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Visual animation to help children with haemophilia



A new animation which can be used as an education tool to help children with haemophilia has been created by Kerry students.

‘My Buddy Cormac’, is an informative and positive awareness animation about the condition and focuses on the experience and challenges faced by children when treatment in hospital is required.

It's a collaboration involving students from the Creative Media Department at the Kerry Munster Technological University, Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin, and the Irish Haemophilia Society.

Haemophilia describes a group of inherited blood disorders in which there is a life-long
defect in the clotting mechanism of the blood. A child’s diagnosis is life-changing for both the child and the parents.

The story is told from the perspective of a child and it delivers an enlightening and creative take on events.

It's aimed at children aged between eight and 12, and will be made available on the CHI Crumlin and Irish Haemophilia Society websites.

The project was developed by MTU work placement students, Jack Finnerty (lead animator), Grace O’Shea, Jack Roche and Kate Mc Donnell (illustrators and storyboard artists) who are all studying a BA (Hons) in Animation, VFX and Motion Design at MTU.

Patrick Lynch, who was the script writer, music composer and sound designer on the project, is studying a BA (Hons) degree in Music Technology at the MTU Kerry campus.

“Working with people we deeply admire and respect and being part of a project that will bring awareness to this condition, while also imparting reassurance to young children and families experiencing the condition, has rendered 'My Buddy Cormac' a milestone in all of our careers,” Patrick said.

PROJECT: Patrick Lynch was the script writer, music composer and sound designer on the 'My Buddy Cormac' project.


The project was coordinated by lecturers Rosie Dempsey, who is the industry coordinator, and Marty Boylan, animation course leader.

They said the collaboration with Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin has been an invaluable opportunity for students to apply their knowledge to real world problems, while also benefiting from the enriching experience of seeing first-hand the amazing work the medical team undertakes.

Dr Beatrice Nolan, Consultant Haematologist at CHI Crumlin, said the educational aid developed by the students will make a big difference to young children with haemophilia and their families.

“It will make learning more fun and enjoyable and help the child and family develop a deeper understanding of haemophilia and joint bleeds. It will be much easier for families to access this educational tool online and we hope to develop more in the future."

Brian O’Mahony, Chief Executive of the Irish Haemophilia Society, added that “this project provides information in a format which will be relevant to children with haemophilia and in language which is age appropriate".

This will be of great benefit in helping educate the children about their bleeding disorder.”

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Five questions to ask yourself before buying a stock

By Michael O’Connor, When it comes to investing, nothing is certain. There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy. […]




By Michael O’Connor,

When it comes to investing, nothing is certain.

There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy.

The truth is, investing is hard, and building a portfolio of top stocks that beat the market is something that even financial professionals have trouble doing consistently.

For most people, investing in index funds is the perfect hands-off approach, providing broad exposure to the stock market at a very low fee. Even my own personal portfolio is made up of roughly 70% ETFs despite the fact I invest in the market for a living.

But I believe some stock picking is a good strategy for many hands-on people.

Taking a small portion of your overall portfolio and diligently selecting a small number of companies to invest in gives you an opportunity to learn about the investing process and fully understand the businesses you are investing in, which helps to build conviction in your positions.

From a psychological standpoint “collector’s instinct” kicks in, enabling people to participate and invest more money over time.

Lastly, for Irish investors, there are tax benefits to consider. If you invest in individual stocks, you are taxed at the CGT rate of 33%, and the first €1,270 of your gains are exempt from CGT each year. When investing in index funds or ETFs, you are taxed at the exit tax rate of 41% with no annual exemption.

For those interested in picking individual stocks, here are five questions you should ask yourself before investing in any company.

Do I understand the business?

Too many people invest in businesses they don’t understand because it ‘sounds good’. If you have no idea how the company works, you won’t have the conviction needed to hold onto the stock when an inevitable downturn comes.

Can the balance sheet withstand severe, temporary adversity?

This seems obvious, but so many people invest in companies without understanding how much money a company holds and who they owe money to. Economic cycles are guaranteed. You must ensure that the company has enough cash-on-hand to avoid becoming obsolete when activity slows.

Will the company benefit from long-term trends?

Make sure the company will remain relevant into the future. If the stock is cheap now, it may be cheap for a reason.

Is the company enjoying profitable growth?

Not growth at all costs, but a combination of sustainable growth and value. All this information can be found online at sites like

What are the risk factors?

Is the company trying something new and untested? If yes, who are its competitors and how successful are they? If other players are more established, this company may have a tough time breaking into the market.


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Ballyspillane staff open up mental health conversation

By Michelle Crean “Hello, How Are You?” that’s the question staff at Ballyspillane Community Centre will be asking next week as part of a new campaign. It’s all in partnership […]




By Michelle Crean

“Hello, How Are You?” that’s the question staff at Ballyspillane Community Centre will be asking next week as part of a new campaign.

It’s all in partnership with Mental Health Ireland (MHI) and the centre will host an information/coffee morning on Thursday next (March 30) at 12.30pm at their centre and all are welcome to attend.

The campaign initiated by MHI identifies the need for positive engagement and connections with the people around us.

It asks people to engage in open conversations about mental health and prompts us all to ask the question “How Are You?”

The word HELLO is a useful acronym to guide everyone through such conversations, H: Hello, E: Engage positively with the person, L: Listen actively, L: Learn about the person and O: seek options to assist the person if required.

“We all need a listening and compassionate ear sometimes to get us through some challenges in our lives and I think the pandemic has opened a new way of looking at the world, where we can all recognise the challenges that people experience more readily,” Derek O’Leary, Manager of Ballyspillane Community & Family Resource Centre, said.

“Our team here are in the business of supporting families and individuals across the Killarney area and beyond and see the challenges that people face first hand. We also see the positive impact that a caring person can have in such circumstances and this campaign that encourages positive engagement, regarding mental health is a great reminder to us all, the role we can play is assisting others who are struggling.”

Ballyspillane Community & Family Resource Centre provide a suite of support and intervention services including family supports, social prescribing/community connection services and physiotherapeutic services across the Killarney municipal area and beyond.


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