Professor of obstetrics at UCD Michael Turner. Mr Turner told the Oireachtas health committee that pregnancy complications linked to neural tube defects such as spina bifida was a public health issue of major importance. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Up to 40 cases of children born with spina bifida could be prevented each year by ensuring women take folic acid before pregnancy, an Oireachtas commi(...)

Studies of women attending the Coombe women’s hospital have shown that as few as 25% have taken folic acid before conception. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

A major public health campaign is urgently needed to remind women of the importance of taking folic acid to prevent birth defects, leading Irish obste(...)

Ireland used to have more widespread voluntary folic acid fortification than other European countries and the rate of birth defects fell up to 2008. However, it started rising again in 2009

A growing incidence of severe birth defects among Irish newborns is being linked to a reduction in the amounts of folic acid added by food manufactur(...)

Over 30 per cent of mothers giving birth were single and 27 per cent were born outside Ireland, according to the HSE’s National Perinatal Statistic Report for 2013. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Ireland’s birth rate continues to decline gently while the average age of mothers having children increases, a new report shows.Over 30 per cent of mo(...)

From left: Aislynn Bagnall, Eileen Muckian, Antone Bagnal, Michael Heary and Catherine Donnelly, who are all students at St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook, receive their A-level results. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Northern Ireland’s school-leavers have again outperformed their counterparts in Britain when it comes to achieving top grades in their A-levels. Howe(...)

Leon Osman is an injury concern for Everton.

Saturday, April 12th Crystal Palace (14) v Aston Villa (13) Palace manager Tony Pulis hopes to have a fully-fit squad to choose from. Dwigh(...)

Norwich manager Chris Hughton has insisted Wes Hoolahan is committed to the Canaries’ cause . Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA

Norwich manager Chris Hughton has insisted Wes Hoolahan is committed to the Canaries’ cause after the wantaway winger was denied a January move.Hoolah(...)

Norwich and Republic of Ireland midfielder Wes Hoolahan. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA

Norwich manager Chris Hughton will investigate reports wantaway Republic of Ireland midfielder Wes Hoolahan made derogatory remarks about the Norfolk (...)

 Norwich have turned down a transfer request from midfielder Wes Hoolahan.

Norwich have turned down a transfer request from midfielder Wes Hoolahan. The 31-year-old Republic of Ireland international — who had been the subjec(...)

 Ashley Young is challenged by Sebastien Bassong during the match at Carrow Road. Photograph: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Norwich 0 Man Utd 1: Danny Welbeck’s opportunist second-half goal proved enough to give Manchester United a 1-0 win at Norwich.With England forward W(...)