‘Older People and their Dogs’ exhibition in Beara

Posted on: 5th October, 2015

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

Above: Mary O'Sullivan and her faithful friend Shep. Photo: Denise O'Sullivan

The Beara Camera Club’s exhibition, entitled ‘Older People and their Dogs’ opened in the library in Castletownbere last month and will run until mid October. The exhibition, which was opened by Seán Ó Laoghaire, Community Arts Facilitator, features photographs of older people in Beara and beyond and the relationship they have with their dogs.

The event is part of Beara PAWS for Wellbeing, a joint project between the HSE and local community organisations, which aims to highlight the positive impact dogs can have on our physical and mental health.

At the opening, Seán Ó Laoghaire said that dogs provide friendship, loyalty and companionship and “are a lightning rod for our emotions. If you’re sad, or feeling depressed, they can take your emotion and ground you.”  He added that no matter how much we love and care for our dogs, they “love (us) more and look after (us) a lot more, without (us) realising it.”

Brídín Ashe, Community Worker with the HSE, said that dogs could help make a difference to our health and wellbeing. Studies show, she said, that people with dogs are more likely to exercise and have increased social interaction, both of which are good for your physical and mental health. Dogs add routine to your day, which is especially good if you’re feeling down. Maybe the most important thing is that they provide companionship and unconditional love which can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.”

While more conclusive research is needed, studies also show that: Interacting with a dog may help heart health by lowering blood pressure and regulating the heart rate during stressful situations; Stroking a dog may help you feel calmer and reduce stress by boosting levels of feel-good chemicals in the brain; Having a dog in the home may help build the immune system.

Beara PAWS for Wellbeing will hold a Blessing of Pets on Sunday, October 4, at 2.30pm on the pier in Castletownbere, to mark World Animal Day and St. Francis of Assisi Day. All are welcome. The project is also running a competition on dogs for fifth and sixth classes open to all the national schools in Beara.

For further information on the project, please contact Brídín Ashe, HSE Community Worker, on 086 787 2273.

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

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