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Connacht Tribune

Healing minds

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Lifestyle – A counselling service set up 25 years ago in Galway and supported by former Bishop Eamonn Casey was the first of its kind in the county. Much has changed since then, but the charitable service offers a lifeline to many people. Judy Murphy hears about its work.

A Public Talk entitled Anxiety, The Modern Epidemic – How Counselling Can Help will take place on Thursday, November 2, at the Connacht Hotel in Galway City at 8pm.   The keynote speaker will be Dr Harry Barry, a GP who has written extensively on mental health issues and is a regular contributor to programmes such as the Seán O’Rourke Show on RTÉ Radio 1.

This event is being held to mark the 25th anniversary of the Pro-Consult Institute of Counselling. It’s also a fundraiser for the registered charity which is based in Cooke’s Corner in Galway City and which offers a weekly outreach facility in Clifden.

Counselling and psychotherapy can help people to cope with anxiety and stress as well as relationship problems, trauma, depression, suicidal tendencies, sexuality, cross-cultural issues, bereavement –  basically, anything that presents a problem to someone’s mental wellbeing, explains Iggy Clarke of the institute

Pro-Consult has a staff of eight accredited psychotherapists, some of whom are also Chartered Counsellors and Clinical Psychologists.

Anxiety and stress are big issues in modern life and depression is related to these, says counsellor and psychotherapist Iggy.

“We have a lot of people who are stressed and anxious about the pace of their life, relationships or finances.”

Pro-Consult’s services are available to people aged 18 and older, with individual and couple counselling being offered. While clients come from all age groups, the vast majority are aged between 21-50.

That’s down to the pressures faced by this age group, Iggy feels.

People are trying to maintain good relationships while coping with busy lifestyles – often, there are financial pressures too.

While life in Ireland years ago wasn’t always a bed of roses, the pace of today’s life and its economic demands have brought their own issues, he adds.

Until relatively recently, Irish society was agriculturally based; now people mostly live in towns and cities, with less time to relax or to engage with nature, which has a positive effect on mental health, he says.

Pro-Consult’s clients cover a broad social spectrum – from those on low income to high-earners.

During the recession, clients included people who had previously thrived during the Celtic Tiger. When the recession hit, things went “belly-up”, which presented considerable challenges to many of those people in terms of their identity, explains Iggy.

The ones who sought help were the lucky ones – not everyone does.

“There is no shortage of people with problems, but to get them in is the thing,” he says.

Pro-Consult deals with more women than men, and for many older people, too, there’s still a stigma about counselling. That’s reflected in the institute’s statistics – only a tiny percentage of its clients are over 66.

“For older people, it can be a bit of an ordeal,” Iggy observes of counselling.

But Pro-Consult does have some older clients, including farmers, and the fact that Mullagh-man Iggy is from a rural background is an asset. His career as an inter-county hurler in the 1970s and early 1980s would also earn him respect.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

New chapter beckons for dilapidated old houses in Ballinasloe

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Cllr Dermot Connolly, SF leader Mary Lou Mc Donald, Galway/Roscommon TD Claire Kerrane, and Caoimhin Caulfield, Ballinasloe, at the Dunlo Hill regeneration project in Ballinasloe.

Plans to redevelop a row of empty terraced houses and an old famous bar will breathe new life into Ballinasloe.

Cathaoirleach of Ballinasloe Municipal District, Councillor Dermot Connolly (SF), said the Galway County Council has shown vision by buying seven terraced houses along Dunlo Hill, as well as the closed Dooley’s Bar on the corner of Dunlo Hill and Dunlo Street.

Local authority plans for the site will rejuvenate that street, and give an overall lift to the entire East County Galway town.

Liam Hanrahan, Director of Services for Housing, Economic, Rural and Community Development, confirmed to the Connacht Tribune that the local authority purchased seven two-storey dwellings, a three-storey over basement premises – formerly Dooley’s Pub – and another adjacent three storey building for a total of €390,000.

“The tender for the design team was run in conjunction with another infill development in Ballinasloe and that team is currently being appointed to bring forward the Part 8 planning for 12-15 units – a mix of one and two-bedroom units. We are examining what can be done with the pub unit, a protected premises, as a community hub or other town centre use,” he said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Barn Owls are bouncing back in Galway

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The Barn Owl....returning in droves to Galway.

The Barn Owl is bouncing back all over the county – that’s the key finding of a recent survey which recorded an upsurge in the fortunes of this iconic farmland bird, now returning to parts of the county where they have been absent for decades.

The survey was carried out by BirdWatch Ireland in partnership with the Heritage Office of Galway County Council, and it’s great news for a bird that had become an increasingly rare sight around the county in recent decades.

Surveys show that Barn Owls were widespread in the east of the county in the late 1960s, but 40 years later their numbers had diminished, and their range had contracted significantly in east Galway and they were incredibly rare west of Lough Corrib.

However, the survey – carried out by BirdWatch Ireland in partnership with Galway County Council with the support of the National Biodiversity Action Plan Fund – provides cause for optimism and the first evidence that the fortunes of Barn Owls may be changing in east Galway.

The Barn Owl survey enlisted the help of farmers and the general public who reported information on Barn Owls across the county, and the survey also involved systematically checking a wide range of ruined structures, which are the typical nesting sites of Barn Owl.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Spatial jobs strategy is still stuck in first gear

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Accusation...Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn.

Commuters in Athenry and Oranmore are having to spend hours travelling to congested urban areas for work while policymakers renege on commitments to deliver industry locally.

That’s according to a local councillor who said the failure of the IDA to attract inward investment to Oranmore-Athenry Strategic Economic Corridor amounted to an ‘abandonment’ of local residents.

Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn said despite having a commitment in local and national plans to attract industry into what amounts to around 500 acres in Athenry and Oranmore, nothing had come of it.

“We are now entering into the second County Development Plan where we have this ‘Strategic Economic Corridor’, and it was in the National Planning Framework.

“They appear to have abandoned the area and while we’ve seen IDA and Enterprise Ireland get investment for places like Tuam and Parkmore, they appear to be only investing in existing businesses, while doing nothing to attract new industry and indigenous firms to this area,” blasted the Fianna Fáil councillor.

At a meeting of the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District, Cllr Herterich Quinn secured the backing of local area councillors to write to the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Leo Varadkar, seeking assurances that steps were being taken to bring jobs to the area.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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