Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    Valerie cox

    Spina Bifida

    Ireland has one of the highest rates of Neural Tube defects in the world, more than one child in every 1,000. One of these neural tube defects is spina bifida and, in this country, 35 children a year are born with this congenital disorder.

    Tomorrow, a report based on a national study on the current health and therapy needs of these children will be launched by the National Tertiary care centre for Spina Bifida and Hydrocehalus based in Temple Street hospital.

    Sean was joined in studio by Dr Jane Leonard, Consultant paediatrician in Temple Street Childrens’ Hospital who was involved in the research. And Valerie Cox has been talking to the Catherine Campbell who lives in Dromiskin, outside Dundalk in Co Louth, whose eleven year old son, John Thomas, has spina bifida. She told Valerie about the problems with the services for a child with spina bifida.


    Dun Laoghaire Makeover

    Vacant shops, failed businesses, parking problems...they could be the challenges facing any town in Ireland.  But this was the seaside town of Dun Laoghaire in Co Dublin and the business people decided to fight back.  Six months ago they voted to become a Business Improvement District and tonight they will launch their new Website to entice visitors, shoppers and business people into the town.  Valerie Cox has been to Dun Laoghaire to find out more.


    Motor Insurance Case

    Next we turn to the case of a 72 Wicklow man who will never walk again following a road accident. He was awarded compensation of more than €300,000 euro but this has been denied to him because the driver's insurance company - Setanta - went into liquidation. His solicitor say up to 2,000 people in Ireland could also be refused compensation. Valerie Cox has been talking to Ned Heffernan who has ended up in a nursing home.


    Food Poverty

    One in ten people in Ireland are living in food recent months we have seen the rise in people attending food centres, the opening of special food banks and reports that people are facing a choice between paying their bills and buying food for their families.  Valerie Cox has been investigating this trend...



    Which tribe will beckon you?  Which creature will represent you? Will you scurry around nervously with the mice? Or will you posture with the stags or forage with the foxes or even swoop with the owls?  This is how the organizers of the City of Waterford’s 22nd Spraoi Festival want you to get involved this weekend.  Valerie Cox has been getting a sneak preview...

    Reek Sunday

    Yesterday was Reek Sunday and up to twenty five thousand people travelled to Murrisk in County Mayo to climb Croagh Patrick. Valerie Cox was among them.


    Mexican Students

    Tequila, Chihuahua, Tijuana...these are the hometowns of Ireland’s latest influx of foreign students...from Mexico.  Valerie Cox has been to visit the Galway school which is extending a hearty Bienvenidos to the Mexicans.



    In 1951 a young curate was assigned to a Parish on the edge of the Atlantic, the village of Glencolmcille in Co Donegal.  It was a poor Parish with no industry, no electricity and no running water.  Over the next thirty years that young priest embarked on a cultural and economic revival, transforming his parish and starting a series of industries which are still providing jobs today...that young curate was Fr James McDyer.  Valerie Cox has been to Glencolumbkille to see his legacy.


    Divorce Courts

    For the past few months we've been reporting from the Family Law courts which were, until January, closed to the media. Yesterday our reporter Valerie Cox moved to the Circuit Court which handles Ireland's divorce applications.


    Tower Hill

    Last Summer our reporter Valerie Cox visited the Tower Hill estate of 55 houses in Ballymote in Co Sligo at the request of residents who said their lives had become intolerable through anti-social behaviour, vandalism and intimidation by settled travellers. People had moved out and only 18 of the 55 houses were still occupied.

    Last weekend Valerie returned to Tower Hill and she spoke to Sean as did Sean former local Councillor Pat McGrath and to Martin Collins from Pavee Point.

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