A tried and tested prescription to prevent and treat advancing age!

By Maria Kearney, Croí’s Physical Activity Specialist

There is a steady decline in muscle and bone strength from the age of 40 that accelerates after the age of 65 or post-menopause in women. This can make everyday activities seem much more difficult and can also increase the risk of fracture and likelihood of future disability.

Exercise is an established and effective therapy for the maintenance of good health and quality of life throughout the lifespan. One of the most popular forms of exercise is going for a walk with the renowned Salthill Prom “wall kick” a great example of such an activity. Whilst walking is recognised as a medicine to be taken to help reduce our risk of several chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, it has limited impact on the age-related deterioration in our muscles and bones.

We need to start thinking about exercise as a collection of different medicines that can be taken in different doses to bring about specific effects. For example you would not take a blood pressure medicine to lower your cholesterol and vice versa. Likewise if you want to combat the loss of muscle and bone strength your walking “medicine” is not enough. In order to address this specific need you need to start considering lifting weights or to call it by its official name; resistance training. Let me guess, a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger popped in to your head and you have already decided that this is not for you. I urge you to read on and see if maybe your mind can be changed!

So what is resistance training? It involves performing a series of exercises where you lift a weight that you are unaccustomed to for a set amount of repetitions. It challenges the body in a very different way than aerobic exercise, like walking. Unlike walking, resistance training is a powerful stimulator of muscle, bone and nerve growth and development. It also improves balance, coordination and mobility. These are all important factors in healthy successful ageing and essential in combatting the age-associated decline in physical function.

One of the most common barriers to starting a resistance training programme centres on safety and fear of injury. However according to a large scale study of over 121 trials involving in excess of 6,700 participants, it was concluded that resistance training is both a safe and appropriate activity for older adults. Another common misconception is that age is a barrier to starting a resistance training programme. Again research is on our side here, with several studies reporting significant positive gains in both muscle size and strength in adults aged 80 and over. Furthermore the American College of Sports Medicine states that while resistance training is important through the lifespan it becomes even more so as we approach middle-age and beyond. Finally, as with all medicine, we do need to talk about the side effects of resistance training. As well as gains in muscle and bone strength, expect increases in vitality, psychological well-being, quality of life, and healthy life expectancy. These are much less unwanted side effects compared to swollen ankles and an annoying cough!

Hopefully your mind has been changed, or at least opened to the possibility that resistance training might be for you. Your next question might then be how do I get started?

Here at Croí we are running a resistance training programme specifically designed for the older adult (> 50 years of age) called Nifty Lifters. Participants on this programme are initially taught the fundamentals of resistance training including breathing, posture, alignment and technique. They are then encouraged to lift weights that are within their limits but still challenge their neuromuscular systems to adapt and develop. Expert guidance is on-hand at all times so participants feel fully supported throughout the process of learning this new skill of resistance training.

One of our current Nifty Lifters participants says, “I would not have been brave enough to go in to a gym and lift weights, but the supervision and instruction is fantastic on the Nifty Lifters programme. My confidence in my abilities has increased significantly and my posture has never been better.” Another Nifty Lifters participant commented that it is a class where he has felt “the benefits for days afterwards.”

Contact us now on 091-544310 for a full list of our Nifty Lifters classes or see www.croi.ie/classes and let’s get you started lifting your way to a healthier happier future!

Croí’s new classes will get you moving!

Improving your cardiovascular fitness is one of the most positive New Year’s resolutions you can make in 2020. To give you a helping hand, the heart health experts at Croí Centre have developed a new class timetable with offerings to get the blood pumping! Classes include Zumba, Nifty Lifters, Yoga, Pilates, Fit@Fifty+ and our popular and enjoyable Walking Football and Back to Fitness classes.

Being physically active prevents and helps control a multitude of health problems, especially heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Croí’s classes are ideally suited to anyone trying to reduce weight or improve their overall health and wellbeing, and include both aerobic and weight-lifting offerings.

“We are delighted to launch our new timetable for 2020. Our classes are so beneficial for participants, helping people to improve their fitness, decrease their risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and overall live healthier lives,” says Croí’s Specialist Cardiac Physiotherapist, Denise Dunne.

Prior to enrolling in the classes individuals will be assessed to ascertain current fitness levels and exercise will be prescribed based on this assessment. Croí offers an opportunity for those with diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary disease and other long-term health conditions to commence safe and beneficial exercise led by trained professionals. “The social interaction and group inclusion is also another vital part of the benefits of our classes. Over the last few years it has been a pleasure to see the many friendships develop between class members,” says Dunne.

Classes start back on January 6, 2020 in Croí Centre with some new offerings also available locally in Oranmore. See the new class timetable at www.croi.ie/classes and call Croí on 091-544310 to book your place.

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)
christmas bauble-2533007

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.

Support Croí this Christmas!

“The loss of conversation has been one of the hardest things…
but sometimes John will say a word and it will make me smile.” – Mary Kelly

Take part in Croí’s Golden Ticket Raffle and help stroke survivors like John find their voice again. Great cash prizes to be won and you can make a huge difference to life after stroke.

It was Christmas eight years ago that everything changed for the Kelly Family. John Kelly, then a 48-year-old Garda Sergeant based in Loughrea, Co. Galway, suffered a massive, life-changing stroke. John was rushed to Galway University Hospital and he spent the next 18 weeks receiving care across three more hospitals. “It was a very exhausting time, and we had Santa come in the middle of that! I tried to make things as normal as possible for the children,” says Mary, John’s wife, speaking of their four children – the eldest twins were 13 years old and the youngest was just 6 years old.

Eventually, John returned home to his family in Cregmore, Co. Galway, but he was faced with the long-term effects of stroke. John suffered severe speech impairments, affecting how he speaks and his ability to understand what is being said. He was left with very few words.

John needed help. But so too did Mary, as a stroke carer.

“A family member read online about Croí’s Stroke Support services and we knew we had to get involved. John started with the Gentle Yoga class, before joining the Stroke Support Group and the Stroke Communication Group,” says Mary.

John now receives specialist support from the Croí Health Team, including biweekly communication sessions with Libby Kinneen, our Speech and Language Therapist. John first met Libby five years ago and he has made real progress in gaining confidence with life after stroke. “More words… friends,” says John. Mary also attends Croí as part of the Stroke Carers Group, “It’s so great to meet like-minded people. For my sanity it was so necessary to talk to other people. Life after stroke is so lonely, you feel isolated… Croí is a place to come and feel relaxed, and where no one will judge you.”

A huge milestone in John’s speech work with Libby was actually being able to say the word ‘Ballybofey’, a really important word for John as it is his wife’s hometown. “It meant something to John and Mary,” says Libby. The ‘Ballybofey’ breakthrough gave John confidence in his speech.

“Croí’s Communication Group has been wonderful for John,” says Mary. “Sometimes John will say a word and it will make me smile. But he might never say it again. The loss of conversation has been one of the hardest things.”

With thanks to generous donors, Croí is able to offer free stroke support services to stroke survivors, their family members and their carers. These services are totally supported by the funds we raise every year, including through the Golden Ticket Raffle!

Will you support our annual raffle and help us continue to support stroke survivors and their families, like the Kellys? Each ticket costs just €5 and there are so many great cash prizes to win, with a total prize fund of €5,000!

Tickets can be purchased here.

Thank you for your support!

John Kelly with his wife, Mary Kelly
John Kelly with his wife, Mary Kelly
The Kelly Family
The Kelly Family

Spooktacular Healthy Halloween Recipes!

This time of year, treats can sometimes takeover Halloween festivities. The supermarkets are stocked to the rafters with Halloween themed, high sugar and high fat treats. It can be difficult to say ‘no’ when we are surrounded by these foods at the petrol station, local shop or supermarket.  A recent report by Safefood has found that we now spend more on treat foods than fruit and vegetables in our weekly shop. We also know that 20% of what Irish children are eating day to day are treat foods. The healthy eating guidelines recommend that treat foods (e.g. biscuits, chocolate and crisps) be limited to no more than two times per week.

So this year why not take a different approach and use the time to get creative in the kitchen. It may even be the perfect opportunity to ‘trick’ 😉 children to experiment with different types of vegetables, if cooked or prepared in a fun and super spooky way!

Here are some vegetable based Halloween recipes for you to try. Not only will you have fun preparing them, you and your children will be ‘treated’ to better nutrition. The ingredients in these recipes provide the right balance of vitamins, minerals and fibre that help to maintain a healthy blood pressure, lower cholesterol and prevent weight gain, for a happy healthy heart this Halloween!


  • 4 peppers (a mix of orange, red and yellow looks nice)
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small aubergine, chopped into small pieces
  • 200g pouch pre cooked mixed grains (we used bulgur wheat and quinoa, available in most supermarkets)
  • 2 tbsp sundried tomato paste/pesto
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • bunch basil, chopped


  1. Cut the tops off the peppers (keeping the tops to one side) and remove the seeds and any white flesh from inside. Use a small sharp knife to carve spooky Halloween faces into the sides. Chop any offcuts into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for a few mins until golden, and set aside. Heat the oil in the pan, and heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cook the onion in the oil for 8-10 mins until softened.
  3. Stir in the garlic, pepper offcuts and aubergine and cook for another 10 mins, until the veggies are soft. Add a splash of water if the pan looks dry. Season.
  4. Squeeze the pouch of grains to break them up, then tip into the pan with the tomato paste. Stir for a minute or two to warm through, then remove from the heat and add the lemon zest, basil and pine nuts.
  5. Fill each pepper with the grain mixture. Replace the lids, using cocktail sticks to secure them in place
  6. Put the peppers in a deep roasting tin with the carved faces facing upwards.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 35 mins, uncovered for the final 10.
  8. The peppers should be soft and the filling piping hot.

Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com

Halloween Stuffed Peppers


  • 1 small pumpkin (about 500g)
  • olive oil, for roasting
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste (Made from ground sesame seeds)
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded, and sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded, and sliced
  • mini breadsticks and pitta chips, to serve


  1. Cut the top off the pumpkin, about two-thirds of the way up. Remove the pumpkin seeds, then scoop the flesh out of the bottom and the lid.
  2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the pumpkin flesh into pieces and put in a roasting tin with the garlic and a good glug of oil. Season, then bake for 45 mins until very tender. Leave to cool.
  3. Tip the pumpkin into a food processor with any juices from the roasting tin and the garlic. Add the lemon juice, tahini paste and chickpeas. Season with salt and blend to a paste – add a little more oil if it’s too thick. Scoop the hummus back into the pumpkin and serve with the peppers, breadsticks and pitta chips.


Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com

Pumpkin Hummus


  • 1 large banana
  • 1 tablespoon of unsweetened orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of desiccated, shredded coconut
  • 2 raisins – for eyes!


  1. Put the orange juice in a shallow bowl or plate
  2. On a separate plate spread the shredded coconut – not too much a little goes a long way
  3. Peel your banana and dip it in the orange juice
  4. Next, roll the banana in the shredded coconut to make white spooky ghosts!
  5. Add some raisins for the eyes
  6. Place the stick or spoon up through the centre of the banana so the Boonana can fly around!

Image credit: nts.org.uk

  1. Peel a clementine, leaving the sections intact.
  2. Cut a small piece of celery and stick it in the middle to be a stem.

There you have it: simple, mini pumpkins, great as a display on the table.

Recipe from Shape Your Future

Halloween Stuffed Peppers
Halloween Stuffed Peppers
Pumpkin Hummus
Pumpkin Hummus
Clementine Pumpkins
Clementine Pumpkins

‘Dig deep and support Croí!’ – Apartment Testimonial

Read this lovely testimonial which was left to us recently by Bernie McCaffrey, who stayed in the Courtyard Apartments at Croí House while her husband, Eddie, was receiving coronary care at Galway University Hospital.

“My Husband, Eddie, and I were enjoying a wonderful holiday in Canada. Eddie, who was always a healthy and fit man, just turned 60, had a heart attack and was hospitalised in Calgary, Canada for 9 days. He was then taken by air ambulance back to Ireland and admitted to Galway University Hospital. I travelled with him and arrived in Galway with a very ill husband and nowhere to stay. The nurse in Coronary Care put me in contact with Christine in Croí. From the moment I met Christine, I was so well taken care of. I was accommodated in a lovely, cosy and comfortable apartment, with secure entry gates. This was such a comfort to me while I was completely alone and so worried about Eddie.

Initially I was supposed to stay for 5 days but because of complications with my husband’s surgery, this turned into 13 nights. I was never made feel I was outstaying my welcome. The kindness and support I was shown by Christine and all the staff was second to none. I was able to walk to the hospital in 10/15 minutes with no worries about car parking or the expense of it. There is a well-equipped laundry room, very essential for patients’ clothing.

My husband had a triple bypass and is recovering well, thank God.

All of this wonderful work and facilities are totally dependent on voluntary donations. I have been involved in many fundraisers, but can honestly say, I have never seen money being put to such good use. Come on, dig deep and support Croí!”

– Bernie McCaffrey

The Courtyard Apartments at Croí House are funded entirely by donations and fundraising events organised by Croí and community fundraisers. We could not provide these facilities without the generosity of the people of Ireland, particularly those in the West and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their incredible and continuing support.

For more information about the Courtyard Apartments at Croí House –

Visit: www.croi.ie/courtyardapartments 

Tel: +353 91 544310

Email: info@croi.ie

The Story Of My Heart

By Pearl O’Kennedy

Pearl is 80 years old and lives with her husband on Rahoon Road in Galway. They have six children and 12 grandchildren.

“10 years ago, following a visit to my GP, I was diagnosed with a murmur in my heart. As it wasn’t causing any problems, I was kept under supervision. For the next few years, my heart was checked every six months, then every three months – during which time I had started to feel a little breathless.

One day, last October, I was going to have an angiogram. When the procedure was over, the doctor sat me down and told me that I needed to have a valve replaced in my heart – the aortic valve. I was sent for a scan the following week to determine if I would have to undergo open-heart surgery. When I met with my doctor to get more tests done, he explained that he had been working on a new type of valve. After showing me diagrams of the valves and explaining how they work – as well as the potential complications – he asked if I would be prepared to let him use one on me. He told me that this would be the first time this particular valve would be used in Europe. After some hesitation, I agreed to let him use the new valve.

A month later, I had the valve replaced. It was a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVI) and I was conscious throughout it all. The procedure lasted for a little over two hours, during which time a nurse stayed beside my head. When it was over, I was transferred to a warm bed and given some medication to help me sleep. When I woke up, I was back in the Cardiac Ward. I felt good and was discharged three days later.

I got home before Christmas and had a lovely time. However, I did notice my hearing had started to deteriorate. Following a visit to the doctor, I was told that I had lost 50% of my hearing. After having hearing aids ordered for me, I learned that hearing loss is something that can happen a person if they’ve had work done on their heart.

Earlier this year, I received a letter from Galway University Hospital asking me to attend an eight-week cardiac rehabilitation programme in Merlin Hospital. This entailed going to the Cardiac Unit two days a week where we did light workouts such as cycling, rowing, walking, and weight lifting. We were also given talks on diet and other general health topics. There were six men and two women in attendance and I was surprised to see some very young men there. When the eight weeks were over, I started to go back to my own gym. Now, I go twice a week. I spend half an hour on the machines and forty-five minutes doing water-aerobics. Life is good now and although I’m still coming to terms with having to use hearing aids, they are becoming part of my life.

Thank God, my heart is good.”


Pearl O'Kennedy

Croí is taking part in European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week (September 16 – 22, 2019), which aims to raise awareness and improve diagnosis, treatment and management of heart valve disease in Europe. #HeartValveWeek19 See www.heartvalvecouncil.org/heart-valve-week for more information.

Plates, portions and weight control

We eat with our eyes and the size of our plate influences how hungry or satisfied we feel after eating a meal.  Over the past few decades portion sizes served in restaurants and cafes have increased. In the USA, the average restaurant meal today is over 4 times larger than in the 1950’s, with Ireland following a similar trend. This promotes over eating and can lead to weight gain and obesity. Studies show that people are generally eating an extra 200-300 calories per day more than they actually need, so it’s not surprising our waist lines are expanding!

While larger plates and bowls may look stylish, research consistently shows eating from them leads us to serve and eat bigger portions. Why? It all comes down to a sneaky optical illusion, the ‘Delboeuf illusion’.
This describes how larger plates can make a serving of food appear smaller, so we add more to the plate! The picture below demonstrates this theory, the same-sized central circle (the test circle in black) appears smaller when surrounded by a much larger concentric circle, than when surrounded by only a slightly larger concentric circle. This helps us to understand that our perception of food portion size is linked with the size of the plate it is served on. Switching to a smaller dinner plate puts you in greater control, and less likely to over-eat.

The Dietitians at Croí have redesigned the Croí Portion Plate. The plate is split to guide you to eat balanced meals and healthy portion sizes. A good rule of thumb is to aim for half a plate of vegetables/salad, ¼ plate of lean protein and  ¼ plate of wholegrain carbohydrates. Portion size guides are included on the back of the plate.

5 tips to perfect your portions

  1. Check the size of your dinner plates, a standard plate size should be no more than 9 ½ inches.
  2. Leave a cup measure in your cereal, rice, or pasta container so you have a clear idea of how much you’re scooping out each time.
  3. Focus on food quality, not quantity, and take the time to savour and enjoy the smell, taste and texture of every mouthful.
  4. Lean meat portions half the size of your palm are perfect. Cut yours down to size and save the leftovers for lunch the next day!
  5. Always include some vegetables or salad at every meal (aim for half your plate), these are low calorie nutrient rich foods that provide vitamins and minerals for good health.

Supporting Families at Croí – Testimonial

Earlier this year, we welcomed Bernadette White to stay in our Courtyard Apartments at Croí House as her husband John received care in Galway University Hospital. Following her stay, we were very grateful to receive this lovely testimonial from Bernadette, who spoke very kindly about the staff at Croí and the Courtyard Apartments.

“My husband, John, had to undergo Triple Bypass Surgery. We live in Donegal which is 4 hours from Galway Hospital. The Cardiac Nurse in Letterkenny Hospital informed us of The Courtyard Apartments at Croí House. What a facility, brilliant! It takes away the stress of trying to find accommodation in Galway. The staff were brilliant, especially Christine (Head of Fundraising at Croí). She made us feel so welcome and was so helpful. It’s brilliant that family members can come and stay, it’s within walking distance of the hospital and has a direct phone line. The apartment was beautiful – a home away from home! It was so nice to be able to relax after a stressful time. We will never forget their kindness” 

– Bernadette White

The Courtyard Apartments are a much-needed facility which allow family members to be as close as possible to patients who are in hospital for cardiac or stroke care in Galway University Hospitals. The apartments are open 365 days a year and have a 98% occupancy rate, with many families coming from the Mid/North West, like the White family.

The apartments consist of three self-contained ground floor accommodation units, located just a ten-minute walk from University Hospital Galway. They are funded entirely by donations and events organised by Croí and have supported families from all over Ireland and even internationally.


TEL: +353 91 544310