Davy Russell, Richie Hogan, Lee Chin, Marty Morrissey, Ursula Jacob, Jamie Codd and Danny Mullins ahead of the Hurling For Cancer Research 2018 match in Newbridge, Co Kildare. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Sports stars come out to hurl for cancer research, a walk for night nurses and a new initiative to donate hospital parking spaces

Mary Nally: “I started up Third Age Ireland because I saw village life through my mother’s eyes and realised how little was available to keep her occupied and active.” Photograph: David Prendergast.

Health hero: Mary Nally founded Third Age Ireland, a national voluntary organisation which provides services, social activities an(...)

Researchers have also found that musical memory is one of the last types of memory people with dementia lose

Playing an instrument can protect from memory loss while personalised playlists can reduce anxiety in those with dementia

Poolbeg Power Station from Irishtown nature reserve in Ringsend, Dublin. Peregrine falcons nest on a platform on the Poolbeg  towers. Photograph: Getty Images

Travelling on a small cruiser gives you a new perspective of the Dublin coastline, its waters and islands

Donnchadh Gibson (4).

Campaign aims to encourage people to see the personalities, not just the syndrome

Krysia Lynch is chairwoman of the Association for Improvement in Maternity Services, a voluntary group that provides pregnant women with information, support and advocacy. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

There are still inequities in maternity care in Ireland, says campaigner Krysia Lynch

Common (or harbour) seal sometimes travel up the larger rivers and spend time in lakes. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Harbour seals now play second fiddle to grey variety in Irish waters

Homeward Bound: women scientists in Antarctica in January 2018. Photograph: Oli Sansom 2018

The Irish scientist on women’s voices in climate change and tackling Stem’s gender bias

From left: David Mullins, James Cluskey, Daniel O’Neill and Luke McGuire

Health risks in outer space, vitamin B12 deficiency and game on for a record-beating tennis match

The School of Looking is an innovative children’s arts and science summer school held in the South Tipperary Arts Centre.

Information on dyspraxia, dental developments, forest therapy and ePrescriptions

The cactus greenhouse at the National Botanical Garden in Glasnevin, Dublin. The delicate red tips on miniature cacti in the glasshouse  indicate the presence of flavenoids, which act as UV filters to protect the plants from high UV levels. “These pigments are currently inspiring a new range of sunscreens,”  says botanist  Matthew Jebb

Biomimicry tours of the National Botanic Gardens reveal how nature inspires inventions

Health Innovation Hub Ireland have launched a national focussed call for products and services that enable positive ageing. The HIHI team (left to right): Aisling Dolan, Paddy McGowan, Gillian O’Mahony, Diana Hogan-Murphy, Noreen Lynch, Noel Murphy, Colman Casey, Niamh Allen, Emily Naylor, Dan Maher, Jane O’Flynn, Tanya Mulcahy and Eimear Galvin.

Workshop on Alzheimer’s and dementia care and Blood Bikers wanted

“Nearly 300 grams of gold can be recovered from about one tonne of recycled mobile phones.”

Chemist Michael Braungart suggests products could end their life as biological nutrients

Ireland ranks 18th of the 26 European countries for availability of new medicines. Photograph: Getty images

Accessing new medicines is a complex business in Ireland compared to many other European countries

Mairéad Sparkes enjoying a riding session with Anna Nowicka, therapeutic riding coach at Festina Lente Equestrian Centre in Bray, Co Wicklow. Clara O’Donnell is leading the horse, with Emma Fitzgerald on Mairéad’s right.

A Dublin conference will hear how interaction with horses can help people with a variety of problems

From left, Clodagh Kane (12), Swords, Co Dublin; Conor O’Brien (12), Clarehall, Dublin, and Dr Phillip Kieran from RTÉ One’s ‘You Should Really See A Doctor’ at the launch of Irish Life Health’s “Not Just for Girls” HPV-awareness campaign. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is now so common that the majority (80 per cent) of Irish men and women will get the virus at some point in their lives, yet new research reveals 95 per cent of parents underestimate just how prevalent the virus is. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Water safety, a ‘virtual’ marathon and a Big Toddle

Gynmast Patrick Quinlivan from Letterkenny, Co Donegal with his haul of medals during the homecoming after the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Up to 1,600 athletes, all of whom have intellectual disabilities, will compete in a range of sports

The audience heard that “spies, police and military intelligence officers and criminals all inhabit this deeply confusing world seeking out the latest cyber criminal and cyber espionage techniques”. File photograph: Getty Images

Britain’s pivotal role in intelligence network flagged by Misha Glenny at Carlow gathering

A Sunday morning in the Phoenix Park. The Dublin  park is  bigger than all London’s parks put together, and twice the size of Central Park in New York.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ireland’s capital has a lot going for it if it wants to be a ‘national park city’

Sarah Cagney: “It is reassuring how easily the condition is treated without medication.”

The genetic condition often goes undetected in people until they are in their 30s

Prof Donal O’Shea is consultant endocrinologist at St Vincent’s University Hospital and St Columcille’s Hospital, Dublin. He also lectures in endocrinology to medical students at UCD and the RCSI

Health Hero: ‘I try to keep in mind the mantra of everything in moderation – including moderation’

Bloom 2018 at the Phoenix Park has an eclectic mix of stunning show gardens, tantalising food features and fun for all the family. Photograph: Chris Bellew/ Fennell Photography

Bloom, Cat Laughs, Forbidden Fruit, Vantastival, Women’s Mini Marathon and more

Up to 50 per cent of people over 50 have high blood pressure, two-third of whom either don’t know they have it or don’t make an effort to control it

Addressing lifestyle measures can help reduce the risk of stroke or heart strain

 Water and reeds in  Abbeyleix Bog, Co Laois

Abbeyleix Bog is teeming with wildlife from carnivorous plants to rare flowers and birds

The Dementia: Understanding Together campaign has put together five tips for people to make their own gardens dementia friendly. Photograph: iStock

‘Being in a garden helps a person with dementia to be oriented in time and space’

Abbeyleix Bog. ‘My main hope for the future is in community and volunteer-led initiatives like the Abbeyleix Bog project.’ File photograph:  Bord na Móna

Events aims to celebrate wildlife and raise awareness of damage being done to environment

Michelle Long and Claire Cahill, founders of the Scoliosis Advocacy Network. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

They raised over €14,000 for the orthopaedic charity Straight Ahead and hosted a huge toy collection for children having surgery f(...)

From left: Billy Beesley (11), Soifia Dragacevac, Molly Beesley (6), Luke Shanahan, Seán Gallagher and Harry Beesley (9) at the launch of the UCD Festival 2018, which is back for its third year on Saturday, June 9th, 2018. The festival is a free event where the wider UCD community and the public is invited for a day of events, talks, interactive science exhibitions and modern technologies, creative workshops and live performances. Register at www.ucd.ie/festival. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Body image at the Science Gallery and public talk on bullying by John Lonergan

There are a number of tasty recipes wildflowers can be used in. Photograph: Getty Images

May is a peak month for foraging as wild flowers and herbs come into full bloom

Social and therapeutic horticulturist Caitriona Kelly with prisoners participating in a gardening course at Loughan House open prison  in Co Cavan. Photograph: Barry Cronin/barrycronin.com

Can growing vegetables help prepare prisoners to return to society as law-abiding citizens?

The key is to get moving again and not focus too much on the exact source of the pain

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are hosting an event called "Syria Crisis: Frontline Emergency Room" at The Royal Irish Academy, on Dawson Street, Dublin at 6.30pm on Thursday (May 10th). Dr Javid Abdelmoneim will be talking about his work in Raqqa, Northern Syria providing emergency healthcare at MSF’s trauma stabilisation unit. This is a free event but places are limited so please RSVP to 01 660 3337 or email office@dublin.msf.org

An introduction to tai chi and health checks for over-55s take place this week

“A lot of people are afraid of movement and exercise following spinal surgery yet we know that people work better in groups and prefer [physiotherapist] supervised exercise classes.” Photograph: iStock

Got Your Back Ireland is ideal for people with chronic health issues or those after surgery

A Spotted Ray (Raja montagui) eggcase sighted on Carratigue Beach in Co Mayo. This is one of Ireland’s more common species of egg-laying skate

Important marine citizen science projects sometimes struggle to survive

European eels: spend several months travelling from their spawning grounds in the North Atlantic

One of our most threatened native fish species now regarded as ‘critically endangered’

A heron flies over the Dodder waterfall. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Irish river trusts spring up as ‘rights of nature’ movement surges internationally

Rhonda Daly, Brian McCarroll and Meabh Henderson. Photograph: Alan Betson

In Ireland, about 1,300 suffer from the life-threatening inherited disease

2018 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards finalist Caoimhe Bennett, right, from Loreto Grammar School in Omagh, with Andrea McBride, vice-president of Pramerica Systems Ireland, and guest-of-honour Joanne O’Riordan

Caoimhe Bennett was one of the 20 finalists in the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards

Siobhan Hannafin, from Sallins, Co Kildare,  with her children, Liam Hannafin, age 3, and Áine Hannafin, age 7, who has cystic fibrosis, at the launch of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland’s 65 Roses Day fundraising appeal. Photograph: SON Photographic

Cystic Fibrosis Ireland’s national fundraising day and Trinity seeks participants for Alzheimer’s study

Added sugars, found in processed food and drinks, are a contributing factor in obesity and diabetes. Photograph: iStock

Avoiding added sugar isn’t easy but nutritional therapist Elsa Jones is there to help

Donating blood: One in four of us will need a blood donation at some stage in our lifetime, yet only about 3 per cent of those who can donate blood do so. Photograph: Istock

In Ireland, you can donate blood, kidney, bone marrow, platelets, breastmilk and hair

Caroline Lynch, organ donation coordinator:  “I’m humbled and privileged to journey with families at such an intense and dark moment in their lives.” Photograph: Tom Honan

Caroline Lynch is one of six organ donation co-ordinators

You can pick up an organ donor card from your local pharmacy and keep it in your wallet. Photograph: Istock

Becoming a potential donor is easy – carry an organ donor card and let your family know

Hedgegrows give rural Ireland that patchwork quilt landscape that Failte Ireland use in international tourism campaigns. Photograph: Getty Images

They provide food for animals and store carbon to mitigate against climate change

The Willow Zen Garden, in Fairview Park, Dublin, with project art manager Laura Larkin, from Dublin Culture Connects (right). It was made by locals from Ballybough Craft Group and Fairview Art Class. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Dublin council project enables northside women to turn their park into a Zen garden

Sir Paul Nurse speaking after being awarded the inaugural George Sigerson award for ‘inspiring aspiring’ scientists by UCD Biological Society. Photograph: Aoife O’Sullivan

‘Not enough money going into discovery on the spectrum of research from discovery to translation to applications’ - Paul Nurse

Rita Shah of Shabra Plastics: “It’s important that people rinse out their milk bottles, take off the labels and lids and don’t leave food on plastic containers so it can be used again.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Two Irish companies make recycling plastics their business

New guidelines dictate that packaging waste must be clean, dry and loose before recycling.

Up to one third of all household recycling bins are contaminated by unrecyclable material

Dr Takanori Shibata, inventor of the therapeutic seal, Paro with a client in the Alzheimer Society of Ireland Orchard Day Care Centre, Blackrock, County Dublin.

Employers across Ireland are encouraged to host an event on national Workplace Wellbeing Day on April 13th

Writing about shamrock in the 1980s, the Irish botanist Charles Nelson said that shamrock was nothing more and nothing less than young clover

There is much dispute as to exactly which three-leafed plant is a shamrock

Derek Devoy of Taxi Watch  in his cab in Kilkenny. Picture Dylan Vaughan

Health Hero: Derek Devoy asks drivers to monitor spots where people go to take their own lives

Mundy, Jess Kav of Barq and Leslie Dowdall at the launch of “A Night for Aware”, a concert in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on Friday, April 6th, in aid of mental health charity, Aware. The concert will also feature Christy Dignam, The Pale, Cry Monster Cry, Jem Mitchell, Trouble Pilgrims and The Skatuesques. Tickets are €25 from Ticketmaster. Photograph: Maxwell

Help build up blood stocks, keep an eye on glaucoma and get your children interested in architecture

 Bluebells are plentiful in the woodlands of Ireland’s country house estates

Spring flowers bring rich colour and gentle scents once the weather gets a little warmer

In Ireland, tidy town groups are now aware of the importance of leaving wild areas with nettles as butterflies and moths feed on them. Photograph: Getty

Nettles are rich in vitamins A and C and iron, potassium, manganese and calcium

Barn owls hover with dangling legs when hunting for small mammals. Photograph:  Birdwatch Ireland

There has been a 50 per cent drop in the number of barn owls over the last 25 years

Jessamyn Fairfield holds the view that comedy holds a unique element that works superbly for scientific communication. Photograph: Steve Cross

American physicist Jessamyn Fairfield turned her improvised comedy routine into a science communication tool, while Irish engineer(...)

Senior class at Dance Theatre of Ireland, at Bloomfield Centre, Dún Laoghaire. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘I discovered the Well Dance for Seniors classes and find it’s a wonderful way to get fit’

Sandra Doody and her daughter Sarah, at home in Stillorgan, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

I asked myself was I doing the right thing taking her from her culture and birth place?

Emma is doing fine in school and the teachers have been immensely supportive. She does attend a psychologist

The children have always known they are adopted, but have totally different responses to it

Sandra Doody and her daughter Sarah, at home in Stillorgan, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘The inter-country adoption process is very gruelling with a lot of uncertainty’

Lichens  don’t have a root structure, and are able to shut down their metabolism during periods of extreme heat, cold and drought

Ireland is very rich in lichens, with over 1,100 recorded species

Do artists and illustrators whose work concentrates on drawing and painting birds, animals and plants have a particular affinity for the natural world?

Drawing and painting wildlife can enhance our understanding of the natural world

Anthropological studies suggest that kissing is an acceptable practice in up to 90 per cent of cultures. Photograph: iStock

The evolutionary origins and physiology behind mouth to mouth kissing

A frog’s life:  frogs spawn in the same place each year. Photograph: Moment/Getty

As the weather gets milder you might spot frogs’ eggs in ponds. But don’t disturb it

Sea gardeners: Marie Power foraging seaweed with helpers Katie and Harry Earl near Tramore in Co Waterford. Photograph: Patrick Browne

You can use seaweed in everything from scones to soup – and it’s almost back in season

Common gorse is the only species native to much of western Europe. Photograph: Getty Images

Pod-like flowers are most prolific on mountainous and bogland scrubs from February to May

Microscopic Alaria plantlets 18 days post spraying

As the world wakes up to the environmental scourge of plastic waste and the EU launches its first ever Plastics Strategy, Sylvia T(...)

Many energy drinks contain 80mg-130mg of caffeine and 30g of sugar in 250ml - twice to three times the recommended daily caffeine amount for young people, and more than the recommended daily amount of sugar

Aldi is banning so-called energy drinks to those under the age of 16

A seal enjoying the high tide in the River Liffey at Wolf Tone Quay in Dublin. Photograph: David Sleator

January is one of the best months to observe grey seals on land

With more than 90 per cent of the population using smartphones, people are more likely to turn to technology for help for mental health problems.

Apps have potential to engage people with diagnosed conditions, say experts

The curlew, with its large size and long curved bill, can be seen in  locations like North Bull Island in Dublin and Cork Harbour

The curlew one of the birds to be seen in estuaries, mudflats and coastal grasslands

Easkey Britton launching Ireland’s Biggest Ever Beach Clean Event last year. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

Beach clean-ups and surfing help us connect with nature, says surfer Easkey Britton

Monks are credited with first bringing snowdrops from Rome to Ireland. Photograph: Getty

In floriography, snowdrops are symbols of hope and consolation

Some 30 minutes’ exercise a day is essential for optimum health

Back pain is one of the main reasons why people take time off work but we now know that staying off work is unhelpful for back pai(...)

The  footprint of a badger’s forepaw in mud. Photograph:  Arterra/UIG via Getty Images

Make rural walks more interesting by seeking out the presence of wild animals

Holly with berries: became a Christian symbol

Ward off evil, contemplate Christ and get the look of love with these ancient Irish sprigs

The Christmas Day swim at the Forty Foot, Sandycove, Dublin last year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Winter sea swimming has many benefits, but beware of cold-water shock

The popular robin  is a benign symbol of cold, frosty winter days.  Photograph: Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Birdwatch Ireland invite people to record the different common garden birds they witness

Choir teacher Helen Doyle during rehearsals in St Vincent’s Girl’s School, North William St, Dublin 1. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Schoolgirls learning choir sessions can boost numeracy, literacy and concentration

Arboreal landmark near Delgany. Scots Pine planted in the mid nineteenth century.

Ireland’s tallest native evergreen was growing here 7,000 years ago

Bill Schindler (foreground) with Jason O’Brien (left) and Aidan O’Sullivan at the Centre for Experimental Archaeology & Material Culture, at UCD Belfield, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

US professor suggests that by re-connecting with the food of our ancestors, we can also build a more sustainable food system with (...)

Clinical Pilates class in Greystones, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Tom Honan

Rehabilitative exercise classes help people of all ages with chronic and acute injuries

Whooper swans wintering on the Vartry Lakes in Roundwood, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Ireland hosts up to 20% of species overwintering in Europe between October and April

Christy Kavanagh with a Nordmann Fir in a net at  Kavanaghs Christmas Tree farm in Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A number of farms let you choose your Christmas tree and have it felled on the spot

 Jennifer Brea  in “Unrest”: She developed ME  following a fever that left her bedbound while studying for her PhD at Harvard. Photograph: Jason Frank

A sufferer has made a graphic documentary about myalgic encephalomyelitis

Grace Darcy from Clane, Co Kildare, interacting with the ‘Doomsday Clock’ exhibit at the opening of ‘In Case of Emergency’, the new free exhibition at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin.  Photograph: Mark Stedman

‘In Case of Emergencies’ exhibition: The human brain codes risk in five categories – won’t happen, unlikely, 50-50, likely and wil(...)

Like dogs, foxes have excellent hearing but their eye sight works best in low light. Photograph: Getty Images

These wild animals are now a common sight at night when they come out in search of food

The Cork city house  had a very high level of energy efficiency with an A1 BER and Passive House certification

Criteria consider water, light and air quality alongside BER energy standard

The best time to see a murmuration is just before dusk on a fine, cold winter evening. Photograph: Getty Images

Thousands of starlings swirling through the skies is one of nature’s most wonderful sights

The red and the grey squirrel: autumn is ideal for spotting them scurrying about

Contrary to popular belief, squirrels do not hibernate

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