Gate Lodge at the Phoenix Park. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Park ranger Paddy Crowe and his family rent a Regency style lodge in the Phoenix Park

Guilty pleasure: The FSAI received almost 750 complaints about suspected food poisoning in 2016

More than 50 per cent of adults say they eat undercooked burgers in restaurants

These competitions recognise young people’s role in combating climate change

Railtours Ireland’s Titanic Belfast/Hills of Donegal rail and coach tour takes travellers back in time - and past some of the most(...)

Tara McNeill with staff member Johney Martin at the new Simon Community gym on Island Street, Ushers Island. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ireland’s first gym for homeless people improves fitness of both body and mind

“We want more growers, schools, community and allotment gardens to use our seeds to grow Irish heritage vegetables,” says Jennifer McConnell, ISSA general manager

Spreading the word about open pollination is key to the Irish Seed Savers Association’s operation

Girl Guides from Swords, Portmarnock and Rathfarnham at the Glow 6 Camp at Ignite 2017, where  more than 600 tents were needed. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ignite 2017: When Girl Guides gathered to learn to be strong women in the 21st century

Marie Wynne at home with her husband Denis. “He played rugby. He was a sales director in a company. He was always building or making something at home or working in the garden.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Some family carers object to anti-psychotic medications being given to their loved ones

Anja Murray: “When you go out with friends and children, leave your phones at home and go with the intention of noticing what’s going on around you.”

National Heritage Week a prime opportunity to connect with our natural environment

Picnics and trips outdoors can beneft dementia sufferers and their families

Dr Andreas Weber: mingles his vast scientific knowledge with a poetic turn of phrase which draws readers into connections with the natural world.

Environmentalism must be fuelled by passion and empathy, argues Andreas Weber

Find it difficult to fall asleep? Make sure not to eat before you go to bed and cut out caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sleep whisperer Chris Winter solves sleep problems without resorting to pills

Fashion researcher Rebecca Earley: “You get to experience rather than buy the clothes you want. It also offers more choice with less resources.”

It could be only a matter of time before we're leasing everything from jeans to ball gowns

The Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare. The car park at the cliffs site frequently becomes full at 11am during the summer months

There is an onus on visitors to choose carefully where – and when – they visit

All therapists are  aware of the stigma associated with admitting to suffering from a mental health problem. Photograph:  iStock

‘Many people view going to a therapist as somewhere between the confessional and the court room,’ says Prof Jim Lucey

Rosemary Woods in the RTÉ documentary Goodbye House. ‘It’s hard for older people on their own to look at houses to downsize to,’ says her daughter, Tanya

Tanya Woods describes the challenge of finding a downsizer home for her mother

Oxford University’s vice-chancellor Louise Richardson pointed out that interment did not work in the 1970s in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Oxford vice-chancellor says universities are ideal places for debate on Islamist views

John Lonergan will speak at Men’s Health seminar at the Royal College of Surgeons, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Plus: MedTech Week raises awareness of incontinence; and a tulip alert is issued

Irish international rugby player Gordon D’Arcy,   Rejuvenate Ireland organiser Calodagh McCumiskey and the Indian ambassador Mrs Vijay Thakur Singh. Photograph: Paul Sherwood

Health board: Indian Embassy, Yoga Therapy Ireland and Dublin City Council to host mass yoga sessions for International Yoga Day

Ken Caulfield and Miriam McNamee: “The great thing about Cuisle is when you’re there, it feels like your disability goes away.”

For people with physical disabilities, respite centres provide supported holiday accommodation. But few places exist for those wit(...)

Irish householders throw away between €700 and €1,000 worth of food every year. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A restaurant loses €24,000 a year to food waste, a hotel €150,000 – so tackling it makes sense

Ciaran Reddin (12) and Nicole Connolly (13)  at  St Colmcilles in Ballybrack meeting Shetland ponies from Festina Lente in Bray. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Children are engaging with an experiential learning approach that can have a lasting impact

Research has found that empowered patients are more likely to manage their conditions better and follow advice and instructions given by medical professionals. Photograph: iStock

Giving people a say in their own healthcare has many benefits

There is an increasing emphasis around the world on a rights-based approach to health and education. Photograph: iStock

Ombudsman’s statement sets out key rights of people undergoing medical treatment

Plastic detritus is to be found in our parks and natural spaces. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.

Single-use plastic is everywhere. We must ban it from homes and industries

Students from Largy College, Clones, Co Monaghan were named Young Social Innovators of the Year 2017 for their project, ‘Mend a Mind – It’s a Disorder Not a Decision’. The project aims to raise awareness about mental health, in their school and community. Photograph: Jason Clarke

Health Board: talking to children about cancer and bereavement strains

Only two in five people eligible complete the BowelScreen programme, much lower than the checks for breast or cervical cancer.

If all those eligible for bowel cancer screening availed of it, deaths would fall by 30%

The living willow hedge at Crann Og eco farm in Galway.

Connecting people with their environment is crucial for the survival of human beings

Knockrath forest in Co Wicklow. Foresters are  keen to point out that continuous cover forestry principles allow forests to interact better with protected natural habitats

Popular on European mainland for decades, continuous cover forestry is taking root in Ireland

“For some reason, 21st-century women who are happy to stand up for their rights in the boardroom are still taking childbirth lying down.”

‘It’s as much about the conversation with providers as it is about what you write down’

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  giveblood.ie

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. S(...)

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(...)

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