Over half a million family carers in Ireland according to Irish Health Survey

Family carers now saving the state €20bn a year

Figures published today by the CSO from the Irish Health Survey 2019 estimate that one in eight people in Ireland aged over 15 are family carers.  Extrapolation to the national population estimates currently available suggests that some 516,594 people provide regular unpaid care. Previous estimates put this figure at 355,000. Read more



According to a recent survey 91 per cent of pet owners are planning to give a gift to their pet at Christmas. More than 60 per cent of Irish households are pet-parents to either a dog or cat  so that is a lot of Christmas shopping. To make it that bit easier Petmania has launched a range of gifts for our favourite four-legged family member this Christmas. Petmania has a huge range of dog toys available. Read more


Petmania’s Ten Tips to Protect Pets this Halloween

Media Release 

As the midterm break has begun families are busy carving pumpkins, choosing costumes and planning alternative spooky activities for this year’s unconventional Halloween. What fun…for humans! Petmania are urging pet owners to remember Halloween is a time of great disruption for our four legged family members. Read more

, ,

Petmania to introduce ‘carry-to-car’ service to help maintain social distancing

This week Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced emergency measures which will be in place across the country. All non-essential retailers are to close until at least Sunday, April 19th.

According to www.gov.ie, “retail sale of essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including animal feed and medicines, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding” may remain open. Petmania  would like to reassure its customers that it will remain open throughout the crisis and is now offering a carry-to-car-service to help customers get essential supplies safely and maintain social distancing. Simply call the local Petmania store to place your order the staff will deliver to the car and place them in the boot. Read more

22 NGOs call for additional €100 million Investment in Home Care in Budget 2019

22 NGOs call for additional €100 million Investment in Home Care in Budget 2019

A group of Irelands’ leading not for profit organisations and campaigners came together today, Monday October 1st, to highlight the urgent need for investment in home care services pending the introduction of a statutory home care scheme.

While the Department of Health’s plan to establish a statutory home care scheme by 2021 is welcomed by all groups, people who require home care and their families cannot wait until then to see services improve. While awaiting the introduction of the statutory scheme, interim measures are urgently needed Read more

Tipp tackles climate change with citizen led energy conference


Citizens must be mobilised and empowered to lead effective energy and climate transition

Citizens leading Ireland’s Energy and Climate transition is the focal point of an upcoming conference which will take place on Wednesday, September 12th in Hotel Minella, Clonmel, Tipperary.

Read more


New Beauty Experience Launches in Kilkenny – MINT at the Pembroke

A brand new beauty experience has launched in Kilkenny. The city’s four star boutique Pembroke Hotel has opened its new ‘MINT at the Pembroke’ Beauty, Laser and Shop destination.

MINT at the Pembroke was officially launched by Stylist and Broadcaster, Lisa Fitzpatrick. Over 200 guests attended the exclusive event and were treated to MINT at the Pembroke’s Contour Clinic with Buff Make-Up experts, bespoke skin analyses, presentations on the latest beauty, skincare and style tips and entertainment, tasty treats and delicious cocktails from special guest Mixologist Chris Hennessy.

On the night a surprise presentation was made to MINT at the Pembroke awarding them the Five Star Salon of Excellence Award from Germaine de Capuccini. MINT at the Pembroke was chosen out of 120 salons across Ireland for this prestigious accolade.

“We are launching a whole new beauty centre in Kilkenny with MINT at the Pembroke. We have brought in a number of exclusive skin care ranges and treatments to the South-East and offer the most state-of-the art laser technology outside of Dublin” said Sarah Millea, Manager of MINT at the Pembroke.

“Our launch evening was a huge success, Lisa Fitzpatrick was fabulous as were all our skincare and beauty contributors and musician, James Savage. We had a great evening and really appreciate the support of everyone who came and gave their good wishes. We look forward to a busy and exciting summer ahead.”

MINT at the Pembroke brings a whole new beauty offer to Kilkenny. Under new manager, Sarah Millea, the MINT team of seven expert therapists and specialist laser therapist offer a range of excusive treatments and product lines.

Their new state-of-the-art laser treatment, Candela Gentlemax Pro, is only available at MINT at the Pembroke, outside of Dublin. This gives a range of results-driven treatments from hair removal to red-vein and sun damage corrections. MINT’s clinic department has also introduced the new Réjuavepen treatment – this unique collagen stimulation system is fantastic for advanced skin rejuvenation, noticeably plumping and refreshing the skin.

MINT at the Pembroke also provides luxurious facial and body treatments from renowned beauty brands Germaine de Capuccini, Dermaceutic Peels, Buff Make-Up, and Neom Organics – one of the world’s leading wellness treatment ranges.

Perfect for parties and girls getaways, MINT at the Pembroke hosts a beautiful light-filled mani/pedi and make-up area where friends can get treated and pampered together – perfect for a night out in vibrant Kilkenny.

 For more information see www.mintkilkenny.com

@mintkilkenny #mintbeauty


SL Controls creates 20 new engineering jobs and expands into Europe


Read coverage in the Irish Times Wednesday 4th May

and the Irish Independent Wednesday 4th May

Equipment systems engineering firm, SL Controls, has announced 20 new positions. The company currently employs 51 people and the new jobs are for qualified equipment systems engineers and graduates to support the company’s growing Irish operations and expansion into Europe.

The positions will be created across SL Control’s five operating centres – it’s HQ in Sligo and offices in Galway, Limerick, Dublin and Birmingham.

“As part of our client engagement and recruitment strategy, we now operate five offices across Ireland and the UK. The geographic spread of our business has been one of our biggest and best investments allowing us to recruit and retain top engineering talent and graduates who are keen to live near their home towns and families. We are currently in a period of rapid expansion, having welcomed our 51st team member this week, and look forward to recruiting another 20 engineers by early 2017” said Keith Moran, Managing Director of SL Controls.

SL Controls has expanded into Europe with sights set on new territories and markets in the Food, Med Device and Pharma markets. The company has established a new compliance department and recently completed customised serialisation solutions in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Sweden and France.

With the prevalence of counterfeit drugs leading to new data compliance directives whereby each drug must have its own unique identification code, this is a fast growing market and one SL Controls plans to increase to 10 per cent of its business by year end. The company’s turnover is on target to grow to €4.2 million by the end of 2016, up from €3.1 million in 2015.

Founded in Sligo in 2002 by MD, Keith Moran, and Chief Technology Officer, Shane Loughlin, SL Controls is an internationally recognised leader in Equipment Systems Integration. The SME has delivered over one million hours of specialised software integration services proven to significantly increase client’s Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and overall operational costs. SL Controls works with clients across the Pharma, Medical Device, Healthcare, Food and Beverage and Technology Sectors, all of which require high level software integration expertise and regulatory compliance.

Leading engineering innovation in Ireland, SL Controls has created its own unique process for Equipment System Integration called DiVOM, developed in conjunction with Dublin Institute of Technology. DiVOM stands for Design, Integration, Validation, Operation and Maintenance and has been proven to save up to 30 per cent of client’s equipment operating costs.

This week also sees SL Controls launch its new engineering software range called TOTALline. Developed over ten years by SL Control’s experienced design engineers, TOTALline provides manufacturing clients with tailored solutions to deliver essential data and information to senior management and the corporate department from which key strategic decisions can be based. TOTALline’s applications are uniquely developed to provide clients bespoke solutions across four main categories – Corporate, Plant, Line and Equipment.

TOTALline applications are customisable to meet client’s unique needs and ever-changing production requirements. As SL Controls is vendor independent, the company can work with a client’s existing technologies and not burden them with a complete hardware or software re-design.

For more see www.slcontrols.com / @SLControls



The world’s first ‘Poc Fada Golf’ course opens at Howth Castle

Ireland’s largest golf complex, Deer Park Golf at Howth Castle, is opening the world’s first ‘Poc Fada Golf’ course, ahead of tomorrow’s highly anticipated All-Ireland Poc Fada Final. This new game, combining hurling with golf, was launched today by Dublin GAA All-Star hurler and TV pundit, Liam Rushe.

Offering a unique golfing experience, the Poc Fada Golf concept was developed by Julian Gaisford-St Lawrence, whose family built Howth Castle, in consultation with David Caulfield of Beann Eadair GAA and Humphrey Kelleher, former Dublin hurling manager and Chairman of the National Poc Fada Committee. The rules are similar to golf – each hole carries a par and the aim is to hit a sliotar into the ‘larger’ holes in as few shots as possible.

“We in the GAA are delighted to endorse the imagination and initiative undertaken by the Gaisford-St Lawrence family in introducing Poc Fada Golf. The concept links the two ancient games of hurling and golf in a very new setting, overlooking Ireland’s Eye. It’s a fun game that incorporates a number of hurling skills including striking from the hand, lifting and striking from the ground and the art of sideline pucks. I have no doubt that this game will go from strength to strength” said Humphrey Kelleher.

Poc Fada was founded in 1960 in the Cooley Mountains, Co. Louth where it is still played. Famous for its breath-taking scenery, Deer Park Golf’s Poc Fada Golf course is the only comparable venue in Ireland with its spectacular views over Howth Head. The concept of the competition originates in the Irish legend of “Táin Bó Cuailgne” when Cúchulainn set out from his home to the King’s court at Emain Macha hitting his sliotar before him and running ahead to catch it.  

Offering a new and fun experience, Poc Fada Golf promises a great day out and can be played by all ages. The new Poc Fada Golf course follows Deer Park Golf’s launch last year of its popular FootGolf course. Deer Park Golf hopes the course will attract new players to the complex and looks forward to welcoming hurling teams and enthusiasts from Dublin and elsewhere in the country to try their skill at this new and exciting sport.

After a hard day’s fun, players can relax and get something to eat at Deer Park’s Club House, with a delicious new menu created with Howth Castle’s on-site ‘The Kitchen in the Castle’ cookery school.

“We continue to offer one of the country’s best golf courses with spectacular views over Dublin Bay and are constantly looking to provide the very best golf as well as new and fun experiences. Alongside our golf courses, our new FootGolf course has been attracting a new audience and we believe our Poc Fada Golf course will do the same. We have had great feedback so far from FootGolfers and hope to continue this with hurlers, GAA enthusiasts, groups and families looking for a great day out. 

The Dublin Minor Hurling Team played our FootGolf course with hurleys and sliotars in the Spring and we look forward to welcoming them back to a course that has been specially designed with players like them in mind” said Julian Gaisford-St Lawrence.  

Located in North County Dublin, just 20 minutes from Dublin Airport and 10 minutes from Howth Dart station, the grounds of the historic Howth Castle features Ireland’s largest golf complex. Fred Hawtree designed 18 and 9 hole Golf Courses, 18 hole FootGolf, a Pitch & Putt course and now Poc Fada Golf, are open to visitors seven days a week all year round.

From €10 per person, special group rates available. Open seven days 8am to 8pm.

See www.deerparkgolf.ie  / 01-8326039    


Farmers working with pesticides at greater risk of neurological and health problems

Ireland’s leading PPE and Workwear Company urges farmers to ensure they are properly protected

A leading Irish company is urging farmers and others who operate pesticide sprayer applications to be aware of new Irish legislation. From 26TH November 2015 all operators of chemicals and sprays must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine. The move has been welcomed by leading PPE company Portwest as a recent study in the US of over 19,000 farmers revealed those working with pesticides have a greater risk of developing neurological problems and other side effects.

Pesticides play an important role in farming however many are known to have negative side effects on people as well as on the environment. The study was conducted by Freya Kamel of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and examined a range of symptoms, ranging from headache and fatigue to memory loss problems.

The study, which examined the long term effects of pesticides, found that farmers with a higher lifetime exposure to pesticides had more neurological and health problems. Other short terms problems encountered include, accidental inhalation of pesticides and skin and eye irritation.

Sean Ryan, Horticulture development manager with HCT Learning, a specialist Health and Safety training company in the Southeast of Ireland says “One of the areas we are involved in at the moment is for the pesticide application training, specifically regarding the purchase and application of pesticides and herbicides. More work needs to be done to ensure that farmers are made aware of what equipment and clothing they should wear while handling chemicals, such as the proper types of masks and gloves and clothing to be worn as skin contact and the breathing in of fumes are the biggest risk factors.”

During pesticide spraying, unintended exposures can occur in the general area where pesticides are applied. Very low levels of exposure are proven to have adverse health effects. Symptoms are often very subtle and may not be recognised immediately.

Portwest has developed special Pesticide handling kits that guarantee the safety of farmers when handling poisonous substances. The first of its kind on the market for farmers and other sprayer operations, the Irish company which is run by the Hughes family from Westport in Co Mayo are Europe’s most trusted name in work-wear, personal protective equipment, safety footwear and leisurewear.

Portwest employs over 2,000 staff worldwide and have offices in Ireland, the UK, Poland, Germany, Dubai, China, Bangladesh and the USA.

Specialist Pesticide handling kits are available from all main agri-stores