From left: Service users Siddhart Kureel, Aaron Leonard, Kevin O Sullivan and Kevin Nolan with the scarecrow they made for the allotments. Photograph: Cyril Byrn

Praxis Care services in Clongriffin focus on developing young adults’ life skills

The Guardian Angel Corner in the  Marble Arch Caves geopark, which straddles the Fermanagh/Cavan border.

Geoparks are sustainable tourism’s new trend and Ireland has three of the world’s 120

Fianna McHugh (4), who has Prader-willi syndrome, at her home in Clondalkin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Kitchens must be locked and money restricted for people with Prader-Willi syndrome

Declan Moriarty, who has Parkinson’s, working in the garden at home in Finglas, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Early intervention and access to services is the key to living with Parkinson’s, yet currently people in the public hospital syste(...)

Iron-rich meal: scrambled egg with mushrooms and  grilled tomato.

Many women are not getting enough of this essential mineral 

Gerald Sinnott, of Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow: had his attic insulated. Photograph: Eric Luke

Aware of the environment, policymakers are looking at new ways to deal with fuel poverty

Clean living: Bea Johnson with the waste that her family produced in a year. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty

Could you fit a year’s waste in a little jar? Bea Johnson can, and her message is one that Irish towns are beginning to follow

Ginny Hanrahan, chief executive of CORU and  chairman  Prof Bernard McCartan at the launch of  CORU’s Five Year Statement of Strategy 2017-2021. CORU is the Regulator for Ireland’s designated Health and Social Care Professions and currently regulates more than 9,000 professionals.  Photograph: Colm Mahady / Fennell Photography

Ginny Hanrahan, the CEO of CORU, the health and social care regulator, explains its role in protecting the public from charlatans (...)

Ginny Hanrahan, CEO CORU and Prof Bernard McCartan, chair of the organisation’s Health and Social Care Professionals Council. Photograph: Colm Mahady/Fennell Photography

Ginny Hanrahan, CEO of CORU, explains the role of the health and social care regulator

EU targets: the European Union wants to cut emissions across member states. Photograph: Lukas Schulze/Getty

Ireland’s mitigation plan must be in place by June. Environmentalists say it could be too little, too late

Butler Denis Nevin will serve afternoon tea in the Pugin Room at Lismore Castle, Co Waterford, on March 19th in aid of the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing.

Cool linen sheets; ‘Devonshire Day’ at Lismore; zero waste guru comes to Dublin

Dr Andrew McGrady, former director of the Mater Dei Institute, and Samantha Fahy, DCU’s sustainability manager, make us of DCU’s intercampus bike scheme

Green Campus programme helps third-level institutions do their bit for the environment

Daragh Connolly, president of the Irish Pharmacy Union, says crimes against pharmacies have reached crisis levels. Photograph: Colm Mahady/Fennells

Three out of four pharmacies have been the victim of one or more crimes, figures show

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is considering placing signs in its nature reserves warning of possible infections by ticks

Lack of awareness in Ireland means illness is under reported, and often left untreated

Before and after: Following a rigorous course of intravenous and oral antibiotics for nine months at the Jemsek Speciality Clinic in Washington DC, Anthony Morris says he now feels ‘freakishly well’

Anthony Morris says people ‘suffer in silence’ because disease is underdiagnosed in Ireland

 Hanna Heubach, who has been growing and selling Irish flowers from her smallholding in west Co Cork for more than 20 years. Photograph: Dasha Caffrey

This St Valentine’s Day Irish growers want people to choose freshly picked local flowers rather than roses flown in from abroad

Carrie Ann Moran and Laura Kovaci, in Rediscover Fashion, at the Rediscovery Centre, in The Boiler House, Ballymun, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Rediscovery Centre, in Ballymun in Dublin, specialises in adding value to things we might once have thrown away

Chinese flavour: Yuyang Xin, owner of Lao restaurant, on Parnell Street East. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Google Maps says the city already has one, around Parnell Street East. Local traders back the idea of making it an official distri(...)

  Green Flag programme: the award scheme   rates the management of parks across six criteria including safety, cleanliness, conservation, community involvement and sustainability

New scheme awards open spaces that balance sustainability with human activity

Caolan O’Donnell, welfare officer at University of Limerick students’ union. “When you see problems written down, they don’t always seem so big.” Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22

Demand for counselling in colleges has jumped 40% in the past decade

Ireland’s Medical World Cup team which will take part in the 2017 tournament in Austria.

Elsewhere, ‘designing public health’ is theme of discussion at Dublin’s Science Gallery

 Gateway mental health project members Maureen Quinn, Richard Moloney, Cathy Bennett, Mary Quinn, Fionn Fitzpatrick, co-ordinator, and Maura Ferry. Photograph: Alan Betson

Peer-led project in Rathmines offers ‘place to regain myself and get a sense of hope’

The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 assessment of the Irish environment points to increased greenhouse-gas emissions in agriculture, transport and energy use.

We asked campaigners, policy makers and business leaders

Audrey Craven: founded the Migraine Association of Ireland in 1994  and  writes in the book about her personal experiences  of migraine.

Knowing triggers and living healthy lifestyle important techniques to managing migraine

Evidence has shown that spending time in green spaces – parks, forests and mountains – and blue spaces – rivers, canals, lakes and coastline – reduces physical stress and enhances mental wellbeing. Photograph: Eric Luke

Spending time in parks and forests, by rivers, lakes and coasts, benefits our state of mind

People with dementia hold on to their sensory and emotional memories the longest, so traditional activities such as gift wrapping can stimulate conversations about past Christmases

Your presence is the gift most likely to make a difference to loved ones

Our packaging waste increases by 25% over Christmas. Each household generates about 44 kilos of packaging waste over the holiday season. And our levels of food waste also spiral upwards

With a little forethought it’s easy to give presents that don’t add to waste mountains

A dairy farmer who spoke at Mental Health Ireland’s anniversary conference explained about the isolation that can be involved in farming.

Women are more likely to talk one to one while men prefer activity-focused groups

 Broadcaster and journalist  Olivia O’Leary speaking at the Mental Health Ireland/Europe conference at the Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mental Health Ireland’s 50th anniversary conference puts focus on recovery

 Heather Maseko: “Whole districts were covered in water and livestock, food and houses washed away.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Activist Heather Maseko explains how Malawi is trying to cope with extreme weather

Wind, sun and sea: power from such sources would bring great benefits to human health and ecosystems, says the Environmental Protection Agency report. Photograph: iStock

Just 23% of electricity generated by renewable fuels compared with 97% in Scotland

Bed sore scanner is  being piloted in Naas General Hospital

We profile three new health technologies with potential to change treatments

Ciaran Ryan and Mary Hodkinson at their house in Galway. The house is set at 19 degrees Celsius at all times. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Retrofitting your home means continuous warmth and lower energy bills

The road transport sector is a major source of   air pollution, but on the plus side, more and more people are beginning to factor in the cost and health benefits associated with  cycling. Photograph: Reuters

Road transport one of biggest offenders for emissions

Taxi driver Peter Hanley with his electric car. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

New electric vehicle better value than second-hand petrol car

Poor air quality contributes to  1,200 premature deaths in Ireland every year – mainly attributed to particulate matter from traffic fumes.   Photograph: Guang Niu/Getty Images

Fossil fuels for home heating still polluting outside natural gas distribution network

Merlin: the area is home to threatened birds such the merlin, hen harrier, golden plover and red grouse and rare plants such as the marsh saxifrage and bog orchid. Photograph: iStock

Glens of Antrim scheme to re-wet bog also expected to help wildlife and environment

Polypharmacy is loosely defined as taking five or more prescription medicines a day. Photograph: iStock

Many older people in Ireland now take between seven and 12 medicines a day

Karen’s adult daughters believe a change in medication has resulted in their mother becoming physically stronger and more mentally alert. Photograph: iStock

Karen says she didn’t have any substantial medication reviews in the past five years

Soil cross section of sprout and roots. Photograph:  Getty

It’s one of the basic components of life. A new campaign highlights the importance of good soil for healthy food, clean water, car(...)

Farm to Fork: in one initiative, vegetables grown on University College Cork land are served in campus canteens

But set up fun events about vintage clothes and food waste and you can turn them into activists, according to a new wave of green (...)

“We need to teach children to programme their brains to self-regulate when faced with stressful situations”

Ethos of wellbeing is good start to dealing with potential problems, say researchers

Some  650 of  the 8,504 people aged 50 and over who have been participating in the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (Tilda) gathered to celebrate TIlda’s first 10 Years at Trinity College Dublin.  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Tilda volunteers celebrate 10 years and are enjoying the process

The “buyerarchy of needs”: there are five alternatives to buying new goods. We must all consider these as environmentally conscious citizens

After Reduce, Reuse, Recycle there’s a new slogan to remember if you want to help prevent waste and encourage a ‘circular economy’(...)

“It’s time to tell all new parents and those around them about normal baby sleep and support them in other ways to get more rest.”

Dump the baby care books – feed your baby when baby wants feeding...

Rather than seeing breast as best, Dr Amy Brown, author of ‘Breastfeeding Uncovered’, argues that breast is normal. Illustration: iStock

Is Ireland ready for a revolution in its attitude to breastfeeding?

Visitors to the Wholesale Fruit Market on Mary’s Lane in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Five architects participating in this year’s Open House series select the buildings that they believe have had the biggest public (...)

‘It’s a renewable resource: I don’t need all I have and other people need it urgently.’ Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

International #missingtype campaign highlights the need for more donors

Check if you can give blood by doing the eligibility quize on

Here are the 10 principal reasons why you might not be allowed to donate

The pollinator project aims to reverse the decline in the population of honeybees  by planting pollinator-friendly flowers in parks and gardens

The winners of the 2016 Tidy Towns awards are announced on September 26th. Judges and competitors explain the contest’s increasing(...)

Dr Don Huber, professor emeritus of plant pathology at Purdue University; Darina Allen, manager of the Ballymaloe Cookery School; and  Prof Ted Dinan, professor of psychiatry and researcher at the APC Microbiome Institute at UCC at the Taste of West Cork Food Festival.   Photograph: Anne Minihane

Research shows bacteria in the gut can affect brain development and mood behaviour

Bushcraft classes at Killruddery, Bray, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Firecraft Bushcraft

Do you love the outdoors? Here’s how to get up close with the wonder of nature this autumn

The theme of the Dublin conference was “Urban Future, Cities & Towns in Transition” and delegates also heard how responding to so-called millennial workers will create vibrant city centre

A new class of creative workers want to live in vibrant city centres, according to speakers at a recent New Urbanism conference. (...)

One of the  biggest issues for people returning to work following a brain injury are fatigue, loss of confidence and inability to return to the exact work that they did before their brain injury. Photograph: iStockphoto

‘I see beyond’ campaign aims to make hidden disabilities more visible

Lorriane Lally: she believes education and a supportive work environment are keys to coping with epilepsy.

Lorraine Lally was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was eight years old

As ever more varieties of food crop die out, seedsavers are stepping in to rescue endangered plants

 Teresa Murphy, who celebrated her 100th birthday recently, with, left, Anne Murphy, co-ordinator of the Good Morning Louth Service and Mary Gaskin, volunteer.

Part three of our ‘Surviving or Thriving’ series looks at innovative community health projects: A ‘Good Morning’ telephone call se(...)

Loop Head Lightkeeper’s House at Kilbaha, Co Clare, will be opened to the public. Photograph: Alan Betson

From a pop-up museum in Donegal to bell-ringing in Cobh, there are plenty of free events around Ireland August 20th-28th

Adopt a Monument: rowing to Doon Fort, on Doon Lough near Ardara, in Co Donegal

The Adopt a Monument contest is helping five Irish communities restore old buildings. They hope it will attract visitors and impro(...)

Environmentalists: Burrenbeo conservation volunteers on a scrub-removal day

A new wave of conservation volunteers are reaping personal benefits from protecting species and working with habitats in the Irish(...)

Ireland’s  Ancient East: The elaborate bridge at Ballysaggartmore

1,000 tourism providers have been trained in the ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ brand, and 25 sites have received upgrade grants. So why(...)

Ciarán Burke and Darragh Smith working with others in the walled garden in Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Thriving or Surviving: This week we look at the New Growth horticultural project in Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, in Dublin

Malnutrition is one of the more frequent reasons for admission to hospital in older people’. Photograph: iStockphoto

‘I felt I was getting luke-warm food that had been lying around for hours’

Chinese cityscape: a high-rise under construction in Guangzhou. Photograph: Victorn/iStock/Getty

Lots of places say they have green credentials or take a smart approach to the environment, but their claims don’t always stack up(...)

From left Kay Walsh, Amy O’Sullivan and chef Polly Morrin-Deay at the  Meals on Wheels service at St Catherine’s Community Services Centre in Carlow. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Surviving or thriving: Carlow's Meals on Wheels. Tell us about your community health initiatives...

Research has shown that the introduction of electronic health records for one US healthcare insurer reduced medical error and hospitalisations by more than 50 per cent.  Photograph: iStockphoto

The current 700 eHealth projects are just the start as cloud-based systems create a patient-centred service

Usually people suspect osteoporosis only after they have broken a bone from falling.  Photograph: iStockphoto

Osteoporosis is a medical condition that makes bones more porous or brittle

Most older people who have a fracture are not getting tested for osteoporosis and not having the standard treatment that can reduce their risk of a further fracture by 50 per cent,’ says Prof John Carey, consultant physician and associate professor of medicine at NUI Galway. Photograph: iStockphoto

Many over-65s aren’t being diagnosed or treated for this chronic bone disease

Rescued from the Seine: Louvre artworks rescued from flooding in Paris. Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP

The Louvre fell victim to extreme weather this month. Venice, Yellowstone and the Statue of Liberty are also all at risk from glob(...)

Great leap forward: part of Energiesprong’s pilot, in the Netherlands. Photograph: Rogier Bos/Energiesprong

Making our homes more energy efficient is a good first step towards mitigating climate change. It also helps to lift vulnerable ho(...)

HRT: after media scares, its use in the UK dropped by over 50 per cent. Photograph: iStockphoto

The use of medication to alleviate menopausal symptoms is rarely discussed these days

Fergal Hingerty: Fergal took to the hills after his major back surgery.

Cathy McCarthy looks at the journey people take after their illness

John Hill on Ireland: “I have a deep love of this beautiful land.” Photograph: Eric Luke

As an emigrant and psychoanalyst John Hill is well placed to reflect on the idea of home

Global issue: miners in Poland, whose coal industry employs 150,000 people. Photograph: Bartek Sadowski/Bloomberg

Environmental campaigners and trade unions have joined forces to try to ensure that workers in fossil-fuel industries aren’t forgo(...)

Age & Opportunity Go for Life particiapnts. Photograph: Tommy Clancy.

More older people are exercising than ever before, but there is still room for improvement

We Can Quit participants Elizabeth Ashe and Maura Corry with John McCormack, chief executive of the Irish Cancer Society and Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Andres Poveda

Awareness of how men and women respond differently to ill health is key to helping everybody look after their health better

 A Painted Lady butterfly near the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, from the Wild Cities series on  RTÉ One

RTÉ’s ‘Wild Cities’ series reveals the amazing creatures we share our urban life with

The remains of Carstown House, a rare example of a 17th-century manor house. The five dormer windows in the attic were added later. Photographs: Fergal McGirl

Buildings at Risk: Cartown House, Co Louth, a 17th-century manor house

Denis O’Callaghan (90) rehersing. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Blow the Dust Orchestra hitting the right notes for Bealtaine Festival for Older People

From left, Prof Shane O’Mara, Dr Áine Kelly and Dr Sabina Brennan took part in Trinity College Dublin’s week-long focus on memory.  Photograph: Sharpix

Trinity College lecturers look at how our memory works and what we can do for it

Prof Tony Attwood says people with Asperger’s syndrome can take longer to process comments and make appropriate responses.

Psychologist Prof Tony Attwood offers professional and personal expertise

Investigating nature: learning to make fire at the Festival of Outdoor Learning. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Many children grow up with little experience of the rugged outdoors. New efforts to help them let loose with nature could benefi(...)

Archway, Swift’s Row. Taken from ‘Dublin Strolls’ by Gregory and Audrey Bracken (The Collins Press, 2016)

‘Dublin Strolls’ authors Gregory and Audrey Bracken are passionate about architecture, travel and their favourite buildings in our(...)

Lorraine Nolan: Health Products Regulatory Authority chief executive: Nolan comes from a scientific family – ‘my sister is a nurse, one brother is a biologist, another is a biochemist and another is an electronic engineer. I blame my parents who bought us all chemistry sets as children.’

Lorraine Nolan takes on the battle against counterfeit drugs and shoddy devices

Lifestyle interventions, such as weight-loss and physical exercise programmes, are widely known to be the best way to prevent those with pre-diabetes becoming diabetic.

Early diagnosis and integrated care programmes can help with type 2 diabetes

Mia Horgan  and her younger sister, Amy. Mia was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just two weeks old. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

More people are living with cystic fibrosis than ever before, so the HSE needs to future-proof its services

Photograph: Kaan Tanman/E+/Getty

Much of what green activists believe resonates with people of faith

Glad rags: Clothes recycled and remade at Ballymun Rediscovery Centre, in north Dublin

These days it’s not just local co-operatives that are promoting upcycling and reuse of goods. Multinationals, the EU and the Wor(...)

Aaron Crowley at the Wesley College Dublin Interschools Music Festival. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The Interschools Music Festival at the Dublin school gives some 1,000 students a chance to shine and provides a great confidence b(...)

Titans, created by teenagers at Temple Street hospital, are a series of storytelling wooden figures, like large Russian dolls. When placed on a podium connected to a sound system, the stories inside the dolls are activated.

Art projects help teenagers at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital and Cork University Hospital to alter their realities (...)

Think in: the President meets pupils from Glenamaddy and St Brendan’s schools at the Green-Schools Expo. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

Environmental awareness – the need to reduce, recycle and make Ireland a truly green island – begins in our education system, as t(...)

Information overload: experts believe that being constantly distracted by social media, emails and texts can have an impact on our ability to be productive. Photograph: Thinkstock

Overloaded email boxes and endless notifications mean sleepless nights for many

A woman reflects on the streets of Paris after the November attacks.  Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

How the ‘terrorised’ respond can give ammunition for terrorism to continue, argues Ian Roberston

Fossil-fuel divestment: the Green Party launches its Keep It in the Ground campaign at the Cliffs of Moher, in Co Clare. Photograph: Hanne T Fiske/

Encouraging people to withdraw their investments from fossil-fuel industries is the next important step for climate justice, accor(...)

Human figures with deep emotional expression: the work of Wilhelmina Geddes

Often overlooked by art historians, this innovative stained-glass artist is the subject of an impressive biography by Nicola Gordo(...)

Oliver McCabe: ‘People are stressed and they often don’t have enough time to cook. We all have to perform well on every level nowadays.’

The author of the ‘Fuel Food’ cookbook, Oliver McCabe of Dalkey’s Select Stores, was inspired by eating trends abroad

Joan Jordan  is  studying at the European Patients’ Academy: ‘I think people need to know that they can report their side effects directly to the Health Products Regulatory Authority [formerly the Irish Medicines Board].’ Photograph: Thinkstock

Involving patients in drug trials is good for their health and coping skills

Hot topic: the Aarhus Convention has allowed An Taisce to take a judicial review of Bord na MEona’s peat-fired power plant in Edenderry, Co Offaly. Thermal photograph of a power-station chimney by Joseph Giacomin/Cultura Science/Getty

Dutch citizens have taken legal action against their government for its failure to combat climate change. Could Irish campaigners(...)

The city centre itself is easy to get around, with a small grid of shopping streets bordered by the high-rise business quarter in St George’s Terrace that defines the Perth skyline

Western Australia keeps drawing the crowds with its laid-back style, superb climate and thriving restaurant scene

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