Support: Dr Íde Delargy with Hugh Kane, the chairman of Practitioner Health Matters, at the programme’s launch. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Doctors, dentists and pharmacists can be slow to seek help for mental-health and substance-abuse problems. A new scheme aims to be(...)

Patient: Aoife Kirwan with her son, Adam, at last year’s MS Readathon. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

Aoife Kirwan, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was 23, had to fight to get the medication she needed

Old times: a photograph from the collection of the Irish Railway Record Society. Photograph: George Mahon/IRRS

Our industrial history is often overshadowed by Britain’s. National Heritage Week wants us to celebrate a legacy that paved the wa(...)

Léan Kennedy (left) of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind: “Guide dogs are trained to sit under the table where their owner is sitting.” Photograph: Fennell Photography

New campaign focuses on right of access for guide and assistance dogs to food premises

Prof Arnie Hill, head of the medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Oncologist Arnie Hill says research could see potentially fatal disease become manageable condition

Conor Newman: “Community organisations need a lifeline of support to achieve the transformation that is within their power”

Volunteers are more important than ever to our communities and to our awareness of our past, says the chairman of the Heritage C(...)

Founding members of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown (DLR) Nature for Health group, Diarmuid McAree, forest consultant, Shirley Gleeson, social worker, and Donal O’Keeffe, research psychologist. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A new group aims to create natural encounters to help people ’get out of their head and into their body’

Cara Rawdon aboard Catherine R: “It’s a 24-hour job, seven days a week, when we’re out at sea. The bell rings every five hours to pull the nets in.” Photograph: Phil Gamble

We should be proud of our fisherman – but misguided rules mean it’s a dying trade, according to Cara Rawdon, a trawler skipper in (...)

Susan Cliffe: “The adrenaline is high when Hiqa inspectors are in the hospital, but we don’t go with faces like hatchets”

The Health Information and Quality Authority is to start monitoring patient nutrition and hydration, plus use of antimicrobial dru(...)

 Kate O’ O’Flaherty,  director of the Health and Wellbeing programme and Healthy Ireland, at the Department of Health. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The Department of Health’s health and wellbeing programme may be in need of a roadmap to success

The gorse fire that broke out on Ireland’s Eye was a reminder of the vulnerability of nesting birds

Easter Rising: Niamh McCann (right) plays Julia Grennan, a Dublin furrier whose partner, a Cuman na mBan member and nurse named Elizabeth O’Farrell (played by Bairbre Ní hAodha), delivered Pádraig Pearse’s letter of surrender to Gen William Lowe in 1916. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The ‘Glorious Madness’ actor is helping to re-enact the Dublin of 1916 – from an underappreciated angle

Dr Pat Gibbons, consultant psychiatrist in Kildare/ West Wicklow Mental Health Services; Agnes Higgins, professor of mental health at the school of nursing and midwifery in Trinity College Dublin; Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State with responsibility for disability, older people, equality and mental health; and Anne McGilloway, family member of the Eolas steering group. Photograph: Iain White/Sharppix

A new programme for people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders involves them and their families in their own treatment and su(...)

Sarah Bredin: “I was clearly living in a state of depression without knowing it”

Attitudes to mental health are changing. One woman with bipolar disorder talks about her approach to her condition

Seeking climate justice: 350.org founder Bill McKibben. Photograph: Nancie Battaglia

Interview: The environmental movement should shift its emphasis from personal responsibility to political change, says activist B(...)

Architect Benan Clancy of Blackwood Associates Architects outside the restored Victorian house in Dublin 8: “We kept the proportions of all the main rooms as they were.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

In part five we look at the most sensitive and sensible way to extend period homes

 Pauline Forster  at the Rotunda Hospital,Dublin: ‘ Having a baby is a unique time in people’s lives and it’s such a privilege to play a small role, to help them cope with any difficulties they face.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

‘People’s emotional wellbeing and social circumstances can have an impact on their overall health’

Yoga teacher Nicola Foxe (left) giving a yoga class to students from Blossom Ireland group at the Raheny Dance Studio, in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Movement, stretching, breathing and relaxation can help participants release pent-up tension

Hot in the kitchen?: checking the temperature of food in a restaurant. Photograph: Photofusion/Universal via Getty

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland shut more restaurants, takeaways and other food businesses in May than in any other month of (...)

 Stephen Hickey is restoring his three-bedroom Georgian townhouse in Dundalk and has been writing a blog about the process. Photograph:  Ciara Wilkinson.

Part four of this series looks at working on the delicate interiors of older properties

The risk of eczema is linked to high water leakiness in babies, according to Prof Alan Irvine of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

New discoveries into risk factors for childhood eczema suggest early intervention might be the best way forward

“We welcome all the regulatory proposals from the Education and Justice Ministers announced this week, but we remain skeptical that they will be implemented,” says David O’Grady, chief executive of Marketing English in Ireland

New regulations for Ireland’s English-language schools will mean big changes to the sector – and more protection for the foreign s(...)

Homeopathic remedies: widely used around Europe. Photograph: BSIP/UIG/Getty

The Irish Society of Homeopaths is 25 years old. As it marks its anniversary with an international conference, one member explains(...)

Bug-and-bird B&B: Scoil Chonglais’s winning team. Photograph: Tommy Clancy

A B&B for birds and bugs has won the top Eco-Unesco Young Environmentalist Award for 10 inventive students from Baltinglass, in Co(...)

“The internal joinery is beautiful in this house”: James Kelly outside his home at 81 North King Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Part three of our series focuses on renovating the exterior of an older building

Camilla Mahon: “There is a complete mix of people who volunteer – although they are mainly women. In fact, we need more men”

With National Volunteering Week about to start, one participant talks about the benefits of getting involved at Making Connections(...)

Caitriona Fisher outside her Victorian redbrick house in Ranelagh, which had an E1 energy rating before works began. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Part two of this series looks at how to achieve energy efficiency without compromising on the character of your home

William Butler Yeats: the poet bought Thoor Ballylee in 1916. Photograph: Bain/Library of Congress

A big donation this week means that Thoor Ballylee, the 16th-century tower house once owned by the poet, will reopen this summer, (...)

US meditation expert, Sharon Salzberg.

Meditation can teach focus and compassion for self that is a resilience skill

How the redeveloped National Rehabilitation Hospital – the first phase of which is due for completion in 2017 – will look.

Now that the National Rehabilitation Hospital has received planning permission for new patient accommodation, Sylvia Thompson look(...)

Poor quality: Chris Shanahan hopes a new waste-water treatment plant will make Clifden Bay safe to bathe in again

Clifden Bay, in Connemara, is one of seven bathing areas with poor-quality water, according to the Environmental Protection Agency(...)

Bernadette Manning at 65-66 Mountjoy Square, Dublin: “We had to pin the walls and floors back onto each house. The floors and staircases were slanting inwards on both houses and we needed a jack in the basement to lift the floors and staircases inch by inch over a year.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Part one of our series looks at changes you are allowed to make to protected houses

Sharon and Brian Thompson with their baby, Victoria, who died of a rare disorder when she was nine months old

Patients and parents of very ill or deceased children are learning about clinical trials, pharmacoeconomics and personalised medic(...)

On patrol: Patricia Oliver, who has also been responsible for setting up the Blue Flag programme for beaches

As 500,000 people around Ireland help to clean up their neighbourhoods, An Taisce’s director of education talks about boosting the(...)

Eye clinics should be community based rather than requiring children to attend a hospital-based clinic, says Tony McAleer, orthoptist at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Thinkstock

Common eye problems in childhood are treatable, but the earlier they are detected, the faster they are treated

Krystian Fikert, founder of MyMind, outside the company’s offices in Ranelagh, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

In the last of our series about social entrepreneurs who are building ideas to tackle health-related issues, Krystian Fikert descr(...)

Facing danger: Marnie Peters wants everybody to plan how to evacuate safely in an emergency. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty

A Canadian expert in Ireland for the Fire Safety For All conference draws on her experience to show firefighters how to evacuate (...)

Prof Harry Kennedy, medical director of the   Central Mental Hospital, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Prof Harry Kennedy is medical director of the Central Mental Hospital, which cares for patients with severe, enduring and disablin(...)

Signs of life: more emergency exit signs are needed so that the needs of  deaf, blind and wheelchair-bound people are  taken into account. Image: Thinkstock

An international conference about fire safety in Dublin this week will launch a universal sign language to communicate emergency p(...)

The public petition presented to Dáil and Seanad deputies at Leinster House

Signatories to the “Fool Me Once” petition, handed into the Dáil earlier this week, want the Government abolish the 1871 Lunacy (...)

Norwegian student Hanna Guriby re-imagined the Hammam building as an urban spa

Interior architecture students at Griffith College have re-imagined O’Connell Street in Dublin

Kevin St Garda station, Dublin 8: the building is on the site of a medieval palace in one of Dublin’s most historic quarters. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Kevin Street and Fitzgibbon Street stations not yet on protected structures list

Identifying the stressors in the workplace is the first step to finding ways of reducing them. Photograph: iStockphoto

A demanding job or an ongoing heavy workload are widespread stressors that can be alleviated

Rasmus Hougaard, mindfulness trainer. Photograph: Conor McCabe

Rasmus Hougaard introduces corporate mindfulness training to an Irish audience

David Staunton: “Ecotherapy takes into account the feelings of loss, hopelessness and denial that many of us are living with due to the gross injustices – climate change, pollution, the mass extinction of birds, animals and plants – that nature and our planet experience”

A series of Climate Conversations began at Dublin Climate Gathering this week. One of the attendees explains why ‘ecopsychology’ i(...)

PE teacher Enda Tourish who saved the life of his 16-year-old pupil Ryan Callan by administering CPR after the student collapsed in 2014 during a PE class in Our Lady’s Secondary School in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan. Photograph: Mark Steadman/Photocall Ireland

With up to 5,000 people dying from heart failure every year, more training and education is recommended

The Muintir na Tire officer has helped set up a community shop to help save his parish, in Co Roscommon

Europe-wide study: researchers in 15 countries are studying GM potatoes’ potential resistance to blight. Photograph: Julian Stratenschulte/AFP/Getty

The Teagasc scientist in charge of an Irish potato trial talks about the effect of an EU decision to let member states ban EU-appr(...)

A remnant of the estate’s 19th-century monkey puzzles, plus towering specimens of the rhododendron ‘altaclerense’. Photograph: Megan O’Beirne

In National Tree Week, a new book should ensure that the unique collection of champion trees at Kilmacurragh in Co Wicklow is abou(...)

Prof June Andrews, director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, has published a book on dealing with the condition, ‘Dementia: The One-Stop Guide’.

Professor’s June Andrews’s book suggests the right lifestyle changes can delay effects

Students for health: Michael Hanrahan (centre) and fellow members of University College Cork. Photograph: Tomas Tyner

University College Cork is being recognised as a health-promoting university. A medical student explains what it means for college(...)

On the way: some of the plain packaging mandatory for cigarettes sold in Australia. Photograph: Reuters

As the JTI Ireland tobacco company threatens to sue the Government over plain-packaging legislation, the Convenience Stores & News(...)

 Laurelmere, the recently restored cottage, at Marley Park. Photograph: Eric Luke

Cottage orné in Rathfarnham’s Marlay Park is new the headquarters and gardening school premises for the Royal Horticultural Societ(...)

Cleaning up in Westport, Co Mayo: Environment  is key to the Tidy Towns competition. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Tidy Towns contest is changing and volunteers say they need clearer guidance

Belcamp College, part of Belcamp House, showing signs of the disrepair into which the property on the Malahide Road, Dublin, has fallen.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Formerly a boarding school and seminary, Belcamp features an Oval Room modelled on the White House and a miniature castle in honou(...)

IVF: mitochondrial donation offers new hope. Photograph: Zephyr/SPL/Getty

British MPs have approved mitochondrial donation. How might Irish families benefit from a change to IVF law here?

Dispute: Fr Scully House, on Gardiner Street, in an architect’s impression

Couple returning from Spain discuss three-year wait for subsidised accommodation in Kildare

Louth county council has granted Kevin Woods planning permission for a ‘leprechaun cave’ which he has built on his own land in Carlingford. Photograph: Ciara Wilkinson

Woods tells how he introduces visitors to the little people of Carlingford

Public Health nurse Margaret Scargill in Bray, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

In this series we talk to health professionals and look behind their titles and job descriptions to get an insight into their work(...)

Jessica Kingston, theatre nurse and winner of RTÉ’s “Ireland’s Fittest Family”, took on Dr Owen Power at the “Smoothie Bike Challenge” during Health and Wellness Awareness day at the Bons Secours Hospital in Cork.

Pressure on hospitals can take a toll on staff, so self-care is being promoted at Bon Secours Hospital in Cork

The late Jim Mitchell with Patsy, Ruairí and Sinéad in 1976

Former residents recall births, weddings, music lessons and pizza parties in the house on Dawson Street, which has been the offici(...)

Photograph: DSPCA

Neglected horses are a bigger problem than abandoned puppies this January

 Sylvia Thompson with her dog in Greystones. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

After her level of fitness slipped, the Get Running programme got Sylvia Thompson back on track

Michelle Dillon is one of a team of forecasters who work 24/7 at Met Éireann

Aviation forecaster Michelle Dillon on the responsibility of forecasting the weather for airports and rescue helicopters

There’s more to Christmas activities than the ‘12 Pubs’ crawl. Here are some things to do from Christmas Day to early January

From left to right: Michael Noonan, Derek Cummins, Ian Bradley, secretary, and PJ Gallagher, patron and volunteer, of Blood Bike East.

Group of motorcycle enthusiasts deliver blood and tissue samples and essential supplies to hospitals out of hours for free

Joe and Ena Foley were so full of happiness

The first December after the loss of a loved one can be hard to bear. Distract yourself. Socialise only if you feel like it. And(...)

Kalbarri: Australian campers are friendly but not curious. They tend to take you at face value, go about their own business and only get involved if you need help.

Camping as part of the national psyche

Lisa Murphy: “Most of the people who were not happy about the outside” of DLR LexIcon “have been wowed by the inside”

Dún Laoghaire’s new central library, designed by Car, Cotter & Naessens, opened this week. What’s it like to work in?

Cable guy: laying fibre broadband. Photograph: Michael Smith/Getty

The Government says everyone will have high-speed internet by 2020. The chairman of Mr Crumb, which supplies Marks & Spencer, Wait(...)

All at sea: “80 per cent of our tourists are from the domestic market, so there are a lot of people this will affect,” says Simon Murray. Photograph: IIC/Axiom/Getty

Some Irish islands face cuts in their services. One resident of Inishbofin says it might destroy their communities

Lonely path: at first Calvin O’Brien didn’t talk about splitting up and becoming a father. Photograph: Vetta/Getty

The Chats for Change campaign has been encouraging students to talk about stress and other mental-health problems

Get creative when something is cramping your style. Photograph: Thinkstock

Women in their 30s and 40s tend to be more hormonally stable, but issues emerge in the earlier and later years

Raw nature: Owen Crawford – with his partner, Mimi Pierson – has started delivering bottled raw milk

As the Department of Agriculture decides whether to ban or regulate raw milk, one farmer talks about why he drinks and supplies it(...)

Cleared for training: the Garda check on any adult who wants to work with children includes sports coaches. Photograph: Nancy Honey/Cultura/Getty

Background checks will soon be compulsory rather than optional for anyone working with children or vulnerable adults. But not eve(...)

Manor Street in Waterford where  anti-Roma protests took place

Gaby Muntean, a Roma community development worker talks about life in Ireland for her community

Winner: Paddy Crean at this week’s awards ceremony. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

The 85-year-old has won a Golden IT award for his web-design and other online work – all of which helps him stay in touch

Kilmacurragh House   in 1932

One of the last Queen Anne-style houses in Ireland, it is believed to have been designed by William Robinson, who also did Kilmain(...)

 Cathy Breen, dietitian at St Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown,  gives a cookery demonstration. Photograph: Alan Betson

At Loughlinstown hospital, classes give patients the skills and confidence to make real changes

Wedding: the couple mix sand at their humanist ceremony, which was celebrated by Brian Whiteside. Photograph: Daniel Kowalczyk/DK Photo

The number of humanist ceremonies is at its highest ever. What makes people choose this type of wedding?

Dr Velma Harkins: “Everyone agrees on the model of care but there is no agreement on how to fund diabetes care at GP practices.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Caring for diabetes patients in the community is the best model but it is not happening due to lack of money

In the week of World Mental Health Day, the 50-year-old speaks about what it’s like to live with mental ill health

Photograph: Yuri Arcurs/Hemera/Getty

Many young sex offenders began by downloading internet images of children being abused, according to One in Four, whose treatment (...)

Test of time: the ravaged interior of the Iveagh Markets on Dublin’s Francis Street. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Years of decline have taken their toll on the elegant Francis Street building. A developer plans to renew it and create a vibrant (...)

Ciara O’Farrell (6) and her brother Cian (4) at home near Wexford town. Photograph: Patrick Browne

About 60 of six-year-old Ciara O’Farrell’s joints are affected by the most severe type of juvenile arthritis

Lack of an overseeing body in some categories leaves a question mark over standards

Danger zone: Gabriel Fitzpatrick dons goggles before entering the isolation area of the Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone. Photograph: PK Lee/MSF

The chairman of Médecins Sans Frontières in Ireland has just returned from the organisation’s treatment centre in Sierra Leone

Max Barry (5), Ellie Mooney (7), Evan Wilkes (10) and Sophie Kirwan (11) at the Irish Heart Foundation’s pre-budget submission calling fora €30 million fund to tackle Ireland’s childhood obesity crisis. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

What efforts is the food industry making to reduce obesity in Ireland?

Age of experience: Ellen Ridden regularly speaks out on elder issues

The 74-year-old activist says that older people surviving on old age pensions can’t afford any more hidden charges

The Richmond Asylum, built in the 19th century from Dublin calp limestone with granite details

Officially opened in 1815, the building now has a collapsed roof, all of the windows are broken or boarded up, and the site is sur(...)

New role: John Murphy on the Moerans’ farm

Irish farmers are helping people with intellectual disabilities and mental-health problems to find fulfilling work

Stephen Allen, Aran Power and Kevin Power at Shannon after the rally. photograph: brian arthur/press 22

The Limerick man was one of only three motorcyclists to complete the 16,000km route – raising €12,000 for charity

St Senan’s Hospital is used by the HSE for same-day respite care and administrative offices, though the interior is in urgent need of repair. Photograph: Mary Browne

St Senan’s Psychiatric Hospital, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

Linda-Anne O’Flaherty, who works at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, with a young boy who lost his leg in a crash.

Once treated with scepticism, essential oils can be used alongside hospital treatments

Turbine development: ‘It will ruin everything we’ve worked for and completely devalue our property.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

An €80m wind-turbine project got the go-ahead this week. But local campaigners say their fight is not over yet

Studying abroad:   Tilburg University  in the Netherlands

Growing numbers of Irish students are waiving their CAO offers and choosing colleges on the Continent

Kilkee: keeping itself clean. Photograph: Alan Betson

Clare County Council is playing messages to holidaymakers to get them to clean up after their dogs. Its environmental awareness of(...)

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