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. (...)

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/htfiske.com

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

Powerscourt Gardens, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Carmel Byrne

It was only after 1660 that Grand Siecle gardens came to prominence in Ireland

Members of the Young Social Innovators youth panel Aaron Brazil and Kirsty Real.   Photograph: Alan Betson

15th anniversary sees successful programme popular at home and abroad

Nordic walking group, in the grounds of Kilruddery House in Bray. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Nordic walking is a sociable way for anyone to keep fit and be outdoors

Community spirit: Pat Rabbitte opens Templederry Wind Farm in 2013

The Government wants us to become ‘energy citizens’, but advocates of local energy schemes say Ireland is lagging behind other EU (...)

Welcome help: a volunteer on an ornithological survey. Photograph: Getty Images

Can people who volunteer to collect data really help protect the environment?

Do you need a digital detox from the constant stream of texts, emails, notifications and reminders on our mobiles or tablets? Time for a game of chess instead?

If you need to break the cycle of information overload and nonstop distractions, read on

Woodlands for Health: Charlie Burke, a Coillte recreation officer, and Ita Kelly, a community mental-health nurse, at Avondale Forest Park, in Co Wicklow. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Walking in nature, whether it’s in a forest or by the sea, can boost your health and wellbeing

Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

There are numerous fresh-air activities taking place all over the country during the season

Orla Jennings as Jill and Niall Sheehy as Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk at The Helix Theatre, Dublin

There is no room for prima donnas and very little space for double entendres and adult-only jokes in this show

Getting together at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh: Maresa Hegarty, Fardus Sultan and Daniela Naab. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Muslim and Christian women meet in Dublin to express a solidarity that transcends religion

Front: writer and comedian Tara Flynn with students Kim Cadogan from Phisboro, and Laura Hardiman from Ballymun. Back: NWCI director Orla O’Connor and author Louise O’Neil. Photograph:  Colm Mahady / Fennells

Attacking a woman’s appearance is part of violence against women, FemFest hears

Leading the way: BedZed, a zero-carbon-emission ecovillage in London. Photograph: Gamma-Rapho/Getty

We’re making progress, but Ireland still needs to change how it thinks about sustainable homes

Winner Jason Reddan (middle front row), from Limerick, whose short film ‘Who Cares’ won the St Patrick’s Mental Health Services Short Film Competition with some of the other entrants. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Jason Reddan’s film looks at the story of a young woman after the her brother’s death

Fionnuala Sherry on stage: ‘It’s not possible to get through something like this without having a team of people around you.’  Photograph: Kai-Wilhelm Nessler

‘I have been very accident prone . . . I must be the most scarred violininst ever’

Beauty and the Beast at the Tivoli in Dublin

Pantos, ice-skating, workshops and concerts: there’s something for everyone

At risk: the Magazine fort in  Phoenix Park, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

An attempt to blow up this historic munitions depot, as a signal for the 1916 Easter Rising, failed and the building has fallen in(...)

Knocking it back: more women and people over 50 are suffering from addiction now. Photograph: Thinkstock

Dependence on alcohol and other drugs is so prevalent in Ireland that it is often ignored – but the time has come to start a conv(...)

Mary Paula Walsh, at home in Templeogue, Dublin: ‘My loss of independence was thrust upon me quite suddenly and unexpectedly.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

It’s five months now since my second surgery and I still feel like I’ve been through the wars

Demanding action on climate change: activists at St Peter’s Square, in the Vatican, urge a legally binding global agreement at COP21. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty

As world leaders prepare for the UN climate summit, religious figures are meeting in Ireland to consider how Pope Francis is influ(...)

Two-thirds of students use student counselling services and 58 per cent use the student health service. Some 87 per cent of students say it is reassuring to have a free counselling service on campus. Photograph: Thinkstock

Reachout.com study says half of students find online mental health information can be unreliable

Artist Marie Brett: ‘I was intrigued with the idea of people being physically present and cognitively absent and wondered what does that mean to occupy such a place in the world, for both them and us.’

Moments of clarity in the midst of confusion: a new film explores the world of people with dementia

Global warming: “We are the last generation who can limit the amount of greenhouse-gas emissions,” says Bernie Connolly of Cork Environmental Forum. Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty

Trócaire, Oxfam Ireland and Friends of the Earth will be watching as world leaders meet for the Cop21 summit. They’re already disa(...)

South Street, New Ross: the potential of rural towns could be tapped into to relieve the burden on the capital.

Heritage Council suggests incentive to live in historic centres

Zentangle is a new art form with roots in calligraphy, drawing and meditation. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Zentangle is a form of meditative drawing that helps people relax their minds

The “reduce, reuse, recycle” message became a meaningless mantra when a shopping addiction grabbed the nation during the boom years.  Photograph: Thinkstock

The environment became an unpopular subject during the economic boom and was barely mentioned during the recession. As ‘The Irish (...)

Once a mansion: the three houses at 76-78 Parnell Street where an anarchist collective are squatting

An anarchist collective in Dublin city centre has transformed an abandoned 19th century building into a social centre hosting gigs(...)

Castlebridge House stands in partial ruin in the village of Castlebridge, near Wexford town. In its former 19th-century pleasure gardens stand the ruins of one the finest rotunda conservatories in Ireland. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The Great Palm House in the National Botanic Gardens and the restored conservatory in Woodstock Gardens form part of our ornate (...)

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