Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The Corona Chronicles - should I stay or should I go now?

There is not one person in the world right now who needs an introduction to that damn virus so I won't bore you with it. 

So where do I even begin?

This day two weeks ago was my last day at work for the foreseeable future, at the time I naively thought that I would be back to work in two weeks.  Boy was I wrong.

Today is March 31st 2020 and at the time of hitting publish on this blog post in the United States there are currently 166,214 cases with 3,192 of those resulting in death (Worldometers Info).  New York is currently the epicenter of this pandemic: 67,325 cases with 1,342 resulting in death (Worldometer Info by state). Even as I type this it is getting further updated and I can't keep up. 
As you can imagine it is pandemonium - not just here but every corner and crevice of the world. 


The melting pot that was once bustling with millions of tourists, New Yorkers and those who wish they were is now a silent eerie drum of the unknown.

It is a scary time in New York as well as the rest of the world and not a day goes by in this quarantine where don't I sit in my tiny New York apartment and think - this isn't real, this can't be happening. But then I am quickly brought crashing down to earth as my phone sends me another virus update that yes, this is real, also it's a Tuesday you should be at work?

Things that I once craved and wished for on my busiest days at work are now at my leisure (but with more restriction's in place) and while I selfishly say it has been a treat to have extra time to watch that Netflix show I've been putting off, cook meals that I've always been 'too busy' to make and go for walks at any time of the day; the cabin fever is slowly but surely setting in. Yesterday I also had to say goodbye to a friend from 6 feet away which was a very surreal experience that I never in my wildest dreams would imagine happening and put me in a very weird funk. 

I have devoured numerous pieces of literature and opinion pieces surrounding New York and this crisis so forgive me for forgetting the source but I read that 'New York was not built to be empty' and it couldn't ring more true. 

Grand Central Terminal - March 22nd 2020 - Photograph Sinead Healy 
My body aches for a bustling New York again - sirens blaring, horns beeping, people moving in 17 million different directions every hour of every day. Crowded streets, the screeching of the subway tracks as it enters a station, the man on the corner of West 41st and 7th who makes music by hitting upside empty buckets, the halal guys on ever corner, the subway musicians, the tourists standing in the middle of the street as you rush to work - yes I even miss the tourists. 

Each day in New York brings with it a constant adventure - you never know who you'll meet or how your day could end. Day's off or as I like to call them - My New York days brings with them endless possibilities - you could start them by having coffee by yourself in a quiet borough of the city and then end it in a dive bar somewhere in alphabet city after you went to see a show that your friend of a friend got free tickets for. 

The constant hum that escapes from the concrete walls of New York city, that IS New York city has been silenced - you can hear a pin drop and something about that just doesn't sit right.  

The walls no longer shake with the flow of heavy traffic on 21st street here in Astoria they now just house my millions of thoughts as they bounce off the four corners of my bedroom walls. Sirens that you once became accustom too now freeze you in fear as you wonder what poor person has fallen ill to this god forsaken virus.  

So should I stay or should I go? 

I've had aunts, cousins, friends and old co workers write to me and ask me, and TELL me that I should move home and while I'm grateful for the concern I'm also a bit annoyed. At the minute going home isn't an option as I've built a life here in my new 'home' and my job that I love is here, my friends are here and I honestly don't think my mental health would survive Ireland right this minute. I never once considered going home - my parents are both in their 60's so going home and possibly infecting them was never an option. My brother and his wife have three kids with a new born on the way so staying with them would never be an option. So keep in mind that before you bombard your friends abroad with messages to come home because it just might not be a viable option. 

It's a weird weird time in the world but I'm grateful I have isolation buddies to keep me sane through this all - even if if does result in all of us killing each other over card games and heads up.      

I hope wherever you are in the world you're safe and healthy. 

It's shit for now but we'll get through it. 

I miss my family, I miss my friends and I miss MY New York - BUT we'll get back to them once regular programming resumes. 

So stay inside and wash yo hands and be thankful for everyone that is working to make this all better!

Adios from a very quiet Sinead in a very quiet New York,  


Thursday, 25 January 2018

Your health is your wealth: Getting tested for Cervical Cancer

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month where people highlight issues related to cervical cancer, HPV disease and the importance of early detection. 

I'll try not to ramble too much but I feel as if I want to highlight the issue and my experience with early detection of cervical cancer and how important it is to get your smear test done. Ireland's National Cervical Screening Programme provide free smear tests to women aged 25-60, every 3 years for women aged 25-44, every 5 years for women aged 45-60.

I am not telling this story for sympathy story as I am WELL aware that this is nothing compared to what some women go through. It is just something that happened to me and something I wish I had known more about. 


When I turned 25 in February 2017, I was due my free smear test. Like most people my age cervical cancer was not something I had worried about or even crossed my mind. I thought 'Let's get the smear test over and done with' and assumed that the results would come back negative just like most of my friends. 

I got two letters to remind me of my smear test, BUT I was working full time most days in Sligo town saving all my money for America and did not have the time nor did I want to make the time to go see my doctor 30 minutes away (foolish I know). 

I marked it in my diary several times to make an appointment in Sligo with a doctor recommended by the Cervical Check website. 

Eventually in July I booked the smear test and went along to my appointment. The doctor whom I had chosen was not the happiest that I was not a regular patient of hers (even though she was one of the first doctors recommended on the list but that is another story for another time). 

Now a smear test is not painful nor it does not take long to perform. My friend had prepped me for  what to expect and had explained that even if I did get abnormal results back from my test, her doctor had reassured her that it was quiet common and most women have a few abnormal cells.  

The doctor proceeded with the test nonetheless and when I mentioned having abnormal tests results, she told me that if they come back abnormal then something is 'seriously wrong'. 


Regardless of the brief panic I reassured myself that everything would come back okay. 


Fast forward a few weeks later, the smear test was at the back of my mind but with less than a week and a half to go until I was moving to New York (did I mention I moved to New York??) for the year I got a call from the doctor. 

Before I continue here are some facts from Cancer Research UK that are highly informative.  

"If you have an abnormal cervical screening test result, you have changes in the cells covering the neck of your womb (cervix). This is not cancer. But if these abnormal cells are left untreated, there is a risk that some of them could develop into cervical cancer in the future."
"Many mild and moderately abnormal cells will go away on their own without treatment. Removing cells that are pre-cancerous can prevent cervical cancer from developing. If left untreated, pre-cancerous cells may progress to cancer cells, but that can take 10 to 15 years."

So back to the story.... 

My mother picked me up from work that day and I got a call in the car from the doctor who told me she received my test results and informed me that I had 'highly abnormal cells present around my cervix'. This meant that I would have to go for a Colposcopy - which is a procedure to closely examine your cervix, vagina and vulva for signs of any cervical disease. 

Now keep in mind I had roughly 11 days until I was leaving the country for a year, flights booked, apartment paid for which I mentioned to the doctor who strongly advised me to get it seen immediately and not to leave it for a year! 


The next few hours I cried a lot, stressed, cried some more. The thought of cancer, let alone cervical cancer had never even entered my mind and the fact that it has claimed so many women's lives made me even more anxious. 

"In Ireland, approximately 300 women in Ireland are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer each year and over 90 women die from the disease. Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of death due to cancer in women aged 25 to 39 years. In 2014, 95 women died from Cervical Cancer (statistics are taken from the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA).

I won't bore you with the smaller details but long story short after ringing the local hospital I found out it would be an 8 week waiting list, time I didn't have as I was moving my whole life to America in 11 days. So along with my parents we paid to go private and I was seen less than 24 hours after I had gotten the results. 

I took the next day off work and had the Colposcopy done in a private clinic. A Colposcopy as I explained above is a more invasive smear test. Before I had it done the specialist told me if there was a large amount of abnormal cells then I would have to have a Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP). 

"LEEP a treatment that prevents cervical cancer. A small electrical wire loop is used to remove abnormal cells from your cervix. LEEP surgery may be performed after abnormal cells are found during a Pap test, colposcopy, or biopsy."

I ended up having this procedure done due to the high percentage of abnormal cells which meant I wasn't allowed to fly for four weeks in-case of bleeding/hemorrhaging that could have happened on the long haul flight to America. 


The aftermath.....

I would say I have a high pain thresh-hold and I thought the whole procedure, both the Colposcopy and LEEP was pain free and there was no uncomfortable feeling after having it done. However my first period after this procedure was extremely uncomfortable which is normal and you are not allowed to use tampons as the risk of infection is extremely high as well as abstaining from sex for 8 weeks. 

I returned to my own doctor a week and a half later and told she me I had made the right decision to go private and explained what happens from now on.

After the procedure she explained that in the following weeks and even up to a year after the procedure in case of pregnancy there would be a high chance of miscarriage as well as other complications. But once the cervix is fully healed everything should return to normal. 

As of now I have to go for a smear every 6 months for the next 2 years to make sure everything is okay or if any more abnormal cells have returned which scares me but it is something I won't be putting off ever again!! 

I wrote this post even with all the personal and physical bits included because I wish I had known a bit more about what happens and I wasn't even aware of the after math and the other procedures I might have had to go through.  

I wish I had gone for my smear test when I got the letter immediately but you live and you learn and thankfully everything seems to be going okay so far. 

Click here to find about how and when to apply for your next or first smear test: 

Like I said at the start I am aware that this happens many women and I am lucky that I was able to pay to go private but if it makes one person aware about it then job done! 

Look after yourself ladies, your health is your wealth.



Friday, 19 January 2018

New York Diaries - 3 months in

HAPPY WEDNESDAY and welcome to my first post of 2018. Failing miserably at documenting everything but rest assured I am busy living. 

It marks more than three months since I fled that Emerald Isle of ours and headed state side for the adventure of a lifetime. And what a three months it has been.

Where to even begin....let's just start with the fact that every day does not start like the movies. Through Snapchat and Instagram I may look like I am living that Glam NYC lifestyle swanning here, there and everywhere. But it couldn't be further from the truth. I am not in an episode of Sex and the city or Friends. 

When you think you have time to yourself outside of any work you have you have to do laundry (I will never take a washer and dryer in my own house for granted every again). The noise, the beeping and the sidewalks full of people 24/7 is something to get used to. 

You think just because you live in the same city as your friends that you will see them often but weeks can go by arranging and cancelling plans because EVERYTHING IN THIS CITY REQUIRES SO MUCH EFFORT.  Thankfully my roommates are the soundest bunch of friends I have so going home to people you like at the end of the night is great - even if we can go three days without seeing each other. Also I am constantly tired and if truth be told I am a little bit meaner - this city is making me tough!

So does this mean I hate it? or want to move back to Ireland? Well not quiet. Thankfully I have not been homesick at all and while I do miss my family, I was lucky enough to be able to buy my mum flights to New York for Christmas (Dad would never in a million years want to come here!!).  

Speaking of Christmas, it was an emotional one thanks to all the Jameson consumed on Christmas Eve. Part of me was sad that I didn’t go home because I LOVE Christmas, but as my wise roommate said, we’ve spent the last 25 years at home celebrating Christmas, one Christmas away won’t kill us – plus it will make next year even more magical at home!

I've been spending my weeks and days running around looking for an internship in Journalism which is proving to be a little bit more difficult than I had imagined. Don't get me wrong I knew it was going to be tough but it is a whole different ball game. 

Needless to say I am enjoying being a tourist in this city. Eating and drinking my way around this city is not a hard task, only hard on the bank account. I pinch myself on days when I am lucky enough to take in this view. 

I walk down streets that I once seen in movies and I am walking to my apartment in Queens and catch a glimpse of the Empire state or Chrysler building peeking over the top of the buildings in the skyline I can't thank my lucky stars enough for being able to experience this city in all its smelly, crazy, weird glory.  

New York is fast paced, it does not slow down for anyone, people are mean and people are nice and all in all I've never felt more at home in a place all on my own - even with 9 million other people squished into the smallest apartments you'll ever find. 

    Photos by: Emma Finnerty


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

New York Diaries - I've made it

Hello, from a very sunny New York City! 

Polaroid by @oldchemical 2nd Oct 2017. Brooklyn Bridge. 
I  wanted to do a blog post of my early days here in NYC before I forget some of the things I think are important to remember.

So I arrived off the airplane last Friday the 29th of September - I flew with Norwegian Air and I have to say for a low budget flight it was perfect. The staff were so nice and the food/drink on board was sufficient for what I needed - but with that being said I did also buy loads of snacks before I got on the plane!  

So hoping off the 8 hour flight I jumped on the express bus outside Stewart International Airport that would take us into the city - a long, VERY long two hours later I arrived in Port Authority and was met with the bright lights and beeping noise that is Times Square. Thankfully I had someone who knew what they were doing meet me off the bus so we quickly jumped in a taxi outside Port Authority (there is a taxi rank so it was easy to grab one) and headed off to Queens to my new apartment. The yellow taxi cost only $21 dollars plus a bit more for a tip, but overall it was cheap and dropped me right at my door! 

Fast forward four days later and here I am sitting in my new room that was thankfully furnished when I moved in - has plenty of storage and a nice street few, of well a street but still it's not of a wall so that's a bonus! 

I'm still tired, I've been going to sleep at 9/10 at night because I can't keep my eyes open and then waking at 6/7 but I suppose that is a good sign as I can make more use of my day! 

My biggest worry about moving here was navigating my way around the place - terrified because I didn't have any 3G. On Saturday I braved the subway, bought my weekly ticket (it cost $31 and for a monthly it is $116 but I went with a weekly in-case I lost my monthly one!) 

Before I got on the subway I download two apps that have been SAVING MY ASS and a must for anyone visiting the city!

Maps.me and NYC Subway - both free on the app store and work offline, so you don't need Wifi or 3G. 

Maps.me tracks your location - even on flight mode and shows you were you are at all times! 
NYC subway app is a life saver, if you are at a station and no where your next one is, you just put it in route planner and it tells you exactly how long, how many changes and what line you should be on!

Uber and Lyft are also two must haves in this city - however you do need Internet access but only to request the ride, so once you have it ordered turn it off and you're good to go! 

After working every day this summer to make as much money as I could I am still in holiday mode as I begin my fourth full day here in New York -but choosing to see all the free sights as to not waste my money - there is so many things to do here and I want to see as many of the famous sights as I can before starting work.  So today I did something I have always wanted to do - Top of the Rock.

So that's all I have to update on, currently sitting here trying to find Journalism jobs online which is a bit over whelming but I am powering through. If anyone reading this wants to offer me as a Journalist then please hit ME UP! 

Today on top of the Rockerfeller it really hit home that I am lucky enough to be living in one of the greatest cities in the world. When I wake up in the morning I almost feel guilty for not jumping out of bed and going to explore right away - even now sitting on the couch I feel like I should be out exploring but I have to remind myself I have 13 months to do all that. 

Until next time.......


Monday, 3 July 2017

My First Ylog: DownPatrick Head

So I took some footage back in April when teresa and I went to Downpatrick head and I threw it all together in my first 'vlog'. Not everyone's cup of tea but I actually really like editing and taking footage so we shall see how it goes. More to come. 

Check out the video below. 


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Where I've been and where I'm going

                                 New York, New York. A city so nice, they named it twice. 

                                                                 Instagram: Nova.York

Obsessed with a city that I have never even been, does in your dreams count?

I have been transported in TV shows to a city that apparently never sleeps, I've googled and saved more pictures of the iconic skyline, I follow every Instagram account that has pictures of this city and of course the obsession with the 90's dream show: Sex and the City where a blond runs around the city buying the most expensive shoes in the world, drinking cosmos every night all the while writing one small column for a news paper. 

Or Friends, where a group of 20 something year old all gather round a cafe during the day not working all the while living in dreamy New York apartments. 

                                                                    Instagram: Rachel Murray

New York is somewhere I have always wanted to go and I am one step closer as I sent off my graduate visa application to Boston to the Irish Immigration Centre last week.  

In the last few months I have been telling people I am moving and most recently I told a customer at work (more on work later...) and he look so flabbergasted that I was planning on moving to a city the other side of the world on my own. "Why?" he asked, to which I responded, "Why not?"

Instagram: Finn Harries

I have been very absent on this platform. I had such high hopes at the beginning of 2017 to keep updated and establish myself a lot more as  a writer, I don't think the word blogger can apply to me but life got in the way and here I am 6 months into 2017 and I haven't ticked too many things off my bucket list.

I no longer work as a journalist *sigh* but sometimes you have to make sacrifices to pursue other dreams. But I think my time in my local paper gave me a lot of insight into myself personally, this blog and my career. You can get lost in wanting to be like every other 'blogger out there' and my time writing about real stories with the paper made me want to create content on this blog with real people and not simply 'here is what I am wearing' etc etc. My short lived, first real job in journalism was the experience that I needed to make me realise that yes, creating content and writing articles and stories about real people and real life subjects is what I do want to do with my work life.

I am back working as a waitress in a hotel and made that choice so I could make more money before the big move. I have to keep repeating to myself that I am not going backwards in life leaving journalism to be a waitress and keep reassuring myself you have to make some sacrifices. If you had told me that this time two years ago I would have my Masters and be moving to New York I would have laughed and then probably cried because it was something I really wanted. Yet here I am making it actually happen. 

The closer September looms around the more excited I get, I am aware how different it is going to be. I won't have the comfort of a 20 minute car journey to my home in Bunninadden, nor will I be able to pop over to one of my best friends house at the drop of a hat. I won't have my dog, parents or nephews or nieces to visit but I need something to shock me out of this comfort. This way of living, because to tell you the gods honest truth: I. Am. Bored. 

Bored of the same conversations, bored of the same scenery, bored of the lack of adventure. 
I want to be thrown into the deep end, because how else do you learn how to swim?

Instagram: Retro Flame

So the man that asked me why, why why why would I want to move to New York? an on my own?
Well I couldn't think of any other place in the world to chase after my dreams (cringe at even writing that). I am aware of how much effort it is going to take. I don't think I will land the dream apartment, job or friends at the drop of the hat. But if I don't take this chance now I never will. 

The majority of my friends are settling down, getting married and having children (yes even at the young age of 25...) and while I am so happy and pleased for them, it is not something I want for myself right now. 

But what if you end up hating it? is a question that keeps popping up in my mind time and time again. While falling on my face, failing and having to return home is something I would not like to happen I am aware that if I did at least I can say I tried.

Instagram: Lcs Closet

So if there is anyone out there who needs an intern for Journalism/PR/communications in New York city and the surrounding area or perhaps needs a new housemate for September, let me know, I'm sound I promise and I have several people who can vouch for this (sineadhealy5@gmail.com.) 


                                                    (Shout out to my No.1 reader: MMG)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Living with Lyme: The Invisible Illness

L-R: Fiona Quilter, Miriam Morrison and Avril Winters who are all part of the North West Lyme Group and suffer from Lyme Disease. Pic: Sinéad Healy    

Lack of awareness of Lyme disease in Ireland means the illness is under reported and often goes un-treated. Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the Borelia bacteria and is transmitted by infected Ticks.The most common sign of infection is an expanding area of redness or what’s commonly known as a ‘bulls-eye rash’(pictured).   

(Bulls Eye Rash: Pic: Google Images)

The disease can lay dormant in your body and attacks when your immune system is weakened. Treatment is available in Ireland, but consists of a six week course of antibiotics, which may not always be enough.

Lyme disease causes flu-like symptoms such as fever, joint pain, headaches, heart-palpitations and if untreated with anti-biotics it can result in a range of symptoms similar to chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, bells-palsy or multiple-sclerosis. 

However according to Dr John Lambert, a specialist in infectious diseases at the Mater Hospital in Dublin said it is ‘a poorly understood disease’ and the tests provided in Ireland for Lyme disease are often inadequate.

“The Lyme test is often negative, but patients can still have Lyme.  A positive test is helpful to say that the infection is there, but a negative test’s does not rule it out.  Doctors do not seem to understand this basic principle.  There are other infections similar to Lyme and other strains of the Lyme bacteria that are not picked up, so patients will get sick following a tick bite, the Lyme test is negative, and they are told ‘there is nothing wrong’ when indeed the wrong tests were done.

“Doctors debate whether Lyme can cause chronic infection, and argue over whether to treat with antibiotics for longer periods of time. Many are told just to treat for two to four weeks and no longer.  But there is good evidence that it requires longer courses of treatment if the infection has gone chronic, or has been in the system for a long period of time.

“There is a lack of awareness and a lack of studies to see how much Lyme we actually have in Ireland.  No one really knows. I think Lyme is on the increase, but also patients are more vocal now and raising the awareness and not settling for a ‘no’ answer. Patients are going out of the country to get ‘alternative’ Lyme tests done, which are more sensitive than the antibody tests done here.

“Irish patients travel all over the world so they may be picking up the infections from tick bites here (Donegal, Sligo, Galway, Kerry, Wicklow) or they may be bringing them back from the USA, Lanzarote and so forth.”

48-year old Fiona Quilter from Sligo contracted Lyme disease more than 8 years ago and is an advocate and member of the North-West Lyme Group. Fiona had her GP send blood tests to Germany where clinics specialise in treating patients with Lyme Disease. Within three days she was diagnosed with the bacterial disease.

Blood tests carried out in Ireland often do not test for Lyme, and therefore the treatment available across Europe is far more extensive. Doctors can treat it early once a rash appears after a bite, they can provide antibiotics that will stop it. 

However those suffering with the illness for years are not treated extensively in Ireland and are forced to travel to Germany and Czech Republic for intravenous antibiotics, vitamins, light therapy, oxygen therapy and many more treatments.    

“We want doctors in this country to recognise that this is an illness it is not all in our heads. We should be treated as citizens in this county and not have to go abroad for help.” said Fiona.

Miriam Morrison from Sligo received a tick bite in 2015 but it wasn’t until 2016 that she was diagnosed. She said the illness has affected every aspect of her life and was bed-bound due to pain and weakness in her legs.  
Avril Winters from Leitrim has been battling the illness for more than 10 years and believes the disease has changed her entire life for the worst. What began as an exciting holiday to Morocco in 2007 ended up changing her life after receiving a tick bite.

“I got the bull-rash on my leg where the bite was and I remember thinking, ‘I hope I don’t have this forever’

“Patients are learning to treat themselves in Ireland because doctors won’t listen. You get forgotten 
about if you don’t look sick. It can get depressing from not being heard and left to rot. I’ve had doctors treat me for depression when I knew it wasn’t mental, it was how I was physically feeling” said Avril.

In March 2014, Barry Cryan started feeling unwell and thought he was coming down with the common flu. His GP carried out routine tests, including one for Lyme Disease which all came back normal.  

Frustrated with the outcome and not feeling any better, Barry struggled with the disease for more than two years and found his memory was beginning to deteriorate. It wasn’t until he found Fiona’s story on Lyme disease in the local paper that he became aware of his options.  

“I had bloods sent to Germany and they showed that there was something badly wrong, in fact my immune system was compared with that which you would expect to see in a patient with HIV.” said Barry.

After an extensive few weeks of treatment in the Czech Republic more than 12 months ago, Barry is starting to feel ‘normal’ again. He believes that Lyme disease is rapidly increasing in Ireland – within a one mile radius of his home in Monasteraden County Sligo more than four people suffer from the disease.

“The test for Lyme Disease in Ireland is not accurate outside of a very small window when you get a tick bite, most doctors don’t recognise that. Just because you can’t find anything wrong it doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong, it just means you’re probably looking in the wrong place.”

38 year-old Shirley Breslin from Athlone was bitten by a mosquito in 2010 resulting in a large bulls-eye rash. She wants people to be aware that while ticks are common with Lyme disease, any blood sucking insect can carry the bacteria and ultimately affect its host.

After presenting her rash to a doctor they told her it was a ‘normal skin reaction to a bite’.

“This normal reaction was a text book bulls-eye rash which is associated with Lyme Disease. Chances are if I received even one month of antibiotics then, I would not have the problems I have today. That can be hard to take at times as my world has been turned upside down.” 

Shirley has spent years suffering with insomnia, chronic fatigue, pain in muscles and joints, loss of power, spasms, twitches and various other side-effects of the disease. 

After losing the power of her legs she felt enough was enough and went in search of an answer.

Shirley eventually went on to receive treatment in the Czech Republic, she takes various medication, painkillers, and antibiotics but unfortunately still needs a lot more treatment due not only to Lyme but the co-infections that accompany it and the damage it's caused to her body and immune system. 

“All patients have asked for is accurate testing with adequate treatment for an adequate and appropriate amount of time – It is not a big ask.

“I'm one of the many who are now Chronic Lyme Disease Patients/Sufferers due to the failure of not providing a simple service, a basic right that any individual should receive.” said Shirley
To find out more and for support group see: Tick Talk Ireland
(This article first appeared in the Sligo Champion on May 2nd Edition)