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New digital game uses neuroscience to combat attention deficit in children




A pioneering Irish company is leading the way in digital brain health by improving focus for kids using a new digital game that uses neuroscience to aid concentration!

The idea behind Cortechs’ new game, Zip and the Misty Mountain, is to help children who find it hard to concentrate – particularly those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or attention difficulties, who have huge challenges staying focused on their homework or on simple day-to-day tasks.

And as Cortechs CEO Áine Behan points out, with the HSEs spending €2.5 million on ADHD medication in 2013 and thousands of Irish children prescribed this medication, she is not surprised that parents are desperate to find drug-free, scientifically backed alternatives to improve their children’s focus.

“At Cortechs, we are passionate about smart gaming designed around neuroscience. We use brain powered play with brainwaves as a powerful tool to modify behaviours in ADHD, autism and with distracted kids that want to improve their focus,” she explains.

“Neurofeedback is a way of changing the way your brain works. It does not involve anything invasive – it is based on learning and trains the brain to modify behaviours around attention and relaxation. In essence, neurofeedback allows you to learn how to gain more control over the way your brain works and it uses your brainwaves to do this,” adds Áine.

The Cortechs CEO has a PhD in Neuroscience and is a former RCSI research lecturer with over ten years’ experience in the area.

Cortechs is a privately held company established in Dublin by Áine, who orignally hails from Clonmel, and since its foundation has won many notable accolades and rewards.

Áine was South Dublin Business Chamber’s Female Entrepreneur 2013 and has been featured by Silicon Republic as a Women Invent start-up to watch, in 2014.

Cortechs won BBC Grand Challenge at TVX 2014 and was Girls in Tech’s only Irish finalist (and innovative pitch winner) of five from 178 applicants across Europe in September 2014.

Part of this roll-out will see Áine and her team visit schools around Galway city and county in the months ahead to display the game and its benefits to students and teachers.

“In the game, Zip is a young apprentice on the Misty Mountain tasked with the challenge of racing to the head temple to wake the Master.

“Along the way, Zip has to leap over obstacles, gather glowing gems and unlock each temple door that protects the path to the Master at the top of Misty Mountain. However, mastering concentration & relaxation is core to unlocking Zips’ powers so Zip can complete the game.

“We want our healthy game can be used as a tool to help any distracted child improve their focus whatever their background or condition,” she says..

Zip and the Misty Mountain game will be initially available for app download to Android with iOS to follow. You can buy this Zip game and headset bundle online from October 6 at

And they will follow up with a suite of Zip childrens games plus brain fitness apps for adults suitable for both Android and iOS.

Connacht Tribune

New President for Local Ireland



Left to right, Bob Hughes, Executive Director, Local Ireland, Dan Linehan, Head of Irish Times Regionals and Declan McGuire, Operations Manager of the Connacht Tribune.

The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.

Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.

Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”

Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.

He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.

Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.

Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.

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Connacht Tribune

Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region



Pictured at Regional Insight Series in the Galmont Hotel are: Trevor O’Rourke, (CEO, Fibre Networks Ireland); Senan Colleran, (Head ESB Assets, Generation & Trading, ESB); Eilish O'Sullivan, (Human Resources Director, Medtronic); Danny McCoy, (CEO, Ibec); Helen Leahy, (Head of Regional Policy, Ibec); Ruairi Conroy (Diligent Corporation) and Fergal O’Brien, (Executive Director of Lobbying & Influence, Ibec). PHOTO: Michael Dillon.

The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.

At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.

Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.

“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.

“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.

Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:

  • Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
  • Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
  • Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
  • Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
  • Investment in people and skills
  • Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
  • Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth




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Connacht Tribune

Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless



Conor Quirke of BOI Payment Acceptance: move to card payments.

One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.

In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.

Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.

Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.

Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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