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.

Reilly succeeded in raising awareness of the problem of littered chewing gum when the local media, and then the national media, picked up on his call for the council to look into banning the sale of chewing gum in the town.

As a result of the media coverage David Jordan, Trim resident and senior executive with Nilfisk Ireland, donated the use of a Gum Buster machine to the Trim Tidy Towns committee.

The machine helps remove gum litter from footpaths and will be used on the streets of Trim over the next number of weeks.

Trim Tidy Towns is also aiming to reduce chewing gum litter on the streets by introducing the GumTarget Chewing Gum Initiative, which aims to reduce chewing gum litter by encouraging chewers to dispose of their gum responsibly.

Meath Chronicle

Savage Locked Up
A 21-YEAR-old Corkman has begun an eight year jail term after he attacked a woman in her sixties as she was walking home from bingo and dragged her off the main road and sexually assaulted her before threatening to kill her.

Liam Smith from Charleville had pleaded guilty to one count of sexually assaulting the woman and two counts of threatening to kill her at the Turretts, Rathgoggin, Charleville on September 18, 2011.

Detective Garda Gary Costelloe told Cork Circuit Criminal Court how Smith had come up behind the woman as she walked home and punched her twice on the back of the head until she fell to the ground, whereupon he dragged her into the driveway of a house.

The woman offered Smith her purse but he ignored her and dragged her along the ground and threatened that he would kill her if she did not stop screaming before punching her in the face and knocking out her dentures, and then carrying out a serious sexual assault.

The woman's top and bra had been pulled up and her pants pulled down as she was dragged along the ground.  Smith then proceeded to sexually assault her for about five minutes, Costelloe said.

He again threatened to kill her six or seven times and left only to return moments later. The woman feared he was coming back to kill her before he left again, and she managed to make her way to the road where she flagged down a van and got help.

The woman suffered extensive physical injuries, but she spoke in her victim impact statement of how she could cope with the beatings, but was struggling to deal with the invasive sexual assault which she still could not understand.

The woman left the courtroom as Smith took the witness box to apologize for his actions, saying that he could never express his remorse for what he had done and that he was out of his head with drink and drugs at the time but he knew that was no excuse.

"I am deeply sorry for what I did. I can't imagine what I put you through -- I was out of control on drink and drugs-- I know that is no excuse. I will have remorse for the rest of my life for what I've done," he said.

Judge Patrick Moran noted that he had given Smith a two-year suspended sentence in February 2011 for a serious assault in which he had hit another young man with a gas cyclinder on a night out in Newmarket.

He had suspended that sentence in good faith after Smith had given an undertaking to be of good behavior but when doing so, he never imagined in his wildest expectations that Smith would going to attack someone in Charleville in such a horrific manner.

Moran activated the two year suspended sentence for Newmarket assault and, observing that Smith had subjected his victim to "a disgusting and revolting" assault, imposed an eight year sentence for the sexual assault.

The Corkman

Sunshine St Stephens Green. Pictured are Griffith College students, clockwise bottom left, Franny Lequen from Germany, Kate Glowa from Germany, Anna Marie Vall from Sweden, Annette Soreide from NorwayMark Stedman/Photocall Ireland