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Three 60
Three 60RTÉ One, Monday, 7.30pm

2006: Programme 7

Item One - Pat Carty and Irish farming

This is a story about farming and how difficult it is in modern Ireland to be employed working the land. The barriers Pat faces are the same issues that most Irish farmers are highlighting. These include difficulties with finances, long -hours, little time for relationships and a life outside the farm.

Pat Carty Pat is a wheelchair user who was in a car accident eighteen years ago. He has a deep love and passion for the land and these feelings enabled him to continue his life as a farmer after the accident. However, times are tough. Pat has taken on a second day job as a sales representative in a local business. It is not unusual for Pat to go straight from the office to tend to the animals. His working day can begin at 6am and end at 2am. Pat uses a Quad bike to get around the farm and shares how this environment can be tough terrain for a wheelchair.

Item Two - What is Fibromyalgia?

90% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women!

This week on Three 60 we meet two families who both have direct experience of the impact of this hidden disability.

Carol Anne and Damien Conlan
Bernadette Fitzpatrick and her husband Brendan share their story of how their life has changed since Bernadette began to experience fibromyalgia. They explain how that they can no longer do things together like they used to - not even plan a walk. Bernadette explains how for her "it is like living with a bad flu all the time".

Carol Anne and Damien Conlan also share what their experience has been like since Carol Anne got fibromyalgia. They explain how difficult life can be with this condition especially when you are bringing up their three small girls. Damien has had to re-define his role in the house and work towards being a "mystical new age man". Bernadette feels frustrated by not being physically able to contribute to the household as she would like.

Neither Bernadette nor Carol- Anne understood what was wrong with them for a long time. "WHAT is wrong with me?" became an ongoing question. Fibromyalgia may be a hidden disability but Bernadette and Carol-Anne's experiences serve as a reminder that this is an invisible reality.

One expert describes how the numbers of women with this condition are escalating. On this week's Three 60, two women share their stories of what life is like for them. No solutions or answers are provided, just an inside account of how these women's and their families lives changed dramatically for them.

Item Two - Support Groups for People with Fibromyalgia

The Cork Fibromyalgia Support Group
134 Evergreen Road
Telephone 021 4320 201
087 9922 468

The Irish Chronic Pain Association
Telephone: 01 804 7567

Arthritis Ireland
1 Clanwilliam Square,
Grand Canal Quay,
Dublin 2.
Tel: 01 661 8188 Fax: 01 661 8261

The Kildare Branch of Arthritis Ireland
Claire Kinneavy, Secretary
Telephone 045 433803

Fibromyalgia Support Northern Ireland
Fibromyalgia Support N. Ireland
4 Springwell Drive
BT19 6JX
N. Ireland

TEL: 08709 909220
(National rates apply)

Three 60 is sponsored by RehabCare and Fás.

Farmer Pat Carty
Farmer Pat Carty
Carol Anne and Damien Conlan
Carol Anne and Damien Conlan