Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week


Dublin IVF Breakthrough

RESEARCHERS at University College Dublin have made a major breakthrough in the development of IVF treatment for infertile couples.

It is hoped that the discovery will lead to a higher rate of successful pregnancies and a lower number of multiple births for couples undergoing IVF treatments here and abroad.

The UCD team found a way to measure the potential success rate of the embryo before it is transferred back into the woman's womb.

University College Dublin doctors hope their discovery will help the selection of potentially successful single eggs which will increase the chances of pregnancy succeeding and reduce multiple births.

The scientists have discovered that the fluid surrounding the egg within a woman's ovaries holds metabolic information that can improve predictions on which embryo is more like to lead to a successful pregnancy.

Dr. Lorraine Brennan, of the UCD Conway Institute and one of the authors of the study, explained how they analyzed samples of this fluid around immature eggs before they were retrieved for IVF.
They found significant differences in the fluids from women who successfully achieved pregnancy after IVF.
Evening Herald

Couple Dies Within 1 Hour
A CO. Limerick woman who died within an hour of her beloved husband was buried beside him last week.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Goff, a native of Ballingarry, passed away in St. Brigid’s hospice in Kildare just an hour after her husband Denis died five miles away in Naas General Hospital.

“Daddy didn’t know she was in the hospice or that she was dying but obviously they were that united they must have known,” their daughter Elizabeth Browne said.

The last time they were in each-other’s company was on February 21 at their home in Curragh View.

“It was Pancake Tuesday.  I remember that night when they were going to bed she caught him and just hugged him and kissed him as if it was the last one. She said to him, ‘See you in the morning Denis.’ and he just said, ‘I hope so,’” Elizabeth recalled as she prepared to bury her parents last Tuesday.

Such was the popularity of the couple that thousands of people paid their respects at the removal on Monday night and again at the funeral at St. Brigid’s Church at the Curragh Camp where Denis’ long service to the army was marked with military honors.

The devoted couple was buried side by side in St Conleth’s Cemetery in Newbridge, Co. Kildare.

Limerick Leader

Hanging Flab Help
A DONEGAL man who saved his life by shedding 182 pounds has made a desperate appeal to the health minister for help to remove “shocking” bags of loose skin hanging from his body.

At 336 pounds, Damien McLaughlin, a native of Derry living in Burnfoot, embarked on an inspirational regime of weight loss after doctors told him he would die from heart failure. His heart was a ticking time bomb, he suffered from asthma, fluid retention and was prescribed 13 tablets a day before his children gave him a gift of gym membership for Father’s Day in 2010.

He had initially been offered gastric band surgery on the National Health Service (which automatically qualified him for body lift surgery) but declined, vowing to beat the bulge all by himself.

Spurred on by family and friends, the 41-year-old married father of two transformed his lifestyle and lost an incredible 182 pounds in just 13 months. Such was the amount of body fat he cast off, he dropped three shoe sizes and shrunk by more than two inches.

Now weighing just 147 pounds and with his serious health fears behind him, McLaughlin is fuming at the health service’s refusal to remove his sagging bags of loose skin.  He’s already saved NHS money by refusing gastric band surgery but can’t foot the £20,000 body lift surgery bill himself.

He believes the decision to deny him the surgery sends out the wrong message. “People are not given the incentive to lose the weight themselves. The way I saw it, I put the weight on so it was up to me to take it off. I did it, but now I’m totally unsightly -- I have bags of skin hanging off my body. I’ve toned it as much as I can but it’s still shocking for people,” he said.

Donegal Democrat

Call to Ban Gum

TRIM Tidy Towns's battle against chewing gum has received a huge boost with the arrival of a Nilfisk Gum Buster machine.

Trim hit the national headlines in January when Councilor Gerry Reilly suggested that chewing gum be banned from the town during a council discussion about the problem of gum on local streets and the expense involved in removing it.

Trim had just been named as Ireland's Tidiest Town in Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) anti-litter league, and Reilly suggested that Trim could become the first town in Ireland, or indeed Europe, to ban gum, which is the most expensive and time-consuming form of litter to remove.