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See the Light walk. Taoiseach Enda Kenny joined Meath East TD Helen McEntee along with other TD's, Ministers and staff at the Oireachtas on the final leg of their walk from Ashbourne to Navan to raise funds for the mental health organisation Aware. Photo by: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Ireland's Eye, a roundup of top news stories, October 2nd, 2013

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See the Light walk. Taoiseach Enda Kenny joined Meath East TD Helen McEntee along with other TD's, Ministers and staff at the Oireachtas on the final leg of their walk from Ashbourne to Navan to raise funds for the mental health organisation Aware. Photo by: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

The judge said this led him to conclude that prison was not the best outcome. He handed down a two-year sentence, suspended for five years.
 
Newry Democrat
 
Gay Games Support

TAOISEACH (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny has thrown his weight behind Limerick’s bid to host the Gay Games in 2018.

The bid committee will find out on October 7 if they have been successful in lobbying for the right to host the games in Limerick, which could be worth millions to the local economy.

The taoiseach has written a letter of support backing the bid to the Federation of Gay Games, in which he guaranteed a traditional Irish welcome for everyone who attends the 2018 event and said “Ireland is waiting, do come and join us.”

If Limerick is announced as the host city in Ohio this October, the games could have a multi-million euro boost for the city and the region in five years’ time.

Up to 12,000 participants are expected to take part, along with 15,000 spectators over a 10-day period in August 2018. It has been estimated that the boost to the economy could be as much as €50 million.

Limerick is vying against Paris and London in the bidding process and Cillian Flynn, spokesman for Limerick’s bid, said hosting the games would “reinforce the quality of Limerick’s sporting infrastructure and build capacity for organizing other major sporting events into the future.”

The team behind Orlando’s bid, which lost out on a shortlist spot last June to the trio of cities, have also endorsed Limerick’s bid.
 
Limerick Leader

Elderly and Isolated
A LOCAL study carried out on isolation and depression in aged men living alone by Mary McTernan from Grasp Life for her masters in cognitive behavior therapy makes some sad and revealing findings.

Twenty participants over 65 were interviewed as part of the study. Of the 20 local men, 12 were widowed and eight never married.

The main impact of the study describes the effects of loneliness, isolation and the lived experience of depression. The study identified the experiencing of stigma, prevalence of suicidal ideology, the role of religious belief and the awareness (or lack of) services available in the community.

In Leitrim, the age of residents over 65 is above the national average.  Unaware of help and support, depression in aged men has become more prevalent, and the admission statistic for psychiatric hospitalization was almost one third higher than the female rate in Leitrim 2011.

Loneliness and isolation was reported by 13 of the participants. Bereavement, ill health (including depression), retirement relocation and lack of transport were major factors mentioned.

Becoming a burden on their family was a concern. Almost three-quarters of those interviewed did not eat salad, and a fry was the main meal of the day. Twelve had experienced feeling down and two had experienced suicidal thinking.

Of the 12 who said they felt down, only 50 percent of those prescribed medication took it due to stigma. Ten participants said they would not tell their doctor, a family member or a close friend if they needed some one to confide in. Five participants concluded that their doctor was too busy.

The changing structure of community, with local services closing down and a lack of transport giving them less chance of social interaction, was noted by many of the participants.

The study recommends older men to get out of the house once a week, and to make contact with someone each day, if only a phone call.

Leitrim Observer

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