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Teach Aisling report shows we’re still failing on mental health provision



I want to raise a very important story, something which, in the hype surrounding Pope-mania, got conveniently buried last week.

  Now I’m sure the failure to notice this news item wasn’t intentional, but you see, not too far away from Knock, in Castlebar to be precise, a report concerning Teach Aisling, a HSE-run mental health facility, revealed ‘the nurses’ station had closed blinds and there was no other way patients who were desperate for water could get their attention,’ with a ‘water ban being imposed as a “punishment” for challenging behaviour regarding one resident’.

  This tells me that some of those in key roles are still outrageously abusing and neglecting our most vulnerable.

  I find it highly alarming that there are citizens of this country who are living in such dire situations where they are not just at risk of being abused and neglected, but who are, due to their illnesses and their emotional fragility, easy prey.

  I also find it alarming that it’s happening on our very doorstep and that it occurred down the road, if you like, from where Pope Francis led the Angelus prayer at the Marian Shrine in Knock.

  In addition, I assume (but I’m not certain and have absolutely no proof), that some of this contemptible abuse possibly falls just short of what the law would deem to be criminal behaviour, meaning the perpetrators may never be prosecuted by a court of law because, quite simply, their appalling actions will be characterised as being cases of gross misconduct.

  Now while I would stress that such serious incidents would remain rare across these HSE-run facilities, (which are, by and large of a high standard), nevertheless this latest report regarding Teach Aisling should raise many questions and, at the very least, reinforce the reality that a serious overhaul of our mental health care provisions needs to be established as a matter of urgency.


The joyless doom-merchants are targeting our tipple!


Well ladies, apparently we’re a load of boozy lushes! Yep, last week, a global study carried out by researchers at the University of Washington was published in the Lancet Medical Journal and shows that, when it comes to alcohol consumption, Irish women can drink men under the table. And, while this is not really something to be proud of, personally speaking, (and I’m no expert at drinking alcohol, nor am I medically trained), I think it’s a whole load of hype!

  You see, there’ll always be a few doom-merchants desperate to spread pessimism among us and I’d be of the opinion, that, as someone who tries to follow a healthy eating plan, who tries to walk regularly and who has never had a cigarette or any other substance pass my lips, enjoying a bottle of wine while relaxing at home with the hubby and the fur babies at the weekend will do me more good than it’ll ever do me harm.

  Sure I nearly choked on my G&T when I read the study’s joyless and uncompromising recommendations that ‘the safest level of drinking is none’. Ah now here! Look, I don’t know about you ladies, but I’m choosing to ignore these prophets-of-no-fun and instead take note of associate professor at Shandong University School of Public Health in China, Doctor Bo Xi’s 2017 report which found that research shows ‘that light-to-moderate drinking might have some protective effects against cardiovascular disease, while heavy drinking can lead to death’.  

  There you have it.  While there may well be no safe level of drinking, I believe there’s no safe level of doing anything! Look, even over-exercising can be risky. Didn’t the European Heart Journal study once suggest that ‘overdoing the fat-burning workout can also contribute to poor cardio health’? Now, as that revelation means no matter how much walking I do, I’m never gonna get that Baywatch bikini body, then I’m gonna need to drown my sorrows in a glass of vino. Sure technically it’s one of my five-a-day….it’s fruit, for cryin’ out loud!

  On a serious note girls, please, always drink alcohol responsibly and in moderation, and never, ever drink and drive! Sláinte mhaith!

Trump in turmoil…what’s new?

If I was in the business of dishing out advice, I’d be telling Sarah Huckabee Sanders to start looking for another job because the one she has doesn’t appear to have any visible future promotional prospects. In addition, I’d imagine having to stand up and face the media on an almost daily basis and spin a load of creative bull – refuting allegations made against her boss – won’t serve to improve her mental wellbeing, nor will it garner her many friend requests on FB.

  Look Sarah, I know Michael Cohen’s  admission to two criminal violations of campaign finance law implicating the POTUS are still, as I write, allegations, however love, people don’t usually admit to crimes they didn’t commit, and people don’t usually tell lies under oath, especially when they know they’re facing jail time.

  So…here’s my advice; update your CV and distance yourself from a president who is clearly in turmoil and instead, let Mueller do his work and let him see his investigations through because if I were also in the business of placing bets, I’d bet, come the mid-term November elections your boss will realise the one key sentence contained in Cohen’s testimony regarding the alleged hush money payments, i.e. ‘For the principal purpose of influencing the elections’ is probably gonna be the one that seals his downfall…ya heard it here first folks!


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