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Danny Healy-Rae calls it “Puss Book”. Why? Because, apart from everyone’s face, everyone’s paw marks are all over it.

Well, guilty as charged. I have given up Facebook for Lent (apart from the odd peek). Removed the app from the iPad, so every time I am tempted to take a break and see what’s happening on FB, and maybe release a bit of stress by giving out about something, or get a buzz by gazing at a painting on the arts sites I follow, or see the news from “friends”, I have to think of something else to do.

But it is easier to give up the fags than Facebook. Granted, I can still sneak the occasional FB fix and sure who will know? No smoke will rise if I go the long way round via password and email and access a peek (a bit like smoking outside) - though there is the risk of letting off steam and hot air.

Even if I remain inside for my fix, no physical toxins will attach from my screen. So, what of it then?

The problem is everyone will know, actually. Facebook is watching me and everyone else and each time I log on they not only know what I am up to, they know where it is I am up to it!

Facebook began for me as a journalistic tool, but has become a daily attraction, sometimes a several times a day habit, a nightly engagement, and a bit of fun. But I am getting less enamoured with it. I am also becoming increasingly self-conscious not just in what I say and what I reveal indirectly about myself in “likes”. And sure isn’t it all likes and isn’t everything happy-clappy on FB where it is the best of all places in the best of all possible worlds. Isn’t it now? (Unless you make an awkward remark and disturb the ever narcissistic glass pool.)

Only that the New York Times tells us in a piece by an FB insider that “when Russians decided to target Americans during the 2016 election, they didn’t buy TV or newspaper ads, or hire a skywriter. They turned to Facebook, where their content reached at least 126 million Americans.”

Facebook prioritized data collection, handing over information about their users instead of protecting them. In other words, it doesn’t give a fig leaf for any of us.

Worse, the spied upon have a hand in it themselves in opening the door and revealing their own worlds. In all innocence. Figs? We are back to the garden, Adam and Eve, too, bit the apple, probably not realising the consequences fully.

Anyway for now, I am trying to resist the bite.

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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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