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Helping children cope with pressures

Judy Murphy



Conor Hogan: Children are more vulnerable to stress, anxiety, and self-confidence issues.

Lifestyle – Judy Murphy meets Conor Hogan, one of the first life coaches in Ireland to focus on young people and children

It was once regarded as an American concept, but the past few years have seen a growing demand for life-coaching here in Ireland as people try to improve their work or domestic situations.

The idea of hiring an expert to guide and advise people on finding a new direction is one that increasingly appeals to adults.

But the notion of life-coaching for children and teenagers is surely a step too far? Should they not be allowed to live their lives free from such discipline?

Not so, according to Conor Hogan, a Galway life coach and one of the first in Ireland to focus on children and young people.

Conor, who is a qualified primary and secondary school teacher, and who has a range of other internationally recognised training skills, feels that families today are experiencing pressure across a range of areas, from money worries to fast-moving technology. As a result, children are more vulnerable to stress, anxiety, and self-confidence issues.

We live in an environment where parents are also increasingly protective of their children, he says.

“When we were small we’d spend three days out looking for a sliotar and we’d be let off. That would never happen now.”

Conor grew up in Roscam, on the outskirts of Galway City, where his parent had a farm. As a youngster he was hugely involved in sport, especially GAA, until an underlying condition forced him to quit.

He’s tall and fit, and it’s difficult to believe that he has scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, but he was diagnosed in his late teens, which meant that contact sports were out of the question.

In an attempt to curtail the effects of the scoliosis, he began practising yoga, eventually qualifying as a Hot Yoga teacher – for a period he had a Yoga centre in Briarhill. Along the way, he came into contact with people who specialised in complementary therapies, including meditation and “that was where the interest in life-coaching came from,” he says. “Anything to do with mind, body, spirit; they are all interlinked.”

On the academic front, Conor did a degree in Business and Human Resource Management at GMIT and followed that with a H Dip in teaching. He also qualified as a primary teacher before undertaking an MA in NUIG on behaviour and discipline among young people outside school hours. Conor based his work on his experiences in the Galway Youth Café, the GAF, where he worked as a volunteer. He is currently doing a PhD under Pat Dolan, who initially designed GAF. That café is now closed but a spin-off, Jigsaw, which offers a range of services for young people, operates in the City’s Fairgreen.

Many of the teenagers who used the GAF Youth Café used to call there in the afternoons, when they might be expected to be at school, he says. But they didn’t cause any problems and one of his aims in the MA thesis was to establish why their behaviour in there was pretty good.

The reason was that many of the projects in GAF were feeding into education, and there was a great support for the café from a range of bodies which served young people.

Conor’s MA focused on teenagers, but for his PhD he is dealing with both primary and post-primary children, exploring their behaviour in out-of-school situations, such as youth centres, GAA clubs and other sporting organisations.

His own family experience as a teenager gave him a good grounding for working with young people, he says. His older sister, who lived nearby, had five children under the age of five and during Conor’s college years, he babysat them regularly. That’s where his interest in child-development came from, he says.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

The Herbal Academy’s leading course on living a healthy life




There has already been a phenomenal upsurge in the use of holistic treatments to deal with a whole host of common ailments – but a Galway herbalist and educator has now taken this to the next level.

Because Tuam-based Patrick Murphy – owner and founder of the Herbal Academy – believes that that anyone can learn to make and use herbal remedies at home, for their own wellbeing and that of their families and clients.

Which is the ethos behind the Herbal Academy as an institute of alternative medicine for the general public, delivering a variety of courses completely online to allow for remote learning.

The courses offered at the academy, designed by Patrick, were produced during the lockdown months – and now the work is ready to be presented to the public.

The Herbal Academy itself was developed to use a unique blend of Western Herbal Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine to learn how to create a range of holistic treatments for common ailments.

And, as Patrick points out, all of this can be safely used alongside medical treatments, if necessary.

His philosophy in his work is to ‘cleanse, nourish and heal’ – and that is woven through the course material, which he has written and which is accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

It’s the latest career evolution for Patrick Murphy, who as the Skin Herbalist, provided his first herbal remedies to his patients back in 1995 – with good results.

Then as different ailments emerged in his patients, he would accommodate them by using new herbal formulas, again with marked success. These formulas worked well with subsequent patients that they became standard.

His true philosophy is ‘getting to the root cause of the disorder’, helping him to create healing tonic herbals. These herbs help the body overcome disease by strengthening through cleansing and nourishing.

Patrick’s ultimate vision is to cleanse and nourish so the body can heal, using wild crafted, organic herbs.

The Herbal Academy itself has a comprehensive mission statement.

It aims ‘to empower energy, wellbeing, and confidence, physically and mentally by imparting knowledge of healing, nourishing, and cleansing the body using natural, organic, earth-sourced sustainable herbs and supplements that focus on treating the root causes of ailments rather than just the symptoms’.

The Academy offers three courses – the Foundation Course; Herbal Home Remedies, and Colour Therapy.

Material on the Foundation Course is aimed to provide the basics in herbalism, that students can recognize and devise effective herbal treatments for themselves and others and to educate themselves in how to use herbal remedies for first aid use and how to use alongside mainstream medical treatments.

Participants will also gain the knowledge of distinguishing between supplements and their properties as well as learning to make their own effective herbal treatments for a range of common ailments including common colds, IBS and various skin conditions.

Those studying Herbal Home Remedies will learn of the herbal remedies available to treat an array of situations such as insomnia, infections, rashes, coughs, digestive issues, stings/bites, bruises, and joint problems amongst many others.

Students will learn to prepare these remedies using a range of fruits, spices, oils, and herbs-all ingredients that are completely natural and have been used and relied on for centuries to promote wellbeing and vitality.

Colour Therapy is used as part of medical practice for hundreds of years, colour therapy is an important element in the holistic approach to complimentary health practice.

In this course, people will identify and understand the need for certain colour themes in their lives and how to use it for healing, good health, relaxation and protection as well as learning how to use this therapy to compliment other therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology and aromatherapy.

“The Herbal Academy is delivered completely through online learning. No prior experience is necessary,” says Patrick Murphy.

“The courses can be accessed on the website instantly and offers a payment plan to spread the cost if needed. Upon completion, students will receive accredited certificates for each course.

“We have a special limited time offer in place from now until September 30 – if you order the Foundation Herbal Medicine Course, you get the Colour Therapy and Healing for free.”

Patrick also has his own herbal dispensary, stocking herbal remedies from highly reputable organic herbal suppliers. Mainly organic, bio dynamic and fresh herb tinctures are stocked.

Dried herbs which are always organic where possible, as well as pessaries, capsules and specifically made up creams, are also dispensed, when required.

Patrick helps people with common ailments such as arthritis, asthma, acne, eczema, Fibromyalgia, ME, constipation, digestive problems, heartburn, acid reflux, back pain, menopause and more.

For more information on his online courses, visit the website or contact Patrick via – or phone 093-27033.





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Connacht Tribune

‘Maskne’ flare-ups the latest Covid-19 scourge

Denise McNamara



Yet another symptom of this blasted virus - maskne.

Beauty, Health and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

The vast majority of us are complying with the public health guidelines to wear masks while entering shops, using public transport or in areas where unable to sustain a two metre distance. But it’s not pleasant. The most people I feel sorry for are the kids in secondary schools, particularly the newbies.  It’s very hard to make friends with people you don’t know if you are only seeing their eyes and unable to read expressions while all voices remain muffled beneath the covering.

And how desperately uncomfortable it must be for all those in the health system or in jobs where they deal with the public who often have to wear masks as well as face shields all day.

It is proving increasingly problematic for those of us with sensitive or problem-prone skin as wearing a mask brings with it bacteria, which grows in warm, moist environments, making the skin underneath our face masks the prime area for bacteria and perfect environment for congestion causing blemishes and blackheads.

Maskne is the new term for the scourge. Technically it is a form of acne mechanica and mainly effects people who have an inherited tendency to acne.

According to Bernie Fahy, owner of the Terryland clinic The Skin Specialist, wearing the mask whilst under acne treatment will be particularly difficult.

She advises to wear cotton material masks only. While they may cost a bit more – Brown Thomas have very nice patterned ones from €7 – they will be easier for your skin to bear.

If spots start sprouting, or you already have acne, use Caldesene powder to dry spots out and prevent fungal infections.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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Connacht Tribune

A look back at the old house as we move into the new one

Francis Farragher



START SPREADING THE NEWS . . . A scene from c. 1960, outside what were then the old offices of the Connacht Tribune on 15 Market Street, as paper boys pick up copies of the Tribune, hot off the presses, for local deliveries around the town. Pictured on the extreme right, with the paper under his arm is Seán Duignan, a young reporter with the Tribune and later of RTE. The man in the centre with the newspaper in his hand is Joe Fahy, also a Tribune reporter, and later to be the first political correspondent with RTE. The other gentleman on the left with the ‘trendy coat’, we do not know the identity of – probably just a passerby at the time. From next week, the Tribune’s new home is Unit 21, Liosbán Business Park, Tuam Road, Galway.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

A lot of the nostalgia buttons are being pressed these days from our look back to Galway’s hurling success of 1980s to a more localised one for those of us who have spent the biggest chunk of our working lives at 15 Market Street in the heart of the city. This week marks the last editions of the Connacht Tribune newspapers to be produced from our current location as we move out to a new and more compact premises in the Liosbán Business Park just off the Tuam Road.

Like the 1980 hurling final, it does seem just like yesterday since I worked my first day in Market Street – the Monday after Galway had lost the 1986 All-Ireland hurling final to Cork. Galway had destroyed Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final at Thurles when they employed the then revolutionary tactic of playing a two-man full-forward line clearing the way for Noel Lane to strike for a hat-trick of goals.

Cork though were a lot wilier for the final leaving Johnny Crowley back as a sweeper . . . and he did just that . . . cleaning up across the Munster champions’ full backline and landing the man-of-the-match accolade in the process, as Galway eventually went down on a 4-13 to 2-15 scoreline.

All week that old rhyme about Cork hurling and Christy Ring kept creeping through my head: ‘Now Cork is bet; the hay is saved; the thousands wildly sing. They speak too soon, my sweet garsun, for here comes Christy Ring’. That day in Croker, Tomás Mulcahy was Cork’s Christy Ring when he scored one of the great All-Ireland final goals after a 50-yard second-half run to swing the match their way.

Those days in the late 1980s, the printing presses of the Connacht Tribune, as well as rolling out their own three titles – The Sentinel, Connacht Tribune and City Tribune – also produced thousands of copies of other titles every week including the Tuam Herald, Clare Champion and Connaught Telegraph. Like a lot of other industries, with the passing of time, the physical production of papers moved to just a handful of locations around the country and the rumble of the printing presses in Market Street grew silent as we went through the noughties.

While 1986 was one of desperate disappointment for Galway hurlers, the next two years – ’87 and ’88 – represented the most glorious ever period for the game in the county with Cyril Farrell’s charges winning back-to-back All-Ireland titles. From a Tribune coverage point-of-view, they were also very special weekends for those of us involved, often booked into the same hotel as the team – invariably The Ashling – with Turloughmore’s, Phelim Murphy, in charge of proceedings. There was a lot more informality about the ‘mixing’ between the team, reporters and supporters in those days, and while Cyril Farrell, did like to create his own little bubble with the squad, access and contact never seemed to be a problem.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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