Croí 2019 raffle winners announced!

Much-needed funds raised to support stroke survivors

The Annual Croí Golden Ticket Raffle results were announced on Wednesday, December 18, with 90-year-old Peg Murrin from Co. Donegal winning the top prize of €2,000! The second prize of €1,000 went to Claire Connolly from Oranmore, now living in Australia. Claire’s Grandmother Julie, a stroke survivor and member of Croí’s Stroke Support Group, purchased the ticket for her granddaughter.

The draw took place at 1:30pm in Croí House, with a total prize fund of €5,000.

An incredible €65,000 was raised through Croí’s annual Christmas fundraiser, with funds going to support stroke survivors and their carers. With thanks to generous donors, Croí is able to offer free stroke support services, including specialised physical activity programmes and support groups.

Former Garda Sergeant John Kelly from Cregmore, Co. Galway pulled the winning names from the draw. John survived a stroke eight years ago and now receives specialist support from the Croí Health Team, including communication sessions with a Speech and Language Therapist.

The winners of the 2019 Croí Golden Ticket Draw:

  • 1st prize, €2,000 – winner is Peg Murrin, Donegal
  • 2nd prize, €1,000 – winner is Claire Connolly, Australia
  • 3rd prize, €500 – winner is Ursula Dineen, Sligo
  • 4th prize, €250 – winner is Ultan McDonagh, Galway
  • 5th prize, €250 – winner is Kevin Cume, Co Clare

6th – 15th prize, €100 – winners are Marie Partridge, Dublin; Thomas Walsh, Mayo; Flan Tierney, Clare; Margaret McLaughlan, Donegal;  William Quinn; Marie Darcy, Galway; Marian Carey, Donegal; David Kavanagh, Galway; Derek Kennedy, Galway; Hugh Martyn, Galway.

Seller’s prizes: Sr Margaret Coyle, Galway; Kathleen Heraty, Mayo; Kathleen Joyce, Galway.

Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets – your support helps us continue to help stroke survivors and their families. Special thank you to our Golden Ticket Raffle prize fund sponsor Coen Steel for their generous support, and Corrib Oil for sponsoring the sellers prizes.

Pictured from left: David Coen, Coen Steel, our Golden Ticket Raffle Prize Sponsor; special guest, Santa; John Kelly, member of Croí’s Stroke Support Group.
Pictured from left: David Coen, Coen Steel, our Golden Ticket Raffle Prize Sponsor; special guest, Santa; John Kelly, member of Croí’s Stroke Support Group.
Winners Announced social card

Mayo airport staff raise a record €41,000 for three Irish charities

Article from The Connaught Telegraph

Ireland West Airport staff have presented a cheque for €41,395 to the airport’s three staff nominated charities for 2019 – Croí, Hope House and The Jack and Jill Foundation.

Over the course of 2019 a number of events took place with Ireland West Airport employees getting involved to support the three charities.

The most successful fundraiser in 2019 was the annual Portwest 5km Runway Run, which saw over 1,200 people take to the airports runway in March.

This year was a particularly memorable year for the Runway run as it was the last time a run took place on the runway before it was resurfaced over the summer.

The famous runway, which was built in the early 1980’s, has welcomed over 10 million passengers and this years run was a historic one for those taking part.

The other major fundraiser was the airports bumper online charity draw in partnership with our three charities, which took place in August, and offered fantastic prizes such as All Ireland Final tickets, Ireland Rugby tickets and flights to Cologne and Tenerife from Ireland West Airport.

There was a fantastic response by the public and the draw raised almost €10,000 for the three charities.

In addition all donations left in the charity boxes in the various locations at the airport by passengers throughout the year contributed to the significant funds raised for the three charities in 2019.

Speaking at the cheque presentation, Joe Gilmore, managing director, Ireland West Airport, said: “2019 has been a memorable year at the airport as we look forward to celebrating record passenger numbers and the completion of a number of facility enhancements and improvements.

“This year is the fourth year of our charities of the year initiative and we are delighted to be presenting a cheque to the three charities, for a record amount of €41,300, which will make a significant contribution to the great work been done by these charity organisations.

“I am very proud of the continued support and commitment of our own staff in raising significant money for their nominated charities every year and would also like to express our gratitude to our customers, who so generously contributed to the charities through their donations in the charity boxes at the airport.

“The fantastic work that these charities all undertake really does make such a difference to the people that they support in our community and we look forward to a successful year of fundraising with three new charities in 2020.”

Neil Johnson, chief executive, Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity commented: “We are so grateful for this incredible support. These funds will go towards our community work in Co. Mayo as part of our Croí Third Age Programme, changing lives through healthy ageing.

“Thank you to everyone who contributed and special thank you to the staff at Ireland West Airport for choosing Croí as one of the 2019 charity partners’.

Claire Sheeran, The Jack and Jill Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have been presented with this fantastic donation.

“Over the last 12 months, Ireland West Airport has helped secure over 850 home nursing care hours for our 45 sick children currently living in Connaught.

“This generosity and commitment from Ireland West Airport staff and visitors makes such a difference for our families.

“The Jack & Jill Foundation must raise over €3.5 million per year to fund what families call ‘the Gift of Time’.

“Time to get a nights sleep, go for a walk or take another sibling to a local match all the while knowing that their very sick child is warm and cosy being cared for by a nurse/carer at home. Our service runs 365 days a year, has no waiting list and helps families in every community across Ireland.”

Dolores Duggan, director, Hope House, said: “We are absolutely delighted and so grateful to the management and staff at Ireland West Airport for choosing Hope House as one of their Charity Partners for 2019.

“On behalf of everybody at Hope House, staff, residents, former residents and members of our continuing care programmes and their families we want to say a very special thank you to Ireland West Airport and to everyone who supported the fundraising events during the year.

“We were truly overwhelmed to receive such a huge donation and will use the donation well to help addicted people and their families.

“Everyday at Hope House we are dealing with emerging trends in alcohol, gambling and drug use. Not a day goes by that we don’t have an enquiry from a family member or addicted person looking for help. Once again a heartfelt thank you to all the staff at Ireland West Airport.

The above article was published by The Connaught Telegraph
Charity 2019 pic 1

Croí Dietitian Tips for a healthy Festive Season!

by Croí's lead dietitian, Suzanne Seery

Be Consistent in Your Eating Habits
Maintaining a regular meal pattern throughout the festive season can help prevent over-eating at meal times or snacking. By sticking to regular meals, you can enjoy a few treats and achieve a healthy balance.

“All foods fit, it’s the portion size that matters!”
A healthy relationship with food comes from being less restrictive and enjoying all food groups. You can enjoy larger portions of healthy foods while still being able to enjoy smaller portions of the treats you love.

Combat Stress with Good Mood Food
As much as we love Christmas, it can be a stressful time. Eating your veggies is key in helping manage stress and helping your immune system fight off the dreaded cold and flu! Vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins can be depleted with stress. Vegetables that are in plenty supply over Christmas such as cabbage, kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are a super source of these nutrients.

Less Sugar & More Spice
Replace some of the sugar you eat with traditional Christmas spices for fabulous flavour and some can even help soothe digestive upsets such as ginger & cinnamon.

Be Mindful in Your Eating
This is the perfect time of year to practice mindful eating. With all the work that goes into preparing meals at Christmas, once you are sitting at the table, take a moment to slow down and relax. Take a breath, enjoy the sensation of the food in your mouth. Slowly chew each mouthful savouring the flavour and texture. Slowing our eating has been clinically proven to help prevent over-eating and indigestion.

Go Easy on the Alcohol
Although it may make us feel a bit merry at the time, alcohol can affect our skin, cause bloating and bloodshot eyes. It can also affect our mood and mental health.  Try adding some sparkling water to your wine to make a spritzer, choose bottles of beer and lower alcohol options instead of pints. Watch those Christmas cocktails too, they can be very high in sugar. Choose slimline tonic or sparking water as a mixer. Alternating with a tall glass of sparkling water with ice and some citrus slices can be just as refreshing and enjoyable!

Beware of the Buffet
Christmas parties bring with them platters of plenty. If heading out for a Christmas event, try and stick to your routine during the day as much as possible and have a light snack or meal beforehand. This will help curb your intake of  high fat, sugar and salt snacks that are usually served up this time of year. Have a little of what you fancy and enjoy it!

Get a Good Night’s Sleep
The party season can be exhausting and if we are tired and low in energy, it can be so much easier to be less active and indulge in the high sugar and high fat foods. Ensure you are getting enough sleep to enable your body to fully recharge so it is ready to rumble again the next day.

Show off Your Christmas Moves
Whether it’s getting out for a walk, taking a dip or going for a bike ride, make time for some exercise over the Christmas. Going for a walk in a local park is a great way to catch up with friends! Now is also a good time to set yourself an exercise challenge for the New Year. Fun runs are great events to get involved in. Your local county Sports partnerships website should provide details of sporting events in your area.

Looking for an activity to take part in over the Christmas? Why not join Croí Friends in Annaghdown for their Annual St. Stephen’s Day Turkey Fun Run!

Healthy Christmas swaps!


  • 50g creamy/cheesy dips for 50g salsa (Saving 13g fat, 111kcal)
  • 1 large (70g) chicken goujon for 2 mini chicken satay skewers (Saving 6g fat, 137kcal)
  • 2 small sausage rolls for 2 cocktail sausages (Saving 1g fat, 24kcal)
  • 1 (50g) vegetable samosa for 1 ball (17g) of falafel (Saving 2.5g fat, 61kcal)
  • 2 cheese straws for 1 large breadstick (Saving 6g fat, 75kcal)
  • 25g crackers for 25g of vegetable sticks (Saving 5g fat, 110kcal)
  • 30g Stilton cheese for 30g goat’s cheese (Saving 4g fat, 67kcal)
  • 100g sausage stuffing for 100g chestnut/fruit based stuffing (Saving 15.2g Fat, 90kcal)
  • 100g roast potatoes for 100g Boiled Potatoes (Saving 4.4g Fat, 40kcal)
  • 1tbsp brandy butter for 3tbsp low fat custard (Saving 5.2g fat, 54kcal)
  • 2tbsp double cream for 2tbsp Greek yoghurt (Saving 14.2g Fat, 117kcal)
  • Luxury bread sauce for bread sauce made with semi-skimmed milk (Saving 262kcal)
  • 1 tsp butter/oil on vegetables for herbs/spices/lemon zest to flavour vegetables (Saving 4.1g fat, 37kcal)
  • 150ml Bailey’s for 150ml white wine (Saving 19g fat, 340kcal)
  • 200ml hot chocolate with whole milk & cream for 200ml Hot Chocolate with semi-skimmed milk & mini marshmallows (Saving 9g fat, 42kcal)
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Reflexology Helping Stroke Survivors

Excerpt from the 2018 Croí Annual Report

Penny Jones has been practicing complementary therapies for many years, and for the past six years she has worked with 800+ stroke survivors in Galway, in a Reflexology project funded by Croí.

One morning each week, Penny alternates her time between three stroke units: St. Anne’s Ward at University Hospital Galway, Hospital Ground, and Unit 4 at Merlin Park Hospital, meeting with patients who are recovering from acute and long-term affects of stroke.

The effects of stroke can vary widely and depend on what part of the brain has been injured. A stroke survivor may experience paralysis, muscle weakness or loss of sensation on one side of the body.

The Reflexology treatment supports the body’s natural healing process and helps patients recovering from a stroke to relax. “It works especially well before a patient receives physiotherapy as it improves circulation and the patient has greater awareness of the stroke affected part of the body,” says Penny.

Penny’s background is in Nursing and Yoga, which compliments her practice of Reflexology. “The hospital staff are so supportive and really see the benefits for patients. It’s a real treat for patients… I listen to their stories and the treatment allows them a chance to truly relax and feel at ease,” says Penny.


Read more about Croí’s Stroke Support services in our 2018 Annual Report!

What is Reflexology?
Reflexology was first practiced by the ancient Egyptians and is based on the principal that all the areas on the body are mapped out on the feet. During a treatment, the feet are worked on with finger pressure inducing deep relaxation, cleansing, revitalising and balancing the whole system.