Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity, Collaborates with Mayo GAA

Pictured at the launch of the Croí – Mayo GAA Collaboration from back left to right: Fran Downey, Chairperson Mayo GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee; Laurence Gaughan, Mayo GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee; Noreen Johnston, Mayo GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee; and Paul Cunnane, Croí Third Age Mayo Project Coordinator. Front left to right: Dr. Lisa Hynes, Croí Head of Health Programmes; Seamus Tuohy, Chairperson Mayo GAA; and Pat O’Donnell, Mayo GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee.

Croí to work with GAA clubs across Mayo to help promote better heart health


Croí, the heart and stroke charity, is delighted to collaborate with Mayo GAA’s Health and Wellbeing committee to develop programmes and events to help GAA club members in Mayo better manage their cardiovascular health.

The collaboration will see both organisations working closely over the coming months in conjunction with the clubs of Mayo to ensure their members become more aware of the risk factors of heart disease and stroke and the role they can play to become more proactive in managing their heart health.

Commenting on the initiative, Mayo GAA chairperson, Seamus Tuohy saidThe physical health and wellbeing of all our members is very important to us. It is not just the people on the pitch we need to look after but also the coaches, club officers, volunteers and supporters involved in our clubs. GAA clubs play a vital role in our communities and this initiative will really help put a spotlight on people’s cardiovascular health.

We are delighted to work with Croí on this initiative. Croí offer much-needed services to people right across the West of Ireland and I am sure this partnership will help to continue to promote the Croí message of “Own It, Check It, Sort It” when it comes to people’s heart health.

Fran Downey, Mayo GAA Health and Wellbeing Chairperson, commentedMayo GAA is committed to promoting health and wellbeing to its members, clubs and wider community ensuring everyone benefits in a health-enhancing way.

Working alongside Croí, whose values reflect those of the association, enables us to extend the support for clubs and the wider community by delivering evidence-based initiatives and raising awareness around wellness and cardiovascular health. It provides us with the opportunity to promote the importance of health through the lifelong participation of all our members. We are currently working on specific projects and are excited to offer these out to the local GAA Club and promote them as health hubs in the heart of every community.

Croí’s Head of Health Programmes, Dr Lisa Hynes, added “This collaboration allows us to promote and support the cardiovascular health and well-being of GAA club members right across Mayo.

Our vision is to develop a culture in County Mayo where promoting cardiovascular health and well-being is a priority for the population, with a particular emphasis on healthy ageing for those over the age of 55. We look forward to working with the Mayo GAA Heath & Wellbeing committee to roll out programmes and events to benefit their members and impact positively on their communities. We are very thankful to Mayo GAA for supporting us on the initiative.

Fruit juice: Friend or Foe?

Croí Nutrition & Dietetic Team

Like many of us, do you eagerly put cartons of juice in your shopping trolley in an effort to help your family achieve their Five-a-Day quota? Buyer beware – while fruit juice is tasty and refreshing, it is not a healthier alternative to whole fruit. So while we’re all keen to increase our daily fruit intake we should be careful not to load up on fruit juice.

The biggest problem with fruit juice is the high sugar content, lack of fibre and the quantity at which it is consumed. The main difference between whole fruit and fruit juice is the fibre content, when fruit is pressed or squeezed to make juice some nutrients and most notably fibre is lost. A small glass (100mls) of unsweetened fruit juice can provide one portion of your recommended Five-a-Day. However, if you drink more than a small glass it will still only account for one portion of your Five-a-Day!

The role of fibre

Fibre present in whole fruit has many health benefits, it promotes both heart and digestive health by helping to reduce blood cholesterol, control blood sugar levels and prevent constipation. It also keeps us feeling fuller for longer which has the added benefit for weight control. Whole fruit has moderate to high amounts of fibre, the fibre slows down the digestive process and provides a slow release of sugar in to the blood stream. Fruit juice has no fibre therefore the sugar is released in to the blood stream more rapidly and elevates blood sugar levels more quickly than whole fruit.

Be cautious of juice drinks

Many juice drinks available in supermarkets contain a small amount of real fruit juice and are often high in sugar. Therefore, it is easy to consume a large amount of calories with little nutritional benefit. Many people may consider fruit flavoured juice drinks to be a healthier alternative to fizzy soft drinks, however, a recent survey compared the sugar content of drinks regularly consumed by the public and showed that a 200ml serving of a popular juice drink contained as much sugar as the equivalent serving of well-known fizzy soft drinks. There is strong evidence to link the consumption of high sugar drinks with obesity.

Top Tips:

  • For optimum nutrition choose whole fruit over fruit juice.
  • If including fruit juice keep it to a small glass (100mls) of 100% fruit juice that contains no added sugar.
  • Remember that a small glass (100mls) of fruit juice only contributes to one of your five-a-day regardless of how much you consume.
  • If you are giving fruit juices to children, dilute it one part juice to ten parts water.
  • All fruit juices are acidic and can damage teeth so are best kept to meal times.
  • Water is the best alternative to high sugar drinks, including fruit juice.


Croí Partners with Barbers in Ballina to Raise Awareness of the Risks of High Blood Pressure

There’s only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: Measure it!

A trip to the barbers could have you looking and feeling better thanks to Croí, the heart and stroke charity, and the barbers of Ballina. To coincide with Men’s Health Week from June 13th – 19th Croí is collaborating with barbers and pharmacies in Ballina to raise awareness of the importance of regular blood pressure checks and managing high blood pressure.

Having your blood pressure measured is quick and easy!

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a sign that the heart and blood vessels are being overworked which in turn increases your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. Croí encourages men this Men’s Health Week to know their numbers and visit their local pharmacy for a blood pressure check.

During Men’s Health Week, customers to the participating barbers in Ballina will receive information on the importance of blood pressure checks along with a list of pharmacies in the town offering free blood pressure checks. Participating barbers in Ballina include Nikki’s Barbers, Amanda’s Barbers, Lewy’s Barber Lounge, Kev’s Kutz, Gabby’s Turkish Barber, O’Rourkes Barbers, Hallahan’s Barbers and Ricky’s Barbers.

Commenting on the initiative, Croí’s Head of Health Programmes, Dr Lisa Hynes, said:We want the people of Mayo to become more aware of their cardiovascular health and this campaign during Men’s Health Week really allows us to do that in a very focused environment. 38% of men in Ireland are living with high blood pressure and we want to do all we can to reduce this number. After all, getting your blood pressure checked is quicker than getting your hair cut and it could save your life!

The participating pharmacies in Ballina include Molloy’s (Bunree Road), Molloy’s (Garden Street), Kilroy’s (Emmet Street) and McKane’s (O’Rahilly Street).

For more information visit Follow Croí on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @croiheartstroke.

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“This Men’s Health Week take just a few minutes to visit your local pharmacy and get your blood pressure checked, it’s quicker than getting your hair cut. Own it, check it and sort it!”, says former Mayo GAA footballer, Liam McHale, pictured with Nikki Galvin from Nikki’s Barbers in Ballina and Paul Cunnane, Croí Third Age Mayo Project Coordinator.