Second chances

Posted on: 5th September, 2016

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

In 1869, French Emperor Louis Napoleon III offered a prize to anyone who could make a low cost substitute for butter for use by the armed forces and the lower classes. The result was ‘margarine’, a manufactured food that was never designed to be healthy, nutritious or beneficial; rather simply an inexpensive substitute. “Try placing both margarine and butter at the bottom of your garden and see which one is still there at the end of the week,” says Goleen man Tom Sheehan. “If animals won’t eat it and flies won’t pitch on it, how can margarine be called ‘food’?”

In recent years, after a number of health scares, 66-year-old Tom has become incredibly health conscious, cutting out processed foods like margarine and eating organic wherever possible. This is a man who will take the bus from Goleen to Clonakilty in order to get hold of an organic lemon. “The next time you take home a bag of lemons, take the time to read the attached label,” he says. The bag of lemons that Tom shows to Mary O’Brien is clearly labelled with Thiabendazole (TBZ), a chemical fungicide and parasiticide largely used in the food industry against mould and blight in vegetables and fruits during transportation and long term deposit. “I’ve had these lemons sitting in my conservatory in full sun for at least a month and there is still not even a sign of mould. Now how can that be good for you,” says Tom passionately.

Citrus fruit has a long way to travel to our supermarkets and is usually coated with wax or resin to maintain freshness and may be treated with one or more of the following pesticides: thiabendazole, orthophenyl phenol and/or imazalil. And it’s not just citrus fruits that are coated in chemicals; apples, grapes, nectarines and strawberries are just a few of the fruits affected.

Many health sources recommend that you wash your fruit and vegetables in a vinegar and water solution to get rid of chemical traces.

Although the aforementioned chemicals are considered safe by food safety authorities, unless consumed in high doses, Tom isn’t taking any risks and has chosen to eat as much organic food as he possibly can. Every morning, he drinks a glass of water with lemon juice and turmeric added to it (both organic of course). One of the main benefits of drinking lemon first thing in the morning is that it can help stimulate your liver, flushing out toxins and it also aids digestion. Turmeric is well-known for it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties and in India, traditional medicine uses turmeric in the treatment of a range of ailments and disorders including cough, diabetic wounds and rheumatism.

Tom wasn’t always so concerned about his health and lifestyle. As a young man working in sales he travelled the world, spending a number of years in the US, before returning home to Ireland, and then moving into property sales in Romania. “I drank like a fish and smoked like a trooper, ate a poor diet and did very little exercise,” he says. Over a period of time, Tom suffered a stroke, two heart attacks, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, an aneurysm and poor circulation. After a near-death experience, he was finally forced to take a good hard look at his lifestyle. “I was given a second chance and I took it. Nine years ago, I almost died, everything in my body just about gave up. My doctor at Bantry Hospital told me that if I drank or smoked again, I’d be finished.” So, Tom went home and never did go for that last pint or smoke that final cigarette. “I was on 26 tablets a day and I looked about 95. I felt terrible,” he says.

With the help of his partner Manuela and by doing a lot of research, Tom started making serious lifestyle changes. “It wasn’t too late for me so I hope that other people will read this and start caring more about their health and way of life,” he says seriously.

Today, Tom takes just one tablet a day to prevent seizures, a condition, which he believes is a result of his overuse of Aspartame, an artificial sweetner. Although one of the most popular sugar substitutes on the market, used in every thing from cereals to soft drinks, in recent years there have been claims linking Aspartame to a multitude of ailments, including cancer, seizures and MS. “I ate them like sweets,” says Tom. The safety of aspartame has been extensively studied over the years and although experts worldwide have concurred that aspartame is safe for use, many still disagree.

Colloidal Silver is another contentious product but one that Tom believes very passionately has excellent health benefits. Proponents of colloidal silver claim that it is a powerful, natural antibiotic and preventative against infections. It has been hailed as a ‘super’ antibiotic. Tom takes the supplement every day and claims he feels great as a result. “I haven’t had a cold or a flu jab in three years,” he says. “I was sceptical when I first started using it but after it cleared up a dry, scaly patch of skin on my face that had been there for years, I knew there was something to it.”

Colloidal silver is a health supplement that is created by immersing tiny particles of silver in a collodial base solution. Silver is thought to make the immune system more active and thereby more effective at fending off disease. Scientific studies have shown that pure silver quickly kills bacteria. From treating conditions such as conjunctivitus and acne to healing wounds and burns to being used as an effective deodorant and mouthwash, the uses and benefits of colloidal silver are many and varied.

There have been countless studies performed on the therapeutic benefits of various colloidal minerals. For example, if you suffer from a condition like Type 2 diabetes, it may be worth taking a combination of Magnesium, Chromium and Collodial minerals. Collodial supplements penetrate straight into your cells and give immediate results, which is why they are more effective than tablets.

Whether it’s looking into the benefits of products like collodial silver, seaweed or coconut oil or investigating the chemicals that we come into contact with every day on so many products, Tom believes in making informed health choices. “The only reason I went from 26 tablets down to one a day is because I researched and researched and questioned and questioned my doctors,” he says. “I have had so many health problems and not only am I still standing but I feel great… there are times when I think I’m a young fella again,” he says.

“Just a little bit of awareness can have a profound influence on your health. But don’t take my word for it, go and find out for yourself.”

Tom gets his collodial silver from a company in Romania ‘Salutifer’ that distributes in Ireland and the UK. For more information, email or call 089 4153854.

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13th April, 2018  ·  

An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
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12th April, 2018  ·  

The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing

For more information please contact
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