World Heart Month Events

September is World Heart Month! To mark this, Croí has a wide range of virtual health events coming up this month, with a panel of expert speakers to answer all your questions.

Click the calendar below to see our upcoming events and then click the buttons below the calendar to register for the events that you wish to attend!

Zoom Training with Bridget!

Date: Every Wednesday

Time: 12pm

Risk Factors for Heart Attack and Stroke

Date: Thursday, September 23rd

Time: 11am

Healthy Eating as we Age

Date: Thursday, September 30th

Time: 11am

World Heart Day Webinar: Heart to Heart with the Croí Health Team

Date: Thursday, September 30th

Time: 7-8pm

Croí & Mayo Pharmacies launch free blood pressure checks for September

Own it, Check it, Sort it!

The Croí Third Age Mayo project, which aims to promote healthy cardiovascular ageing, is delighted to partner with local pharmacies across Mayo for the month of September to offer free blood pressure checks to people over 55 years of age who have not had their blood pressure checked in the past year.

High blood pressure (hypertension) can put a strain on your arteries and organs, which can increase your risk of developing serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes. Members of the public found to have high blood pressure will be offered advice and information, as well as the opportunity to take part in a free blood pressure management programme, delivered by the Croí multi-disciplinary health team.

“If you’re over the age of 55, you should have your blood pressure checked once a year. A blood pressure test is a simple way of checking if your blood pressure is too high. If you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it and reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke,” says Dr. Lisa Hynes, Croí Head of Health Programmes.

People over 55 years of age interested in a free blood pressure check can simply contact one of the participating pharmacies. See to learn more.

The pharmacies participating in the pilot programme are:

  • Achill – Molloy’s
  • Balla – Life Pharmacy
  • Ballaghaderreen – Molloy’s
  • Ballina – Molloy’s Garden St., Molloy’s Bunree Rd., McKane’s, Kilroy’s
  • Ballinrobe – Hynes
  • Ballyhaunis – Curley’s
  • Bangor Erris – Lavelle’s
  • Belmullet – Lavelle’s, McCormack’s
  • Castlebar – MacAuliffe’s, O’Donnell’s, Staunton’s, Treacy’s
  • Charlestown – Colleran’s
  • Claremorris – Davey’s
  • Crossmolina – Molloy’s, Quinn’s
  • Foxford – Heneghans
  • Kilkelly – Life Pharmacy
  • Killala – Lavelle’s
  • Kiltimagh – Heneghans
  • Knock – Life Pharmacy
  • Louisburgh – Staunton’s
  • Swinford – O’Connell’s
  • Westport – Treacy’s, McVann’s, O’Donnell’s, O’Connell’s, Lally’s.

Listen to your Heart – Croí Webinar on Heart Valve Disease

Join Croí for a free Heart Valve Disease webinar on Thursday, September 16th from 7-8pm.

As we get older, the valves in our heart can become diseased or damaged. Heart valve disease is common, serious, but treatable. Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week is taking place from September 13th-19th, and Croí want to raise awareness about the common symptoms of heart valve disease and encourage the public to listen to their heart!

Register for our special Heart Valve Disease webinar here!

The “Listen to Your Heart” webinar will feature contributions from interventional cardiologist, Dr Samer Arnous, and James Penny, who is living with heart valve disease. MC on the evening will be Lia Hynes, Journalist with the Irish Independent, author and podcast host. The webinar will highlight the signs and symptoms of heart valve disease and how it is detected and treated. Members of the public will have the opportunity to put their questions to Dr Arnous.

  • When: Thursday, September 16th, 2021
  • Time: 7-8pm
  • Location: Online over Zoom
  • Price: FREE

Own Your Time – How to maintain your healthy new habits as we return to ‘normal’ life

The pandemic presented immense challenges for many people, but it also had positive benefits for those freed from lengthy commutes and workplace stresses. Dr Lisa Hynes says now is the time to reflect on the lessons of lockdown. 

Dr Lisa Hynes is a health psychologist and Head of Health Programmes at the Croi, heart and stroke centre in Galway. Visit for more. 

It’s not that we have more of it, it’s just that we are spending it better. One of the defining features of the past 18 months for so many has been the transition to working from home, and the enjoyment of a commodity that we are able to appreciate now more than ever. That commodity is time. Gone are the hours spent commuting from A to B, and in its place are the seconds taken to slip out of bed and clock in at the kitchen table. Of course, juggling home working with home schooling, and everything else in between, has not been without its challenges. But there have undoubtedly been benefits for our physical health. Thanks to having more time than ever to spend on ourselves, we now have time for morning sea swims. Time for lunchtime walks in the park. Time for evening runs on the streets.

But before the world opens up again and employers start to reopen workplaces, perhaps we need to take some time out. Time out to think about what we might have learned about life under Covid-19 and what we might like to hold on to as we return to our workplace habitats.

Recently, I had the pleasure of facilitating a group of cardiovascular patients. During our discussion, one woman described how working from home had provided a huge relief from long, exhausting days. Thanks to the extra time at home, and the mental and emotional space this brought, she had been able to adopt healthy new routines, such as preparing nutritious meals and getting some exercise in.

But now she was experiencing that ‘Sunday night fear’ every day as she worried about what’s on the horizon. She has a very real fear that these new routines will no longer be possible when she’s back commuting to the office and enduring a 12-hour working day.

She was afraid, angry, and frustrated at the prospect of losing all of the ground she has gained and the hugely positive impact she has experienced for her heart health.

Dr. Lisa Hynes - Head of Health Programmes / Health Psychologist

So, how to help her? It is useful to reflect that there are three key factors that drive health related behaviours capability, opportunity and motivation. Whether it is changing our diet, starting an exercise routine, or quitting smoking, a number of thing need to line up. And we wonder why it is so difficult a make a change?

But there is help in ensuring our stars align. We are creatures of habit and the strongest predictor of what we do today, is what we did yesterday. Everyone knows what it is like to want to make a change, whether it’s drinking less coffee or going to bed earlier, and how difficult that can be. The truth is, we find it hard to make changes – because it is hard. We tend to approach change with the belief that it should be easy and, if we don’t succeed, it’s our fault. We just didn’t have the “will power”.

We know that up to 90% of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented. So why is this information not enough to have us all eating salad and running marathons? It’s because knowledge is just not enough remember, we need to have the “stars” of capability, opportunity and motivation aligned for action.

Covid-19 and its associated restrictions have impacted every aspect of our lives. We all have a story about things we are doing differently. Times of transition, like now as we begin to re-open, are highly stressful. When things get messy, we seek familiarity, comfort and control. If you are finding things a bit confusing and difficult at the moment, you are not alone.

Yet times when the chessboard gets flipped also present opportunities and the chance to reflect and decide how we want things to be. One of the key issues that we need to plan for is how we will deal with the barriers that may stop us from maintaining those healthy changes the pandemic has brought about in our lives.

We now have an ideal opportunity to look ahead and identify those challenges. Once done, we can then put action plans in place to deal with them and, even more importantly, plan how to get back on that horse should we fall off. We know what’s coming, even if we don’t know when. A return to the commute and being bumper to bumper. A return to the office and the constantly ringing phone. A return to the sandwich shop and queues out the door at lunchtime. A slow and gradual return to life as we knew it.

Think about giving yourself time out now to reflect on ways you might approach these changes to best support your heart health and overall wellbeing.

There really is no time to lose.

TAKE 5 – Lockdown lessons and adjusting to post-pandemic life


  1. Be a pleasure seeker: Reflect on the things that you really enjoyed during lockdown and think of ways to carry them forward into your new reality.
  2. Break those barriers: If you managed to create a healthy lunch routine while working from home, why not make it the evening before so it doesn’t fall victim to the snooze button? If you’ve been loving your morning walk and slow cup of coffee, why not jump into bed ahead of your usual time so you can have an earlier start?
  3. Be real: Don’t put yourself under such pressure that you‘re setting yourself up for a fall. We can make a real difference to our heart health through simple actions completed every day. Pick one or two achievable goals and celebrate your successes.
  4. A problem shared: If you are worried about the changes ahead, talk to friends and family to see if they also have concerns. It helps to share our worries and we can also uncover opportunities to support each other.
  5. Be sociable: It may take a bit of time to dust off those social skills, but social interaction is so important for wellbeing and can really support healthy routines. Why not start a lunchtime walking group with your colleagues? You’ll be able to keep up your current exercise routine and give the afternoon slump the hump.

Living well with Cardiovascular Disease: Emotional Recovery

Have you, or a loved one, recently been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or are recovering from a cardiac event? Join Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, and leading experts for a public webinar on the emotional recovery post cardiac event or diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. The free webinar takes place online using Zoom on Thursday, August 26th, from 7-8pm.

Register now and submit your questions for the experts at, or call Croí on 091-544310. Don’t miss this special event – Croí want to help you to regain your confidence and get back to living your life again.

Living with cardiovascular disease can be very difficult. At times, you may feel unsure of what to expect or limited by tiredness and pain, and this may cause feelings like sadness and hopelessness. The interactive panel discussion will address your priorities and concerns. Experts on the night include Noelle O’Keeffe, Senior Counselling Psychologist and Professional Coach, Tallaght University Ireland; and Dr. Lisa Hynes, Health Psychologist and Head of Health Programmes, Croí.

“It is normal to feel down or depressed after a cardiac event like a heart attack, a heart surgery or procedure, or a new diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. Many people with CVD will experience psychological distress, particularly depression. With support and treatment, it is possible to recover from depression and take care of your heart health,” says Dr. Lisa Hynes.

Register now at, or call Croí on 091-544310.

Introducing Croí’s new Chairman, Mark Gantly

We are delighted to welcome Mark Gantly as the new Chairman of the Croí Board of Directors. We are all looking forward to working with Mark as we continue our fight against heart disease and stroke in the west of Ireland.

A native of Dublin, Mark Gantly has spent his entire working life in Galway. His career has been wholly within the multinational sector, and he played a leading role  in developing the R&D function in what is now Hewlett Packard Enterprise Galway . He also served as site leader for HP in Galway from 2009 – 2015.  As a board member of the American Chamber of Commerce he was active in developing the multinational base in Ireland, and served as President of the chamber in 2019.

Since retiring from HPE in 2020, Mark has taken on a portfolio of work including an adjunct professorship at NUI Galway and non-executive director roles at a number of tech startups. He is chair of the western Regional Skills Forum and  a member of the governing authority of NUI Galway. He is also a board member of Music for Galway.

Mark is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the Irish Management Institute, and he is a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering.

Having previously served on the board of Croí from 2013-19, his appointment as Chair sees a return to an organisation with which he has had a long association. Mark has also been appointed as Chairman of the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health, which was established by Croí as a separate not-for-profit foundation.

Winner of Croí Volvo Raffle Announced!

Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, is delighted to announce that Don Colleran from Galway is the winner of a brand new Volvo XC40, worth over €40,000!

The live, recorded draw took place on Tuesday, August 3rd at Croí House in Galway.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who purchased tickets for our first car raffle and for making this fundraising event such a success. All monies raised will directly support the fight against heart disease and stroke. “The impact of COVID-19 will be felt for a long time to come. Many doctor and hospital appointments and procedures have been delayed or postponed, many people have delayed seeking medical help, and now we have an even greater burden of disease,” says Croí CEO, Neil Johnson

Special thanks to our sponsors, Kenny Galway and Volvo Cars Ireland.

Croí Virtual Night Run – FAQ’s

Date: Friday, October 8, 2021
Location: Virtual Event – take part in a location of your choice!
Take part at any time during the day or night

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much is it to enter this year’s Virtual Night Run?

  • Regular entry is €25, and for youths (12 yrs – 18 yrs) it is €15.
    Under 12s are FREE (No top incl.)

2. How do I register to take part?

  • You can register to take part and support Croí by clicking here.
    Registration is open until Friday, October 8th.

3. Where does this year’s Night Run take place?

  • This year’s event is virtual, so you can take part from anywhere you like and run, jog or walk a 5K (respecting safety and social distancing guidelines).
  • While we would love to be on the Prom this year, we will have to remain virtual for 2021.  A physical event of this size, takes many months to plan and unfortunately the restrictions have lifted too late for us to bring the event back in a physical form. The safety of our participants and the community we serve are our first priority.

4. Can I take part at any time on October 8th?

  • Yes, participants can take part at any time on the 8th of October, day or night.

5. How do I pick up my pack?  What if I live outside of Galway?

  • Race packs can be collected at Croí House the week of the event.  Pack pick up times are as follows:
    • Monday, 4 October 9:30am – 5:00pm
      Tuesday, 5 October 9:30am – 5:00pm
      Wednesday, 6 October 9:30 – 7:00pm
      Thursday, 7 October 9:30 – 7:00pm
      Friday, 8 October 9:30am – 5:00pm

      Social distancing guidelines will be implemented.

  • For those who wish to have their packs posted out to them, there is a postage option which can be selected during registration. If you are registered, you will receive an email once your pack has been posted.

6. Will there be medals this year? 

  • As the event is virtual and we are unable to present medals at our usual post-event celebration, there will not be physical medals this year. We have reduced the entry fee to reflect this change.

7. Do you have a size guide for the running tops?

  • The running top is unisex and true to size:
    • XS: 6-8
    • S: 8-10
    • M: 10-12
    • L: 12-14
    • XL: 14-16

8. Virtual entertainment – iRadio playlist:

  • Our Night Run media partner, iRadio, is creating a music playlist to keep you entertained and motivated while you enjoy your Virtual 5k Night Run experience. We will be emailing a link to all registrants soon.

9. What are the guidelines around social distancing while taking part?

  • Gatherings and events outdoors should be a maximum of 15 people, and you should keep 2 metres apart from people you don’t live with. For more information please visit the HSE website.

10. What are the guidelines and recommendations around using a light and wearing high-vis if taking part at night?

  • If you are taking part at night or in the evening, ensure that you wear reflective or brightly coloured clothing, especially if there is no footpath where you plan on running/walking. You should always go against traffic. For more information visit the Road Safety Authority’s website.

11. How do I share images of my participation in this year’s virtual Night Run?

  • We would love you to share your photos and videos with us on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Make sure to tag Croí in your photos/videos using: @Croiheartstroke. Remember to also use the Night Run hashtag: #CroiNightRun.

12. How should I prepare for the 5k Night Run?

  • We are here to support you on your Night Run journey and have developed Night Run Training Programmes for both running and walking goals. More details on this here: 

13. Can I register as part of a team?

  • Yes, we always welcome teams to participate in our 5k Night Run, whether it is a corporate team building exercise, a family, a sports club, or a social group. There is an option for Team/ Group registration during registration.

14. Is the Night Run chip timed this year?

  • The event this year is not chip timed, however, our sponsors at Irish Life have created a Night Run challenge on their My Life health & wellbeing app! To join the challenge, simply download the app and select ‘Croí Night Run’. The app syncs with other fitness trackers such as FitBit, Strava & Garmin so you can upload your time easily and compare with other participants.
  • Download the app here: Apple / Android

15. Can I raise additional funds for Croí while taking part in the Night Run?

  • Of course, we are grateful for any additional support! If you are interested in setting up a fundraising page please visit our iDonate page.

Have a different question? Contact us on Facebook.