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Lessons from a full house

Here are 24 things I learned from my adult children during the lockdown On Friday, 27 March, the day that the then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar placed the country under lockdown, our previously empty nest became a hive of activity. The prohibition on non-essential travel, the closure of pubs, clubs, gyms, cinemas and restaurants, and the…

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A good Neighbour in hard times

Consultations can still be ‘small miracles’, even with video technology “If one wishes to be master of an art, technical knowledge is not enough. One has to transcend technique so that the art becomes an ‘artless art,’ growing out of the unconscious.” — DT Suzuki (1870-1966), Zen Master. Dr Roger Neighbour, OBE, GP, practising Buddhist…

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The chill of the unknown

We must come to terms with living in a new uncertain world It was a beautiful spring morning. Bright, crisp sunshine dissolved the last vestiges of frost on the grass. Slievenamon lay dome-shaped and familiar in the distance, its edges blurred by a soft rising mist. The sound of birds chattering and chirruping filled the…

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The power of hope

As the healthcare system prepared for a significant rise in Covid-19 cases, Dr Lucia Gannon reflects on the momentous efforts of staff and the importance of remaining hopeful  Every day, for the past week, I have attempted to write this article, and every day I have abandoned it. It is hard to believe that less…

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The beginning of life’s afterlife

Moments of beauty are there to be treasured before their inevitable passing She decided she would plant the tulips herself. Angling the flat blade above the damp earth, she placed her foot on the step, the handle snug against her Wellington-clad shin and pushed with all her strength into the resistant soil. Slowly, a trench…

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A wish for the next decade

It is time for the discrimination against young people with mental illness to end For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” TS Elliott. My number-one professional wish for the new decade is that the Child and…

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No time like the present

Asking questions about a patient’s life can be the best use of a doctor’s time nna had a list of things to ask the doctor that day. A niggling pain in her foot, a mole on her left shoulder, and if time allowed, she might be able to get that blood test she had been…

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An underwater world, where only you can breathe

In the grip of dementia, the mind is often lost at sea You sit in the chair by the window looking at the ocean. There is a mist out at sea, making it impossible to tell where the sky meets the water. You turn whenever anyone enters the room and smile. Blue eyes, sky blue…

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The dawning reality after the referendum

Providing new primary care services for abortion is a challenge, even if you voted ‘yes’ There is nothing new about unwanted pregnancies. The stories of Ireland’s mother and baby homes and Magdalene laundries are evidence of the failed attempts to deal with this issue in the past.  More recently, in 2018 alone, over 3,000 Irish…

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The forgotten songs of invisible women

How a relaxing Sunday drive led me to reflect on gender bias One Sunday morning in late July, I left the city of Galway and headed west to Connemara. I was alone, so I selected a Spotify Rock Classics playlist and pressed ‘shuffle play.’ It was not a morning for audiobooks, podcasts or radio. The…

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