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New Clinical Director of Medicine appointed in Limerick.

Dr. Catherine Peters, new clinical director of medicine

This week UL Hospitals Group announced the appointment of Dr Catherine Peters as Clinical Director for the Medicine Directorate. Dr Peters has been a Consultant Physician and Geriatrician at University Hospital Limerick since 2012. She succeeds her colleague Prof Declan Lyons in her new role.

“I am delighted to take up the role of Clinical Director in Medicine and continue the excellent work undertaken by my predecessors,” said Dr Peters. “Delivery of excellent quality care to our patients has always been our goal. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Medicine and the Executive at University Hospital Limerick Group to further develop specialty services and improved access for the people of the MidWest region. Provision of exemplar care and clinical expertise will be my priority.”

Peter’s area of interest is stroke and she has been involved in the development of an acute stroke pathway in University Hospital Limerick. This has resulted in the provision of specialist stroke services, thrombolysis 24/7 and improved outcomes for patients suffering a stroke in the MidWest region.

She was appointed Associate Clinical Director in Medicine, UL Hospitals Group, in January 2016.

Medicine is one of four directorates providing care to patients across UL Hospitals Group. The Directorate is responsible for the medical requirements of all patients across UHL, Ennis and Nenagh hospitals. It provides both inpatients and outpatient services. The Medicine Directorate is structured around general medicine and specialist services including gastroenterology, cardiology, acute medicine, neurology, emergency medicine, nephrology, respiratory, dermatology, rheumatology, endocrinology, oncology, haematology, palliative care and infectious diseases.

Commenting on the appointment this week, Prof Colette Cowan, CEO, UL Hospitals Group said: “Catherine has proven herself to be a tireless patient advocate since joining the Group and our services have improved as a result.”

Blood bike
Brendan Caffrey and David Scullane of Blood Bike Mid West; Prof Colette Cowan, UL Hospitals Group chief executive; Larry Hunt, Blood Bike Mid West; Mary Donnellan O’Brien and Kevin O’Connell of the UL Hospitals Group

“I would also like to acknowledge the immense contribution made in this regard as Prof Declan Lyons as Clinical Director in Medicine over the last two years,” she added.

More about health here.

Up to 3,000 jobs to be created in Limerick


The development of the landmark Opera Site in Limerick will deliver up to 3,000 jobs.

That was the prediction at the formal signing of contracts for €85 million Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) finance for the project today.

Representatives of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and Limerick City and County Council today put the formal seal on the financing arrangement, which paves the way for the start of the €200 million project that will deliver state-of-the-art commercial, office, retail and cultural space in the heart of the city.

The €85 million CEB funding is matched by an existing commitment by the European Investment Bank (EIB) bringing to €170 million the total funding secured for the project. This paves the way for the development, with a planning application to An Bord Pleanála to follow a public consultation in the spring. The project will be developed by Limerick Twenty Thirty over a six year period to LEED Gold standards. An employment hub, it will transform into a bustling night-time destination complete with restaurants, bars and open entertainment spaces.

The Opera Site will be the largest single project in the Limerick Twenty Thirty programme Already progressing at pace with the development of the 80,000 sq. ft LEED Gold ‘Gardens International’’ office accommodation project on Henry Street that is set for completion in the summer, the overall programme will deliver €500m worth of transformational infrastructure across key strategic sites.

Governor of the Council of Europe Bank, Dr Rolf Wenzel explained: “It will be a catalyst for economic growth across Limerick, lifting all areas of the city, particularly those with higher levels of unemployment.”

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Stephen Keary said “It will revitalise city centre trade, stimulate our property market and attract further investment to Limerick.”

Cllr Stephen Keary

Limerick City and County Council Chief Executive Conn Murray said “The Opera Site is going to deliver an unprecedented social dividend for Limerick, which in ten years or so will stand out as a European model for how to rebuild urban economies.”

Denis Brosnan, Chairman of Limerick Twenty Thirty said: “Limerick is now moving onto another level with the Opera Site. The Limerick public can look forward to a very bright future.”

More business news here.

Five professional plays to stage in 24 hours

Marketa Dowling set the challenge

NOT HIGH concept, but what a concept. Patented too, by the 24 Hour Plays Company of New York. Consider ‘time limited theatre’, a play or plays conceived, written, cast, produced and staged over two sweeps of the 12 hour clock. And it’s coming our way….

Belltable:Connect curator Marketa Dowling, who programmes Belltable performances, festivals and films, is the initiative behind Limerick’s first ever fully professional commitment to the challenge. She is relishing the role of producer for the five 24 Hour Plays that will emerge overnight on Friday January 19 from a start point of 10pm, everybody having assembled for introductions at 8pm.

We the audience will sit in to the freshly staged anonymity and novelty of these works on Saturday 20, 8pm. They will be bound together by an impressive line up of writers, directors, techies and actors, more than 30 in all. The entire 24hr event will wrap after this “energetic and spontaneous” suite of plays roll out, each at most 12minutes in length.

Dowling takes Arts page through the skits and giggles, many a chuckle out her Czech accent as she elaborates. “All the people involved are professional, not students, doing it in 24 hours. It’s a first time for Limerick. We came up with a great list in the end, either established artists or those mid career or emerging”.

A significant connection to Limerick or having engaged with the Belltable over the last two years was essential. You’ll recognise the writers: Helena Close, Mary Coll, Mike Finn, Liam McCarthy and Paul McNamara.

The directors are stand out, award winning: Ann Blake, Tara Doolan, Paul Meade, Terry O’Donovan and Joan Sheehy. Mags O’Donoghue is line producer and Marketa Dowling herself is producer.

“Everyone involved meets at Belltable at 8pm Friday. Everyone has to bring one prop and one piece of costume and these go into a common storeroom.”

Choosing the cast is by lottery, names from a hat and “every play will have three or four actors. The writers begin at 10pm in the Belltable Hub and the directors come in at 7am to work [on finished scripts]. Everything happens in “five different rehearsal rooms at Belltable. We want to keep it quite contained, keep an eye on them!”

Note that the playwrights have been sent off since 6am and their scripts handed over unsigned.

Clock this for a dream team of actors: Shane Whisker, Katie O’Kelly, Pius McGrath, Frances Healy, Jean McGlynn, Gene Rooney, Pat Ryan, Zeb Moore, Norma Lowney and more, many more. Each unit accesses the stage for one hour before the curtain goes up to give the technical team a chance to plot sound, light, effects, working with the director to realise their vision.

Book for this fright-night frolic at venue manager www.limetreetheatre.ie


UL get into the business of awards.

Laura Woods, Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick and Marie Ryan, Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare Photo: Oisin McHugh

University of Limerick conferred awards on more than 550 graduates at ceremonies on Tuesday.

UL, this week, celebrates the graduation of more than 1,600 students across its four faculties as it holds its annual Winter Conferring Ceremonies. On Tuesday, it conferred two hundred and eighty one awards on students from the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences and one hundred and fifty one from the Faculty of Science and Engineering a­­longside one hundred and nineteen graduates from the joint UL Professional Diploma in Mathematics for Teaching.

At the ceremony University of Limerick president, Dr Des Fitzgerald highlighted a number of recent milestones in the development of both faculties.

In the past twelve months, UL’s Faculty of Education and Health Sciences celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Psychology Department and the first graduates from the MSc Physiotherapy (PQ) delivered in partnership with HSE colleagues in University Hospital Limerick; Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe; St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny; Galway Primary Care and Portlaoise Hospital. 2017 also marked the tenth anniversary of the foundation of the Graduate Entry Medical School.

The Faculty of Science and Engineering has seen significant investment and development during recent years including: the launch of the School of Design; the introduction of common entry routes to undergraduate programmes; the opening of the Bernal Institute, which houses two Science Foundation Ireland-funded National Research Centres, as well as the world-class Titan Themis microscope; and, the establishment of Confirm Centre for Smart Manufacturing, a €47-million SFI research centre which aims to become a world leader in smart manufacturing research.

Other recent achievements in the faculty was the naming of Bernal Institute Professor of Crystal Engineering Mike Zaworotko as Science Foundation Ireland Researcher of the Year 2017.

Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC), an SFI-funded research centre led by UL, was named Pharma Research Centre of the Year at the Pharma Industry Awards 2017 for the third consecutive year.

Dr Fitzgerald paid tribute to the graduates following Tuesday’s ceremony saying, “Today’s graduates join a global club of University of Limerick alumni who are making positive contributions in the fields of education, healthcare, engineering and science. Graduation marks the end of one journey for students and the beginning of another even more exciting one. The students graduating from UL today have proven their commitment to expanding their academic knowledge and honing their professional skills: many will enter, or re-enter, the workforce, while many others will choose to continue their study. The number of UL graduates taking up employment in the west, mid and south-west continues to increase, with 62% of UL graduates in 2016 working within the region. The high concentration of graduates in the mid-west will continue to be significant in attracting foreign direct investment to the region and will be fundamental to the development of the western corridor. No matter what path our UL graduates choose, we wish them the very best and look forward to hearing about their many successes in the future”.

Ceremonies at the university began on Monday when three hundred and twenty one undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Kemmy Business School (KBS) were conferred, including one hundred and one employees of the Revenue Commissioners.

Over the past year, KBS was named ‘Best Business School in Ireland’ by Chambers Ireland –the second time in five years it won this accolade. KBS was also recognised by the UN for its work under the Principles of Responsible Management Education initiative in 2017. The school has also continued to improve its international ratings and accreditations, and secured significant funding for its research under Horizon 2020.

On Wednesday, UL will confer awards on two hundred and forty graduates of the Faculty of Science and Engineering’s Departments of Engineering, Chemical Sciences and Maths as well as two hundred and forty six graduates from Kemmy Business School’s Department of Management and Marketing, the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences’ Department of Clinical Therapies (now the School of Allied Health) and a number of interfaculty programmes.

UL’s winter conferring ceremonies will conclude on Thursday morning when two hundred and seventy one people graduate from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Throughout the week, some sixty four PhDs are being awarded as part of UL’s continued commitment to fourth level education in Ireland. Once again, this year’s ceremonies were live streamed via the UL website.

More education news here.

Joy for Limerick as renowned referee promotes engineering careers.

15.01.2018. Limerick for Engineering Launch, Analog Devices, Raheen Limerick. Joining Joy Neville to launch the event were, Cara Herdman, Laurel Hill, Eoghan Herdman, St. Clements and Rachel Cahalane, UL. Picture: Alan Place

International World Rugby Referee of the Year, Joy Nevillie launched Limerick for Engineering Showcase 2018. The showcase aims to encourage school leavers, particularly young women, to consider a future in a highly skilled, well paid engineering career, in the Mid West.j

Already breaking down stereotypes on the sports field Joy Nevillie joined forces with Limerick for Engineering at the launch of its annual mid-west showcase Monday evening to encourage more young women into the field of engineering.

The Mid West Limerick for Engineering Showcase 2018 will take place on March first, in Shannon Airport, and offers secondary school students, guidance counsellors, parents and teachers an opportunity to meet more than thirty mid west companies (indigenous and multi national); it allows them to observe their most cutting edge technologies, witness demonstrations by their full time engineers and receive first hand information about this exciting and ever developing career path.

Representatives from Limerick Institute of Technology, the University of Limerick, the Limerick Clare ETB will also be on hand to outline the various courses and routes that are available to students, and provide information on interesting engineering careers in the Mid-West.

Limerick for Engineering Launch, Analog Devices, Raheen Limerick.
Joining Joy Neville to launch the event were, Louise Bible, UL, Rachel Cahalane, UL, Rob Corby, UL, John Stenson, Ard Scoil Ris, Kalin Foy, Cholaiste Ciaran Croom, Roisin O’Halloran, Crescent Comprehensive, Eoghan Herdman, St. Clements and Cara Herdman, Laurel Hill. Picture: Alan Place

In it’s fourth year, the free showcase is the brainchild of the Limerick for Engineering consortium – an industry led collaboration between 30 leading companies in the mid west; the region’s education providers; and IDA and Enterprise Ireland.

Lending her support to Limerick for Engineering’s objectives, former rugby international Joy Nevillie said she was delighted to support an initiative that not only works to further develop a highly skilled and well paid sector in the mid west, but also actively encourages young women into this exciting and lucrative career.

“Limerick for Engineering’s purpose is to increase the quantity and quality of engineering talent in the region, while encouraging more women into the sector. There is no reason why women should not make up fifty per cent of the engineering sector in Ireland, and this showcase opens up the various engineering career possibilities to all school leavers – male and female, their parents, and guidance councillors.”

Speaking at the showcase’s launch in Analog Devices, Raheen Business Park, Limerick Monday evening, Paschal Meehan, Head of the Faulty of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology at LIT & Chairperson of Limerick for Engineering had one simple message: “Engineering is for everybody. The recent significant success in delivering jobs to the region means that never before has there been such a wide range of new and exciting careers available in engineering. These careers are in different disciplines and at many different levels and specialisms such as apprenticeships, technicians, engineers along with research and development,” he said.

Barry O’Sullivan, General Manager, Johnson & Johnson Vision & President of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland added, “A career in engineering is a career in the mid west. There are 23,200 employed within the engineering sector in the region with an expected growth rate of 4,700 engineering jobs nationally through to 2020. The engineering profession is the second highest occupation growth rate, and we are keen to support that growth with a well paid and skilled workforce,”

“For anyone with an interest in engineering as a career the Mid West Limerick for Engineering Showcase 2018 is an event not to be missed.” he concluded.

More education news here.

#BREAKING Health alert as measles case confirmed in Limerick


A case of measles has been confirmed in Limerick and the HSE is writing to all patients at risk of exposure advising them that they are in danger of infection.

The risk of exposure has been  at the following times and places:

Thursday, January 7 (20.40 to 23.50) Shannondoc, Dooradoyle;
Sunday, January 7 (13.30 to 16.00) Shannondoc, Dooradoyle;
Sunday, January 7 (14.00 to 00.30) Zone A of the emergency department at UHL;
Tuesday, January 9 (11.00 to 13.00) Zone A of the emergency department at UHL.

Anyone who has been exposed and is not immune to measles (either through natural infection or MMR vaccination) may develop measles up to three weeks following date of exposure.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread easily.  The time between exposure to measles and developing the rash is usually 14 days (range 7-21 days). People are infectious from 4 days before rash starts until 4 days after.

Symptoms include: high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a red rash that starts on head and spread down the body. The rash, which normally starts a few days after onset of illness, consists of flat red or brown blotches, which can flow into each other. It lasts about 4-7 days.

Vomiting, diarrhoea and tummy pain may also occur.

Anyone who develops measles symptoms should stay at home from work or school; call the Department of Public Health at 061 – 483338 to advise that you think you or your child may have measles; contact your GP to see you at a time/place when no one else is there.

Your GP may organise a test to confirm the diagnosis – this is usually done by using a small swab that takes a sample of the oral fluid from the mouth.

According to the HSE, the best protection against measles is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine. All children should get MMR at 12 months of age and the second dose at four to five years of age. If your child missed their scheduled MMR vaccine, you should contact your GP to get the age appropriate dose.

People most at risk are those who either have not had measles infection or are not fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine such as babies younger than 12 months who are too young to be vaccinated, and those with weakened immune systems.

More information on measles here

More news here

#BREAKING Man dies in three vehicle crash at Birdhill


Gardaí are at the scene of a fatal collision which occurred at around 2pm on the M7 at Birdhill involving three vehicles.

A man in his 70s has been fatally injured and two other people have been brought by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick.

Gardaí and emergency services are at the scene and diversions are in place.

The  southbound lanes of the motorway between junctions 26 (Nenagh) and 27 (Birdhill) are expected to remain closed to traffic overnight.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact them. Anyone with information is asked to contact Nenagh Garda Station (067) 50450, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111 or any Garda Station.

More news here

Riverdance composer’s tribute to Limerick’s Dolores

Bill Whelan views his native Barrington Street Photo: Keith Wiseman

RIVERDANCE composer and freeman of Limerick City, Bill Whelan sent a message of tribute and condolence on the death of Dolores O ‘Riordan through Limerick’s Cultural Committee this Tuesday night.

The message was read out a meeting of the committee in the council offices in Dooradoyle, where a minute’s silence was observed to mark the passing of the Cranberries star.

Mr Wheelan’s message read: “When a fine artist and performer departs suddenly, her home city feels the grief intimately. When that artist was at the height of her powers with much left to do, then that grief is more sharply felt.

“But nothing equals the wrenching loss felt by her children, her loved ones, family and friends. Dolores you have left warm memories and a legacy which will keep growing in the coming years, and a city which is proud to have been her birthplace and her home.

more local news here


Waves and seaweed cause Limerick road closure

road flooding, aquaplaning, flooded road

The N69 at Mount Trenchard, outside Foynes is currently flooded due to strong winds and high tides with waves and seaweed blowing onto the road.

A spokesman for Limerick City and County Council said that the road will be closed until 8pm tonight to prevent aquaplaning and for the safety of all road users.

The following diversions are in place:

  • West bound road users are advised to take the R524 Shanagolden, travel via Shanagolden towards Ballyhahill and onto Glin or Ballyhaill and return back to the N69.
  • Eastbound road users are advised to turn off the N69 at Loghill, travel towards Ballyhahill, turning left for Shanagolden and onto the R524 and return back to the N69.

More local news here

Limerick people get a say in the future of policing

Commission on future of policing
Commission Chairperson Kathleen O’Toole with Limerick Labour Party TD Jan O'Sullivan at the public meeting on the future of policing. Pic: Don Moloney

A WIDE range of issues involving the effectiveness of the local Garda force was raised at a public meeting of the Commission on the Future of Policing at Thomond Park last night.

The meeting which was attended by members of the public, community groups and elected representatives, was part of a nationwide initiative to get people’s views on the future of policing.

The Limerick meeting was the fourth in a series that will continue in other parts of the country over the coming weeks. The Commission is also visiting Garda stations as part of its outreach programme.

Established by the Government last May, the Commission is tasked with undertaking an independent, comprehensive examination of all aspects of policing in Ireland, including all functions currently carried out by An Garda Síochána, as well as the full range of oversight bodies.

Chairperson Kathleen O’Toole said that the opinions of the people of Limerick would be central in informing the Commission’s deliberations.

“Through these public meetings and our call for submissions, the Commission wants to stimulate a genuine national conversation on the future of policing in Ireland – so we would encourage everyone who didn’t get the chance to meet us in Limerick to send us their views and opinions,” she said.

Members of the public are invited to make submissions here  before January 31.

More security news here


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