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The lifetime race to retirement

Unlike other professions, early retirement for doctors is simply a pipe dream First it was the Guards. You were invited to a 50th. Don’t tell him, said his wife. Just show up before he gets there. He would love to see you. He often tells me how you were such pals in school and he…

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The lifetime race to retirement

Unlike other professions, early retirement for doctors is simply a pipe dream First it was the Guards. You were invited to a 50th. Don’t tell him, said his wife. Just show up before he gets there. He would love to see you. He often tells me how you were such pals in school and he…

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Missing out on the beauty of life

I was made for the lockdown, if I had been locked down, that is How was the summer for you? Quiet? No, mine wasn’t. I’m a GP you see. Frontline without the backup, that’s us. If it was a film we would be in our far-flung outposts, dog tired and running out of ammunition, scanning…

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When chickens come home to roost

The pandemic has led to thoughts on how we treat our poultry When I saw the local paper open on the kitchen table  at a page looking for volunteers to rescue hens, I knew it had already been decided. I had heard Pauline McLynn on the radio and I knew that many thousands of farmed…

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‘Them and us’ and the parish-pump politicians

The so-called urban/rural divide is nothing but fodder for populist politicians I am not sure if the term ‘Rural Ireland’ is doing anybody any favours. There are rural matters, of course, and rural medicine and even rustic gates but I think the term ‘Rural Ireland’ has outlived any usefulness it ever had. It is now…

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Closing the (Face)book on social media

Facebook’s dopamine hit soon fades and you are just left feeling jaded I got off Facebook in the end. It was one of those things I used to do, like smoking and going to discos, but which I now spurn as I would a rightwing politician. It started innocuously enough. I was asked time and…

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When to take the show off the road

Telling people they are no longer fit to drive is a test in itself “You can put me down for Group 2 as well.” A huge elephant entered the office and sat silently beside us. “Do you drive a lorry or something?” This with a smile to take the sting out of it. He drove…

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No country for young women of the ’80s

The tale of Majella Moynihan is yet another example of a dysfunctional society Majella Moynihan was a young Garda who became pregnant ‘out of wedlock’. She was bullied, interrogated and traumatised by a group of powerful male officers and eventually parted with her baby. Like most people who read about this I was angry, sad…

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The great marijuana debate

Everyone has their own opinion on whether marijuana should be legalised “There’s some fierce bad ganja about these days Dr Pat. I blame George W Bush.” “Do you now?”I asked. It was a quiet afternoon. “You see, before the Gulf war we had great stuff. It was all resin. No harm at all in it…

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