, its alsodander not shedding or hair length thats usually the culprit. Breedsthat produce the least amount ofdander include:

    Bedlington terrier Bichon frise Chinese crested

    (a mostly hairless breed) Irish water spaniel Kerry blue terrier Maltese Poodle Portuguese water dog Schnauzer Soft-coated Wheaten terrier Mexican hairless dog

    (or xoloitzcuintli, also a hairless breed)

    What about designer mixed breedsthat claim to be hypoallergenic? Petparents should be warned theres noguarantee the puppies will share thecharacteristics of their non-sheddingparent. For instance, a Labradoodlepup a cross between a Labradorretriever and a poodle may nottake after the poodle parent.Allergens, of course, are only part ofthe issue. Experts warn that findingthe right dog is also about makingsure their temperament, instinctualbehaviours, activity levels and sizeare right for your home and family.

    Other factors to considerBreeds can provide some guidelines,but theyre only part of the solution.Some other factors to include in yourthinking are:

    Individual chemistry. Believe it ornot, its possible to be allergic toone member of a dog breed but ableto tolerate another. Scientists arentquite sure why, but it may have todo with certain proteins in the salivaand skin secretions (or combinationsthereof) produced by the individualpet and how they react with anindividual person. These proteinscan differ between breeds, andamong members of the same breed.(With cats, theres a universalallergen.)

    If youre adopting, experts advise tospend some time with the pet andsee how you feel though symptomsmay not show up until hours later.

    Health issues. Some problems like dandruff aremore common in certain varieties,but they arent limited to specificbreeds of dogs. Again, theres isnt alot of evidence, but some breedslike German shepherds and cockerspaniels could be worse for allergiesbecause the dogs are thought to turnover their skin at a faster rate.Other issues like incontinence couldalso be a problem.

    The environment.If youre sniffling when Fluffy or

    Fido jumps in your lap, it might notbe due to dander. Dust mites oneof the most common allergens cancling to animal fur and end upeverywhere your pet goes. Likewise,common outdoor allergens likepollen and moulds can hitch a rideon your pets.

    How can you tell what the cause is?Allergy testing can get at the root ofthe problem, and help you targetways to cut down on allergens.

    Cleanliness.Are you willing to make someadaptations to your home androutine? You can reduce allergens byinstalling a HEPA filter, creating pet-free zones and replacing carpetingwith flooring. Regular baths for yourpet (yes, your cat too) can also makea big difference.

    Above all else, the safety andcomfort of your household should betop priority. Experts agree that petsshouldnt be introduced into homeswhere a family member has anallergy especially if asthma andbreathing problems are a risk.

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  • Money Matters

    Pensions Investments Deposits

    Email: [email protected] www.melvinfs.comMelvin Life and Pensions Ltd. t/a Melvin Financial Services

    is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland


    Questions & AnswersQ. I will be retiring shortly, and partof my retirement package willinclude a tax free lump sum. While Iam going to spend some of themoney, I would also like to investsome of my lump sum. What are thekey factors that I should consider inrelation to investments?

    You have spent a lot of yearsbuilding up your retirement benefitsand its important before makingany investment decision that youconsider all your options. Sortingthrough all the options available canbe a mine field with a large range ofpossible investments. It is alwaysworth considering seeking advicebefore you put plans into action. With any investment decision, Iwould suggest you ask yourself threesimple questions. The answers tothese, should give you a good senseof where you should place yourfunds.

    1) What level of security do yourequire?In any investment, the greater thelevel of risk that you are willing totake the higher the return that youare likely to earn. Many people sawthe value of investments rise sharplyand decline at different times overrecent years. Some people arecomfortable that while markets willfluctuate from time to time, thattheir investment in the stock marketshould out-perform the return oncash deposits over time. Others willsee capital security as a necessaryfeature in any investment theymake. There are many new ways ofinvesting that allow you theopportunity to achieve capitalgrowth in a manner that reduces therisks normally associated with

    investing in stockmarkets.However, the real point is to firstunderstand your own attitudetowards investment risk, before youmake any decisions with regardsinvesting.

    You have a lump WITH many public servants opting for retirement at this timewe include here some general advice and some basicfundamentals to consider before making a decision on how andwhere to invest sums of money. It features some questions andanswers on investing.

    You have spenta lot of yearsbuilding up

    your retirementbenefits and

    its importantbefore makingany investmentdecision that

    you consider allyour options

    Aside from traditional investmenttools like shares, bonds or prop-erty, you can also put your moneyinto valuable objects like gold, artand antiques.

    Gold is proven to be one of thebest ways of creating a diverse port-folio. As a limited resource goldsvalue will only increase as the sup-ply exceeds demand.

    There are many ways of investingin gold, allowing investors who arenew in the game to experiment withdifferent investment strategieswhile still putting money into a rel-atively stable asset. You can buygold bullion (gold bullions are avail-

    able in different weights, from aslow as 32.15 troy ounces, to 400troy ounces), trade in gold futures,or invest directly into gold refiningcompanies of gold mines.

    If you wish to invest in gold, itssafe to start with one-ounce na-tional gold bullion coins. First, itgives what experts call low pre-mium over content, meaning youget the most amount of gold for thevalue you are willing to invest. Theyare easy to store, and also easy tosell. Unlike gold bars, where youhave to sell the whole object, goldcoins let you liquidate fractions ofyour total collection.

    Gold Coins

  • sum to invest?2) What level of access will yourequire to your investments overtime?

    It is important to review yourfinancial circumstances before youmake any investment decision. Aspart of this process, you shouldidentify what sum you will requirefor short to medium term spendingneeds, and establish an emergencyfund, which could be accessedreadily if needed. These sums shouldbe placed in various forms of cashdeposits, from demand to fixed termdeposits. You could then consider investing themoney away in longer terminvestments that provides thepotential for greater returns. Theremainder could be placed ininvestments aimed at generatinggrowth, typically managed funds ofshares, bonds, and/or property.While managed funds should be heldfor five to seven years or more, mostwill allow early access to yourmoney if required. Many people willlook at five years as far too long forany investment. However when youlook at the SSIA scheme,most people found that saving forfive years was not a big problem.Time is one of the most importantingredients in the investment mixthough, so be sure that you havereadily accessible sum of money tomeet any short-term or unexpectedrequirements.

    3) What level of growth do yourequire?

    While you might think that this is toohard a question to answer becauseyou will always want the highestgrowth possible, you will find thatthe answer often lies within thepurpose of saving. Many people leave money on deposit

    as a nest egg for their retirement.But they forget about the damagingeffects of inflation, which reducesthe future spending power of yourmoney. We can all see that costs aresteadily rising as we examine ourgrowing household and shoppingbills. But inflation in areas such ashealthcare and nursing homeexpenses are rising much faster thanin the economy as a whole. It iscritical that in deciding what youwill do with your money that youstrongly consider the required levelof growth of your investment so thatit will meet your future spendingneeds. In summary, the starting point whenconsidering any investment is to lookat it from the perspectives of 1)Security 2) Access and 3) Growth.

    Q. I have been advised that I shouldinvest in a tracker bond, can you tellme what a tracker bond is and thepro's and cons of investing in one?

    A tracker bond is a product thatprovides a return linked to theperformance of a stock marketindex, or more often a basket ofindices such as the US S&P 500 orthe UK FTSE 100. It typicallyprovides a a level of capital securityat a specified date. In most cases,tracker bonds will provide 100%capital security but in some cases,the capital security can be 80 or90%. In most cases, these are fixedterm products and earlyencashments are not permitted.Tracker bonds must usually be heldfor five or six years.

    To provide the capital guarantee, ahigh percentage of your money isplaced on deposit and the remainderis used to buy stock market optionswhich provide the return on yourinvestment. Because all of yourmoney is not invested in themarkets, your return is usuallylimited to 50% or 60% of the growthof those indices.

    Tracker bonds may be suitable forpeople seeking a return greater thanthat available from deposits withoutrisk to their capital and who arecomfortable with the lack offlexibility of the product. There areother capital secure investmentsavailable, which have greaterflexibility than tracker bonds andmay be worth considering. There arealso a new breed of investments,pioneered known as Risk-ManagedFunds. These are innovative ways ofinvesting that aim to provide youwith a clear, understandable,transparent way of investing forgrowth, with the added benefit ofreducing or eliminating certaininvestment risks.

    BUYING art and antiques can berisky, as they can be difficult to liq-uidate, values can be erratic (espe-cially when judging the futureprice of a subjective piece like apainting), and unless you are an ex-pert, easy to forge.

    However, there are some guide-lines that can help you decide whichpieces to invest in.

    As a rule, buy the best you can af-ford, and look for pieces that are inmint condition. Serious collectorsare willing to pay good money forwhat they know to be masterpieces,and will simultaneously ignoremediocre work. Thus, high qualitywork is easier to sell. Look for pieceswith provenance (documents and his-tory), which prove the works au-thenticity and endow the object witha story or context. Look for signedobjects, and if the signature can beseen on the work when it is dis-played, that is even better.

    If you are just starting out, startwith small-scale objects, not just be-cause they are smaller and the pricesare more manageable, but they areeasier to display. Collectors want todisplay their prized pieces, and it iseasier to show off a vase than a suitof armour.

    Also, select pieces that represent

    the signature style of the artist orperiod. Collectors or even casual artadmirers will not associate certainartists with a particular style ofpainting, and will not immediatelyrecognise it as theirs. This greatly re-duces the desirability of the pieceand makes it more difficult to un-load.

    Fine Art

    A painting by Jack Butler Yeats, whichreappeared on the market following 67years in private ownership, sold for1m in Dublin this evening.This is the highest price paid for apainting or work of art in Ireland at anauction.The painting entitled 'A Fair Day, Mayo'once hung in Eamon De Valera's officeand was sold for 250 to Mr JP ReihillSnr in 1944. It has remained in the Rei-hill family ever since.

  • Memories

    For over five years - from July, 1978 through September,1983 - The Kim Newport Band toured the ballrooms,dance clubs, and cabaret circuit across Ireland. Duringthat time, Kim appeared on Ireland's national televisionnetwork (RTE) ten times, including two appearances onIreland's top rated Late Late Show with legendary host, GayByrne. She released nine singles, and played in every countyin Ireland.

    Kim arrived in Ireland in July, 1978. She and husband,Gerry Gallagher had met and performed together in Californiathe previous year. Born in California, this was to be Kim'sfirst home outside the "Golden State." Gerry lived and workedin Sligo from 1970 to 1976, including a stint with the originalMagic and the Magic band from 1974-75.

    Gerry recruited former local band mates Dick Lynott, JoeFoley, and Seamie McGowan (all from Sligo) and the bandplayed it's first gig as Kim Newport and California in the BlueLagoon, Sligo.

    The band quickly established themselves as a top regionalband by winning the


    talent competition in Ballyshannon, County Donegal. Theygained a reputation for playing a good mix of pop and rockmusic, with a touch of country thrown in. Kim was also a solowinner in the Benson and Hedges "Golden Voice" competitionheld in Ballina, Co. Mayo. Within a few months, the bandsigned with Tom Kelly Promotions of Ballina, who alsomanaged the Fairways Band featuring Gary Street and SandyDuskey (now Sandy Kelly).

    On August 15th, Kim and the band travelled to Dublin toDick Keating's Cuckoo's Nest Studio where they recordedLinda Ronstadt's When Will I Be Loved and BarbraStreisand's Evergreen as their first demos. After hearing theband's demo, Marcus Connaughton of Hawk Records came tohear the band play and they were signed by Brian Molloy andMarcus on December 13, 1978. Hawk was also home to theCotton Mill Boys and Johnny McEvoy, among other top Irishacts.

    Kim's first recording was with The Cotton Mills Boys ontheir single You Are No Angel.

    On March 3, 1979, Stop,Think was featured at thelaunch of theNorthwestern HealthBoard's anti-drinkingcampaign and was afeatured story on

    RTE's Evening News.The song was written by

    RTE Producer (andformer


    support the campaign's message to young people. Hawkfollowed up with Midnight Lullaby and on October 13, 1979Kim first appeared on the Late Late Show singing the song.At the end of the year, Kim was interviewed by MorganO'Sullivan on his RTE Radio One program, Late Date.

    Kim and the band started 1980 by being voted "Best NewPop Band" by readers of the Connaught Telegraph newspaper(the "not yet famous" two-time Eurovision Song Contestwinner Johnny Logan was voted "Best New Vocalist" on thesame night). The band was now playing dates fromGlencolumbkille in the North to Castletownbere in the South,and every place in between.

    1980 was the first year Kim and the band recorded theirown songs and they released I Am A Woman, recorded inGreenfields Studios, near Tuam, Co. Galway with TonyMaher (of the Conquerors) on keyboards, Dick Lynott ondrums, and Ger O'Donoghue engineering the sessions. Thesession also featured former Cotton Mill Boys member,Francie Lenehan on guitar and former Conqueror, MichaelKeane on steel guitar. This was the first of many songsrecorded at the then brand new 8 (soon to be 16) track facility.Kim and the Band left Hawk Records and formed SunsetRecords to release the rest of their singles.

    At the beginning of 1981, the band underwent its first ofseveral lineup changes, Joe Foley and Dick Lynott left theband and were replaced by James Blennerhassett of Sligo onbass and Seanie Ryan from Thurles on drums. James hadplayed with Gerry previously in Sandy Duskey and EasyListenin' and Seanie had previously played with KennyRyder's (ex-Tweed) Band.

    As 1981 progressed, the band continued to grow itsreputation, released several more singles, and attracted theattention of Paddy O'Connell, a top entertainment promoterlocated in Limerick. The band signed with Paddy and joinedthe same management stable as Shaun O'Dowd andDingaling, one of Ireland's leading pop bands of the era. Kimand the band hit their stride winning reader polls in the SligoJournal and the Northwest Showbiz Awards in Donegal. As1981 came to a close, the band's lineup underwent anothershake-up. James left the band to become one of Ireland's topsession musicians (he currently tours with the Conquerors),and Seanie was offered the drummer's spot with Tweed.

    The band found replacements in Omagh's Brian Mullin,who had relocated to Sligo and played bass, and PaulHamilton, a Donegal drummer suggested by Ted Ponsonby ofThe Rascals. Unfortunately, Paul only stayed a few months

    and was replaced by year's end with Gerry's brother, MichaelGallagher on drums. This would be the band's lineup throughthe next two years. Also joining the band occasionally onstage was road manager, Colm Feeney, who played guitar andsang backup. Although 1983 would prove to be Kim's lastyear in Ireland, it ended up being one of her most successful.Touring continued and the band started playing more dates inNorthern Ireland. The band recorded Somewhere Along theWay and Take It Or Leave It. Kim also appeared on their thirdSBB Ina Shui program performing Take It Or Leave It andRock n' Roll Party. Kim was also a solo performer on RTEtelevision's The Music Show which was aired after the band'sfinal performance in Ireland.

    The band toured continuously until aweek before leaving for the States.Their last performance wasappropriately in the BaymountEntertainment Centre inStrandhill, Co. Sligo where theygot to say thank you to the localfans who had been with themevery step of the way. Gerryand the boys performed one lasttime as California at the Over21 Club in the Sligo Park Hotela few days later.

    In 2011, Kim returned toSligo and released her firstsingle in over 25 years,Girls' Night Out, which isavailable for freedownload on herwebsite, was interviewed onseveral radio stationsincluding PascalMooney's Show onOcean FM in Sligo,Highland Radio inDonegal and Cork'sC103. Current plans arefor Kim to play somedates in summer,2012.

    Article and Photos courtesy of Gerry Gallagher

    Top singles - 1963/64

    1. Brendan Bowyer & Royal Showband - Kiss Me Quick (HMV)2. Dickie Rock & Miami - From the Candy Store On the Corner (Pye)3. Dickie Rock & Miami - There's Always Me - (Piccadilly)4. Brendan Bowyer & Royal Showband - Bless You (For Being An Angel) (HMV)5. Brendan Bowyer & Royal Showband - No More (HMV)6. Butch Moore & Capitol Showband - Down Came the Rain (Pye)7. Eileen Reid & Cadets - Fallen Star (Columbia)

    8. Sean Fagan & Pacific - She Wears My Ring (Pye)9. Dickie Rock & Miami - I'm Yours (Pye)

    10. Joe Dolan & Drifters - The Answer To Everything (Pye)11. Butch Moore & Capitol Showband - Foolin' Time (Pye)12. Eileen Reid & Cadets - I Gave My Wedding Dress Aw