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Helping teachers tackle youth trauma

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Lorraine was ' a workaholic' before having her baby, Ailbhe Mae. These days she works mostly from her home in Portumna but will be bringing her daughter with her to the Sugru wellbeing summer camps for children which she runs with her business partner Arlene Naughten.

Lifestyle – Volunteering in Tanzania led Lorraine Lynch to train as a psychologist, focusing on children’s work. Now highly experienced, she has created a Department-approved course, helping teachers to help pupils who’ve endured trauma. DENISE McNAMARA hears about it.

Lorraine Lynch never had any clear idea about what she wanted to become when she was a ‘grown-up’. As the second youngest of seven in a single-parent family from Scariff in East Clare, she thought she might end up doing law after accepting a course in arts in Galway.

However, that all changed after she spent a month volunteering in Tanzania.

The school in the East-African country had no toilets, no playground, no handwashing facilities. Their playground was to play alongside rats on a rubbish tip.

She was helping teach children in a rural school and was struck by how sick one of the smallest children in the class appeared.

“Her name was Queenie. She was always falling asleep. The white of her eyes were this muddy brown colour. When I asked the teacher, she said was in fact very sick but her parents preferred her to be there because there was nothing at home – at least there she could be with other children.

“She had a terminal condition in her lungs and her parents couldn’t afford to bring her to hospital – the fee was the equivalent of €8 when converted from Tanzanian shillings. Of course, the first thing we all wanted to do was give them the money. But we were staying in a commune and were told under no circumstances could we give the family the money or we would make everyone a target for robbery.”

When Lorraine returned home, she remembers feeling guilty about having a warm shower.

“I saw a lot. It really impacted me. I wanted a job to help people – children in particular. For me it was a calling; if I’m not helping kids, I’m not happy.”

She began studying psychology and volunteered for the national child protection charity ISPCC, which runs Childline, receiving training on how to talk to children who were in the midst of a crisis.

“You are talking to children who have been abused. It builds you up and you feel you can handle anything.”

After a spell teaching English in Korea, Lorraine went on to do a Master’s in Health Psychology in Ulster University and is currently at the tail-end of a PhD in the same area in the University of Limerick, specialising in dyspraxia, a condition which is little-known but affects between five and 15 per cent of children.

Her thesis is on the lived experiences of children with dyspraxia.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

West has lower cancer survival rates than rest

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Significant state investment is required to address ‘shocking’ inequalities that leave cancer patients in the West at greater risk of succumbing to the disease.

A meeting of Regional Health Forum West heard that survival rates for breast, lung and colorectal cancers than the national average, and with the most deprived quintile of the population, the West’s residents faced poorer outcomes from a cancer diagnosis.

For breast cancer patients, the five-year survival rate was 80% in the West versus 85% nationally; for lung cancer patients it was 16.7% in the west against a 19.5% national survival rate; and in the West’s colorectal cancer patients, there was a 62.6% survival rate where the national average was 63.1%.

These startling statistics were provided in answer to a question from Ballinasloe-based Cllr Evelyn Parsons (Ind) who said it was yet another reminder that cancer treatment infrastructure in the West was in dire need of improvement.

“The situation is pretty stark. In the Western Regional Health Forum area, we have the highest incidence of deprivation and the highest health inequalities because of that – we have the highest incidences of cancer nationally because of that,” said Cllr Parsons, who is also a general practitioner.

In details provided by CEO of Saolta Health Care Group, which operates Galway’s hospitals, it was stated that a number of factors were impacting on patient outcomes.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Galway minors continue to lay waste to all opponents

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Galway's Aaron Niland is chased by Cillian O'Callaghan of Cork during Saturday's All-Ireland Minor Hurling semi-final at Semple Stadium. Photo: Stephen Marken/Sportsfile.

Galway 3-18

Cork 1-10

NEW setting; new opposition; new challenge. It made no difference to the Galway minor hurlers as they chalked up a remarkable sixth consecutive double digits championship victory at Semple Stadium on Saturday.

The final scoreline in Thurles may have been a little harsh on Cork, but there was no doubting Galway’s overall superiority in setting up only a second-ever All-Ireland showdown against Clare at the same venue on Sunday week.

Having claimed an historic Leinster title the previous weekend, Galway took a while to get going against the Rebels and also endured their first period in a match in which they were heavily outscored, but still the boys in maroon roll on.

Beating a decent Cork outfit by 14 points sums up how formidable Galway are. No team has managed to lay a glove on them so far, and though Clare might ask them questions other challengers haven’t, they are going to have to find significant improvement on their semi-final win over 14-man Kilkenny to pull off a final upset.

Galway just aren’t winning their matches; they are overpowering the teams which have stood in their way. Their level of consistency is admirable for young players starting off on the inter-county journey, while the team’s temperament appears to be bombproof, no matter what is thrown at them.

Having romped through Leinster, Galway should have been a bit rattled by being only level (0-4 each) after 20 minutes and being a little fortunate not to have been behind; or when Cork stormed out of the blocks at the start of the second half by hitting 1-4 to just a solitary point in reply, but there was never any trace of panic in their ranks.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Gardaí and IFA issue a joint appeal on summer road safety

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Galway IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chair Teresa Roche

GARDAÍ and the IFA have issued a joint appeal to all road users to take extra care as the silage season gets under way across the country.

Silage harvesting started in many parts of Galway last week – and over the coming month, the sight of tractors and trailers on rural roads will be getting far more frequent.

Inspector Conor Madden, who is in charge of Galway Roads Policing, told the Farming Tribune that a bit of extra care and common-sense from all road users would go a long way towards preventing serious collisions on roads this summer.

“One thing I would ask farmers and contractors to consider is to try and get more experienced drivers working for them.

“Tractors have got faster and bigger – and they are also towing heavy loads of silage – so care and experience are a great help in terms of accident prevention,” Inspector Madden told the Farming Tribune.

He said that tractor drivers should always be aware of traffic building up behind them and to pull in and let these vehicles pass, where it was safe to do so.

“By the same token, other road users should always exercise extra care; drive that bit slower; and ‘pull in’ that bit more, when meeting tractors and heavy machinery.

“We all want to see everyone enjoying a safe summer on our roads – that extra bit of care, and consideration for other roads users can make a huge difference,” said Conor Madden.

He also advised motorists and tractor drivers to be acutely aware of pedestrians and cyclists on the roads during the summer season when more people would be out walking and cycling on the roads.

The IFA has also joined in on the road safety appeal with Galway IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chair Teresa Roche asking all road users to exercise that extra bit of care and caution.

“We are renewing our annual appeal for motorists to be on the look out for tractors, trailers and other agricultural machinery exiting from fields and farmyards,” she said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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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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