Solicitor and garden designer Emily Neville

This week’s edition also visits an artist on Achill Island and looks at floral furniture

Time to quit: 5,200 people die every year in Ireland from smoking-related illnesses. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Use the available supports to increase your likelihood of kicking the deadly habit

Children playing in the “mud kitchen” of Wigwams Childcare Service, Kilcullen, Co Kildare. Experts say too much screen-time and inactivity is depriving young people of vital lifeskills.

Too much screen-time and inactivity is depriving young people of vital lifeskills

No need to take supplements if the content of your fridge looks like this

Research says ‘multivitamin and mineral preparations promoted for use during pregnancy are unlikely to be needed’

Shirley Hennigar at home: “I’m not ‘fixed’ and never will be. I can only learn how to handle my Black Dog when he visits.” Photograph: Eamon Ward

The more we discuss depression, the easier it becomes for sufferers to seek help and find a means of coping

 Paul Conway at his home in  Co Clare. He regrets putting in timber window frames “as living in the Irish countryside, the wood takes a lot of battering from the weather and the frames have to be repainted every year”. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Three who designed their own homes come clean about the mistakes they made

Paul Walsh of Castle Antiques, Clarecastle, Co Clare. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Owners of antique shops reveal the eclectic gifts visitors to Ireland covet the most

Retired postman Michael O’Donoghue from Pallasgreen, Co Limerick, who has recovered from bowel cancer after discovering he had the disease in 2010. Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22

Don’t ignore the symptoms: some 1,000 people die from disease in Ireland every year

Mark Kenna: “I know I’m one of the lucky ones, but only now do I feel my cancer journey has come to an end.”

‘Sometimes nothing can help but always believe in the amazing medical teams’

It’s not all bad news. The reduction in oestrogen during menopause may improve the take-up of oxygen in the muscles

Research shows the menopausal years are the perfect time for physical exercise

‘Pressing that little button on your airline seat to give you a couple more inches may seem like your ‘right’ as a paying customer, but what about the needs of the person behind you?’

Broadside: Your squashed knees are all about their high-flying sense of entitlement

Ali Budan,  a barista  at The Fumbally, Dublin 8, uses a  Clever Dripper or a Kalita Wave, depending on her mood.

Six professional coffee lovers reveal how they prepare their own coffee at home

Pee Wee Pumps - infant footwear that is a step too far

 This year it’s expected that 40,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer. March 24th is Daffodil Day. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Sarah McGinley is just one of the many people with a positive ending to their cancer story. She was diagnosed with cancer of the t(...)

As well as keeping our brains active, learning a new language is an ideal opportunity for making new friends, having new experiences with others and reaching a goal.

Multilingualism has social, cognitive and wellbeing advantages for people of all ages

“Something special”: Bru na Mara in Carna, Connemara, a collection of holiday homes, for sale for €800,000

Foreign customers are in short supply, but the Irish are spending again

Getting your child to eat vegetables can be challenging – but not impossible if you adopt the right approach. Photograph:  Getty Images

Don’t lure them with a lollipop to eat greens, or keep serving food they don’t like

The Merriman Tavern, Scariff, Co Clare

Drawing pictures for Enya, and singing songs for Planxty was all part of life over the bar in Scariff, Co Clare

A teenage disco in Kilkenny caused uproar by enforcing a dress code and banning what they called 'deplorable' dresses but boys hav(...)

“Now that Peter Capaldi, the 12th doctor, has announced his departure for the next season, many people are calling for the 13th doctor to be female – a Time Lady, if you like.”

Broadside: Women don’t need to stand in men’s shoes, they can have their own characters

Aiming high: Tyrone manager Mickey Harte with Seán McHugh (11) and Jamie Smyth(11), from Scoil Chiaráin CBS, at the Healthy Clubs launch in Donnycarney, Dublin. Photograph: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Mickey Harte and star players tour country’s clubs to battle obesity epidemic

‘Britain’s toughest teacher’ Katharine Birbalsingh at the Michaela Community School in north-west London during a visit by former London mayor Boris Johnson. The school has been dubbed ’the strictest school in Britain’.

Tiger Teachers: Principal of Michaela Community School Katharine Birbalsingh and her staff have published a book to educate other (...)

Marion Morrissey from Co Limerick was diagnosed with psoriasis at 15.

Up to 140,000 people in Ireland have psoriasis with many developing psoriatic arthritis

Stove safety: no standard cert for safe installation of stoves in Ireland, according to an expert

Stoves mean a warmer home and lower fuel bills but with installation issues and a lack of safety certification, stove-related dome(...)

Nothing beats a written thank you note, particularly when it comes from a child

Broadside: A thank you costs nothing, so teach your child to acknowledge presents

Anti-gravity  yoga: Work-outs involve body strengthening and  stretching followed by meditation.

Whether it is Nordic walking, gravity-defying yoga or hockey, it’s all about having fun

Garda Laura Conlon: “As well as the usual burglaries, road traffic accidents and domestic violence that we may have to deal with, we will also receive plenty of calls from people looking for advice.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

As the country slows down for Yuletide many rescue workers will be hard at work

Sarah Crowe, Emily Doyle, Maria Doyle and Katie Stoker Phelan of the RTÉ Cór na nÓg children’s choir  in Croke Park in December 2013. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

All of us are touched by songs and music, and singing can improve your health and mood

Danny Mac and  Oti Mabuse, Strictly Come Dancing. Photo credit should read: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire

“Get out and shake your booty - It’s good for the body, the mind and the spirit. We were born to dance”. Arlene Harristakes lesson(...)

Dr Claire Moran and her husband have three children – Dylan (5), Freddie (3)  and Emily (1) – and both work full-time. She agrees with the report saying interaction with other youngsters has been hugely beneficial to her children.

Children who attend creches or spend time with grandparents do better than those of stay-at-home parents

“If the part-time activist is to be believed, the child will not be referred to as either male or female and will be brought up as gender neutral.”

Broadside: to bring up a child without referring to gender is nonsense

About 13 per cent of Irish population afflicted by pain every day, most of it in lower back area

  Michael Kivlehan with his wife Dhara who died  a week after giving birth to her first child. Ms Kivlehan’s story is just one of those highlighted at a new exhibition that runs in the Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon, Co Clare, until Saturday

The Courthouse Gallery event tells the stories of women who died during childbirth

A nurse prepares a syringe, as students are being urged to get vaccinated against meningitis. File photograph: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Warning issued after significant rise in number of cases of the disease in last year

My son’s phone fell into a swimming pool. Despite leaving it in the sun for several hours to dry, the device was truly defunct

Stressful events can occur in even the most relaxing of holidays. Here’s how to deal with common issues

No one is too young or too old to dance – as long as you are able to move, everyone can get involved. Photograph: iStockphoto

It’s time to shake your booty, regardless of whether you are a toddler or a pensioner

Claire Fox, the author of I Find that Offensive, feels that issues such as childhood obesity have been “catastrophised”

The easily offended are less able to cope with life, warns author of 'I Find That Offensive'

Flowers on the Burren: ‘When I was a kid I went to the Burren on many school tours,’ says Áine Mae O’Mahony, who lost her sight in 2007. Photograph: Istockphoto

Burren Beo Trust tours are aimed at making the Burren accessible to everybody

Michael Ryan: ‘Getting to help bring new life into the world, being the first person to hold a new human as they take their first breath of air was a huge privilege.’

Michael Ryan (21) is a student doctor in his final year at the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland

Photograph: Getty Images

Upwards of 40,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year

Service by the HSE facilitates the care of older people with home comforts

Reaching out: “We would encourage an increase in the consumption of fruit and vegetables,” says the HSE’s Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe. Photograph: Getty Images

Treating diseases caused by obesity currently uses up the most healthcare resources

Prof Owen Smith: the best part is treating patients with the primary intention of curing them.

Owen Smith works as a consultant paediatric haematologist at Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin and also has a role as a special advis(...)

Rosemary Kratschmar and her son, Sammy. Photograph:  Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Rosemary and Siegi Kratschmar have four grown-up children. Sammy, the youngest, is 23 years old. He has Down’s syndrome, hearing l(...)

Mark Hyland and his daughters, Alison (12) and Erica (6), who both have a rare skin condition called epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Sisters Alison and Erica were born with epidermolysis bulosa

Peadar Maxwell is a  senior psychologist within the HSE in Wexford. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Peadar Maxwell is senior child psychologist for the HSE in Wexford

Drinking more than your liver can cope with means alcohol remains in your bloodstream and will continue to place a strain on the functions of your organs for several hours after you have stopped drinking.

Experts believe we should cut alcohol down – or out – for the next few weeks

Many groups offer bereaved parents and siblings support

‘Is it normal for the bereaved to feel they want to ‘cancel’ Christmas?’

Karen Sherry from Baldoyle in Dublin pictured with her four-month old son Sonny Murphy. Sonny will be spending Christmas in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

What’s Christmas like for an emergency call operator, a firefighter, a garda and a family with a sick child?

Psychologist Dr David Carey  believes we should all make singing a part of our everyday lives. “I would encourage everyone to burst into song – make it loud, make it joyous or sad, but make sure you burst into song,” he says.

Don’t worry about whether you can hold a tune, burst into song and feel great about it

James O’Reilly on the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour from Geneva to Brussels.

Law graduate James O’Reilly cycled from Geneva to Brussels to help research into type 1 diabetes

Richard Barrett, left, had a stroke while driving a council truck, but his colleague, Paul Treacy, responded quickly to the situation.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Irish Heart Foundation awards recognise commitment to help stroke survivors rebuild lives

Megan Corcoran, a Communications student in DCU. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

We catch up with Leaving Cert veterans of a stress management course to see if they still feel the benefit

Paula Murphy and John Carroll with three of their five children, Cillian and twins Cian and Mark, at their home in Carron, Co Clare. Photograph:  Eamon Ward

In Ireland, 10% of infants are born every year too early, too small and too sick

Katie Cooke runs with Dr Colin Doherty at the start of the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon on October 26th. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Teenager Katie Cooke ran the Dublin marathon in four hours despite having seven seizures along the way

Dr Orla Killeen, paediatric rheumatologist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin: ‘Most people are stunned when they hear about a child with arthritis, as it’s generally thought of as an older person’s disease.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

‘There have been incredible advances in the treatment of arthritis in recent years’

Niteline is a confidential helpline for for third-level students, run by students from Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Fergal Phillips

Niteline is a free, confidential out-of-hours helpline where volunteers offer their time to listen and advise fellow students abou(...)

Laois footballer Colm Begley and  Movember’s Justin Coghlan at the announcement of a partnership between Movember, the GAA, and the GPA at Croke Park, Dublin. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

The Movember Foundation is hoping to get the male population up on its feet to help tackle obesity

Annie Cooney, health co-ordinator at Athlone Institute of Technology. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

Anne Cooney is the ‘healthy campus’ co-ordinator at Athlone Institute of Technology

 Dr Declan de Freitas, consultant nephrologist and transplant physician at Beaumont Hospital, in  a meeting with Aileen Counihan, in the transplant co-ordinators office. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Dr Declan de Freitas is a consultant nephrologist and transplant physician at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Our Lady of Lourdes Hos(...)

Carol Breen: ‘Take care of your heart as it is not until problems arise that you realise how vital it is.’ Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/ Provision

No one expects to have problems with their heart until they are older, but atypical symptoms can appear at an earlier age

A walk with forest, lake and flowers ends with freshly baked treats and hot drinks

Graeme Singleton with his wife, Grace, and their son, Lee. ‘When we started trying [for a baby], we expected to conceive straight away and when it didn’t happen, I really began to worry.’

Early detection meant fewer complications for me, and no effect on fertility

High heels and skinny jeans: How much are you prepared to suffer in the name of fashion? Photograph: Thinkstock

Are some clothes bad for your health? We separate fact from fiction

Addiction counsellor Frank Harkin, in the grounds of Belvedere House, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

Frank Harkin sees clients across a spectrum of addictions, writes Arlene Harris

Prof Ken McDonald leads a virtual consultation.

Virtual consultations aim to reduce appointment waiting times and increase patient care

Passed on through body fluids, pregnant women usually catch Cytomegalovirus (CMV) from their other young children through changing nappies, licking their spoons or kissing their faces. Photograph: Thinkstock

A virus that is often passed from a child to their pregnant mother can result in babies being born with hearing loss or epilepsy(...)

Davida Forde from Co Limerick: Today Davida is out of her wheelchair, can walk unaided and has started to get her life back, after being diagnosed with Lyme disease. Photograph:  Brian Gavin

Davida Forde spent weeks in a wheelchair, exhausted and in extreme pain – all from a tick bite

Luke O’Dowd at home in Blackrock, Co Dublin, with his sister, Meabh, and mother, Annemarie. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

At six months, Annemarie O’Dowd’s son developed alarming symptoms and was diagnosed with cystinosis, a rare genetic metabolic (...)

A few simple steps can ensure we arrive fresh and healthy at our destinations. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Air travel can bring serious risks for those travellers with pre-existing conditions

Pauline Fitzpatrick, a nurse specialising in cardiac rehabilitation,  is based in Monaghan hospital. Photograph:  Philip Fitzpatrick.

A week in my . . . cardiac rehabilitation programmePauline Fitzpatrick runs the cardiac rehabilitation programme at Monaghan Hospi(...)

 Alison Fegan Molloy, of Irish Premature Babies at home with her husband, Ken Fegan, and children Oisín and Cillian, in Baldoyle, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A week in my ... charity Allison Fegan Molloy is the voluntary chief executive of Irish Premature Babies, which she set up afte(...)

Dr Angie Brown, cardiologist and medical director of the Irish Heart Foundation. Photograph: Eric Luke

Dr Angie Brown is a consultant cardiologist and the medical director of the Irish Heart Foundation

 Joan Kelly  at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

A week in my . . . fertility clinic: Joan Kelly is the senior fertility nurse at the Hari (Human Assisted Reproduction Ireland) Cl(...)

Lars Nölke, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at the Mater and Crumlin hospitals in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

A week in my . . . cardiothoracic surgery. Lars Nölke is a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at the Mater and Crumlin hospitals in(...)

Gerry Hopkins: Last year he had to stop every few minutes when out walking. Since having his heart transplant, he can go for miles without stopping.

After suffering two heart attacks, Gerry Hopkins was grateful to get a donor’s heart

Brian Walsh believes his positive outlook helped him in his cancer battle.

Terminal cancer diagnosis, but still alive six years on

Fionnuala Keane: a cancer information service nurse at the Daffodil Centre in the Mater hospital. Photograph: Alan Betson

Clinical nurse specialist Fionnuala Keane is a cancer information service nurse at one of the Irish Cancer Society’s 12 hospital-b(...)

Airfield Farm, Dundrum, Dublin

School is (almost) out for two weeks, but family outings can have an educational flavour. We choose some of the best around Irelan(...)

Damien Queall lives and work in Africa as the deputy regional director for Plan Ireland.

Damien Queally is living and working in Africa as the deputy regional director for Plan Ireland. In the past 12 months he has led (...)

Kate O’Kelly trains for the London marathon: ‘Running gave me a purpose and really helped me to deal with emotion in those early days.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

While exercise doesn’t take away the pain of grief, it can help you to come to terms with it

Gina Delaney: ‘Every time my mother came out of hospital we went home with her; but we weren’t told how to manage her medication, nor about any side effects that developed.’ Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Looking after a mother who has stress disorder, Gina Delaney says more support should be given to families dealing with mental hea(...)

Mary Nevin, a night nurse with the Irish Cancer Society: ‘I have seen many different reactions in people, in the immediate aftermath of a loved one’s death. We are all amateurs when it comes to grief, and all reactions are perfectly normal.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Mary Nevin is a night nurse with the Irish Cancer Society. She is 35 trained at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin and holds a master’s (...)

Linda Kidd,  a health-screening nurse with the Irish Heart Foundation. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan.

Linda Kidd, a part-time health-screening nurse with the Irish Heart Foundation, tells us about her week

Michael Fitzpatrick, head pharmacist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, with some of his staff. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Michael Fitzpatrick has been the chief pharmacist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin, for the past eight years (...)

During a stress-management day for exam-year students at the Loreto Secondary School in Wexford town, students were offered art therapy and other workshops. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Recognising negative stress and making changes before it gets out of hand is key to managing extra pressure

Gemma O’Connor with her children Dara (left) and Finnán: ‘I am definitely one of the lucky ones.’

Symptoms of potentially debilitating and even fatal disease can be mistaken for signs of influenza

Ethan and Autumn Hurl: Ethan “asked us to help make him better as he wished ‘things would go back to normal’.”

Many Pandas children are misdiagnosed with OCD, Tourette’s or ADHD and some are left untreated

If you have developed breast cancer, early detection continues to be the most important factor in staying well. Photograph: Thinkstock

Oncologist Janice Walshe pinpoints advances made in disease prevention and treatment

Liz Yeates: ‘I had spent the week preparing myself for the fact that I might have cancer, but when I heard the word mastectomy I completely fell apart.’  Photograph: Dave Meehan

Cancer survivor Liz Yeates, of the Marie Keating Foundation, needs donated bras to help raise funds for research

Former postman  David Love Cameron who now grows vegetables for Michelin-starred restaurants. Photograph: Paul Wilkinson

Working with chefs Raymond Blanc and Richard Corrigan is a long way from David Love Cameron’s former career as a postman

The sooner a problem is treated, the better the results, and further irreversible lung damage can be averted. Photograph: Thinkstock

If lung disease is caught early enough, treatment can improve your chances of a healthy life

Giving up: It has been proven that people vote with their pockets and, if the price becomes  prohibitive, it will act as a major deterrent. Photograph: Thinkstock

Smoking costs a packet and it kills 100 people a week in Ireland

Eoin and Gillian Casey with their sons, Eóghan and Emmet. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Being first-time parents and having to deal with the diagnosis was really tough, but Eóghan’s personality helped them through it (...)

Stephen Kelly: “I would say my mental health is really positive and I have no problems telling anyone what I have been through as there is so much stigma involved.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Stephen Kelly was in the depths of despair and suicidal but, following help, has recovered completely and turned his life around (...)

Joan Freeman of Pieta House. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Creating awareness about the reasons people feel suicidal and what can be done to help is a vital step towards eradicating the st(...)

More articles