Social and Educational Factors of Obesity

[Speaking in the Seanad during Statements on Tackling Obesity in Ireland] I welcome the Minister and I am sorry I was not in the House for his opening address. I welcome the priority he and the Government will give to this problem. Many of his medical school classmates, younger women and men than me, will … Continue reading

Alcohol Consumption

[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of the Fianna Fail Bill – Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Fund Bill 2014] Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire Stáit. I was just doing a quick mental inventory of the number of people I know personally who have taken their lives over the years, and I could make … Continue reading

Absence of dermatologists; Cancellation of Obesity Surgery; Banking Inquiry Committee

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order Of Business] I apologise if I sound like a broken record but this is yet another day without a dermatologist in the part of the country with the highest incidence of skin cancer, despite months of advance notice. I hope this issue is being addressed as a matter of … Continue reading

Directive for the immediate suspension of all obesity surgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital

[Speaking in the Seanad] An Cathaoirleach: I have notice from Senator Crown regarding a motion he wishes to raise under Standing Order 30. I call Senator Crown to give notice of the motion before I give my ruling. Senator John Crown: I am sorry to interrupt the Minister. I call for an urgent debate, on … Continue reading

Children’s Hospital; Energy; Obesity and; Banking Inquiry

[Speaking during Order of Business in the Seanad] Link to video: In the context of news reports earlier today, will the Leader seek clarification from the Minister for Health and his Department on whether the discovery of a hitherto unsuspected complex and fairly ancient sewer system under the site for the proposed national children’s … Continue reading

Health issues related to cancer

[Speaking in the Seanad on the report of the Seanad Public Consultation Committee: ” How lifestyle changes can help reduce cancer rates”] I must admit I knew very little about the fact that this process was taking place or the consultations it involved. Consequently, I am approaching it as something of an ingenue. That said, … Continue reading

Food Wastage

I am sorry if it sometimes seems like I am trying to make very profound statements from these poor, Independent, academic benches, but the Minister and his ministerial colleagues who have responsibility for energy and water policy have the most important Departments. Long after the penny drops that our future as a species is not … Continue reading

The need to improve health awareness and physical fitness

I was reminded that I had a brave patient — I can mention her name because we spoke openly about her on many occasions — who, sadly, is no longer with us, named Ann Burns. Ms Burns used to run a triathlon to raise funds for our charity every year. One often hears of extraordinary … Continue reading

Tackling obesity through ‘sugar’ taxes

The Minister for Health has recently acknowledged the severity and implications of the obesity problem in our society. It is a problem we rate as being second to, and perhaps on a par with, tobacco as a cause of premature ill health. In addition to the well known increasing risk that obesity contributes to heart … Continue reading