Ireland West Airport bumper summer draw

Ireland West Airport launches online bumper summer draw in support of Croi, Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation and Hope House

Ireland West Airport in partnership with our three charities for 2019, Croí the Heart & Stroke Charity, The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation and Hope House are delighted to launch a ‘Bumper Summer Draw’ with a chance to win some fantastic prizes, with all proceeds going towards the three charities.

The bumper summer draw, which is part of the airport’s year long series of fundraising events, to support our three staff nominated charities will offer those who enter the chance to win some fantastic prizes:


  • 1st prize – 2 x All Ireland Senior Football Final tickets plus overnight accommodation in Dublin
  • 2nd prize – 2 x Tickets to any home Republic of Ireland Euro 2020 to be played between September and November 2019 at the Aviva Stadium plus overnight accommodation in Dublin
  • 3rd prize – 2 x Return flights to Manchester and 2 match tickets to Manchester United versus Manchester City at Old Trafford on March 7th 2020
  • 4th prize – 2 x tickets to Ireland v Italy in the 6 Nations in the Aviva Stadium on March 6th 2020 plus overnight accommodation in Dublin
  • 5th prize – 2 x tickets to Rod Stewart in Concert in the 3 Arena, Dublin, on December 4th 2019 plus overnight accommodation in Dublin
  • 6th prize – 2 x return flights to Tenerife from Ireland West Airport with Ryanair in winter 2019/2020
  • 7th prize – 2 x return flights to Cologne from Ireland West Airport with Ryanair in September 2019
  • 8th prize – 10km pleasure flight from Ireland West Airport around Mayo with Adventure Ireland

Tickets cost €5 with 3 entries for €10 to be in with a chance of winning these fantastic prizes. To enter visit Closing date for entry is Midnight Thursday 8th August 2019. Tickets will also be available to purchase on select dates at a dedicated desk in the airport terminal over the next few weeks. All proceeds go towards our three charity partners Croi, Hope House and the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation.

Draw for the winners will be done live on the Ireland West Airport Facebook page on Friday August 9th at 3pm. Prizes will be drawn in order as detailed above.

Commenting on the launch, Donal Healy, Head of Marketing, Ireland West Airport said ‘The airport are delighted to be working with our charity partners on this fantastic bumper summer draw with the aim of raising as much money as possible for three great charities. There are some fantastic prizes on offer and all proceeds from the draw will go towards the three charities. This is the latest fundraising initiative by the airport following the huge success of our annual 5km runway run which took place in March and attracted over 1,500 participants. This is the fourth year of our staff charity programme which has to date raised almost €100,000 for Irish charities who all undertake such fantastic work which really does make such a difference to the people that they support in our community. We encourage people to show their support for the charities and to enter the draw on to be in with a chance of winning some fantastic prizes’

Down to a tee

Repost from the Connacht Tribune, July 12, 2019

Fionnuala Curran Gillian Traynor Catherine Quinlan Kate O Meara from Bearna golf club at the The Bearna Golf and Country Club 3rd Annual AM AM sponsored by BURKEWAY HOMES. Photo:Andrew Downes, xposure.

Annual AM AM helps fund free facilities for families of heart patients

The golfers enjoyed a day out in the spectacular and sunny surrounds of Bearna Golf Club – but real winners of the annual Croí Heart & Stroke AM AM were the families who will use the charity’s facilities in the months and years ahead. Because the money raised from this third annual outing sponsored by Burkeway Homes will specifically support the Courtyard Apartments at Croí House. These have been specifically designed for short-term stays to allow family members to be as close as possible to patients who are in hospital for cardiac or stroke care in University Hospital Galway.

These three self-contained apartments are available all year round and provide accommodation to over 100 families each year free of charge. These apartments offer the vital comforts of home for tired and worried families and are a key component of the fantastic work undertaken by Croí. And that explains why this annual event receives such huge support from numerous Galway businesses, Bearna Golf Club members and local people through entering teams as well as sponsoring tees. The popular event is a fantastic way to increase awareness of the great work undertaken by Croí in the community, and its role in leading the fight against heart disease and stroke in the West of Ireland.

Winners of the annual AM AM in aid of Croí and sponsored by Burkeway Homes (from left) Kevin O’Reilly, Croi , winners Gearoid Walsh and Kevin Costelloe; Michael Burke, Burkeway Homes; winner Jack McGovern, Bearna Golf Club President Michael Commons, and Fred Fullard, Burkeway Homes.

FREE High Blood Pressure Check

Do you or someone you know have high blood pressure or are you taking medication to manage blood pressure? If so, you are invited to a FREE Blood Pressure Check and Public Talk by heart expert Dr. Faisal Sharif on Wednesday, July 10th in the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre, Newcastle, Galway.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart problems and stroke. Because there are no obvious symptoms of high blood pressure, very often people assume it’s nothing to worry about. However, high blood pressure needs to be treated and managed so as to avoid a serious heart event or catastrophic stroke.

The Clinical Research Facility, Galway (CRFG), have teamed up with local Heart & Stroke Charity, Croí and the Department of Cardiology, GUH to provide FREE Blood Pressure Checks for those with known high blood pressure or those taking medications to manage their blood pressure. In addition, there is an opportunity to attend a talk by an expert on blood pressure management and treatment, and the opportunity to be involved in clinical trials.

Places are limited – call Croí now on 091-544310 to book your free appointment.

A collaborative initiative by the Clinical Research Facility, Galway (CRFG), supported by Croí, the Department of Cardiology, GUH; and the National University of Ireland, Galway – Supporting research and public education.

Announcing FREE Heart Health Checks for 65+ year olds

The Key to Healthy Ageing is a Healthy Heart says Croí – Announcing FREE Heart Health Checks for 65+ year olds

The key to healthy ageing is a healthy heart. Understandably, aging naturally causes changes in the heart and blood vessels and these age-related changes often increase your risk of heart disease or stroke. People aged 65+ are much more likely than younger people to develop heart problems, but many of these conditions, if detected and treated early, can be managed so as to significantly reduce their impact on health and longevity.

In today’s world, thanks to medical and technological innovation, we are living longer. By the year 2050, 1 in 5 people worldwide will be over the age of 60 years of age. In fact, for the first time in human history we are close to a time when across the world there will be more people over the age of 60 than under the age of 15. The Croí Third Age Programme is focused on our increasingly ageing society and the aim is to ensure that as we live longer we also maintain our health and quality of life. The greatest barrier to this is age-related cardiovascular diseases. That’s why on June 19th, local heart and stroke charity, Croí, is offering free heart health checks at the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre in Newcastle, Galway.

So, if you are over the age of 65, Not attending a cardiologist, and have Not had a heart health check in the past 6 months (e.g., blood pressure check / your heart listened to), then Croí invites you to this special FREE heart health check.

Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Location: Croí Heart & Stroke Centre, Newcastle, Galway

Places are limited and you must register in advance.
Time slots are available from 10:00am – 1:00pm and 2:00pm – 4:00pm.

Reserve your space now by calling Croí on 091-544310.

Awareness of heart failure remains low

Pictured l-r: Dr Fiona Ryan, director of clinical trials at The Heartbeat Trust; Frank O’Neill, patient at The Heartbeat Trust; Tom Dunne, national broadcaster and heart disease patient; Olive Cummins, general manager of the Heartbeat Trust and Dr Ambrose McLoughlin, chair of the Heartbeat Trust. Photograph: Bryan Brophy

Almost 200 people are diagnosed with heart failure every week in Ireland – that is 10,000 people per year – yet awareness of the condition remains low, the national heart failure charity, the Heartbeat Trust, has warned.

With heart failure, the heart does not work as efficiently as it should. As a result, the blood cannot deliver enough oxygen and nourishment to the body to allow it to work normally. Heart failure often develops because of another medical condition, such as a heart attack or high blood pressure.

Previous research carried out by the Heartbeat Trust found that over 7% of all hospital bed stays could be attributed to heart failure and the total annual cost of the condition is around €660 million.

The charity has partnered with the Galway heart charity, Croí, to raise awareness of heart failure. Both organisations are members of the Global Heart Hub, which recently launched the Red Flag campaign in Ireland. This aims to educate people on the five key symptoms of heart failure, which are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swollen ankles or legs
  • Sudden weight gain (2kg over two days)
  • Poor appetite
  • Tiredness.

“Treatment aimed at managing heart failure is improving, however awareness remains a problem. This is why opportunities to raise public awareness about the main symptoms are so vital.

“The Red Flag campaign is designed to inform people that if they have some, or all of these symptoms, they should go to their GP. Ultimately, we know that the earlier we detect the onset of heart failure, the better the patient outcome,” explained the Heartbeat Trust’s medical director, Prof Ken McDonald.

The Red Flag campaign is supported by broadcaster and musician, Tom Dunne, who underwent serious heart surgery in November 2018.

“Having undergone such serious heart surgery so recently, and being told I had a 70% chance of dying in the next two years if I didn’t have the surgery immediately, I know only too well how important heart failure awareness is.

“I originally had a heart murmur diagnosed 10 years prior to my surgery and I also found out that I had a genetic heart condition. I had no existing heart failure symptoms from what I can recall, but knowing that there are five key red flag symptoms that people should recognise is really crucial for heart failure prevention,” Mr Dunne said.

Frank O’Neill attends the STOP HF Unit at St. Michael’s Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin. This is a screening service aimed at the prevention and early detection of heart failure.

“I was referred to the clinic in 2007 after seeing my GP who was treating me for diabetes. In 2011, as part of an annual check-up, I found out that I had experienced a silent myocardial infarction (heart attack).

“Over the years, a lot of trust has been built up between myself and the team. I feel like the screening service is my guardian angel and am very grateful that they are there. I think that heart failure prevention screening should be available everywhere,” Mr O’Neill said.

The Red Flag campaign was launched to coincide with European Heart Failure Awareness Month (May).

Article written by Deborah Condon and published 29/5/2019 in Irish Health Pro

University Hospital Galway Raise the Flag on Heart Failure this May

Pictured from left: Annette Irving, Irish Heart Failure Alliance; Dr. John Barton, Heart Failure Consultant, GUH; Mary O’Sullivan, Heart Failure Clinical Nurse Specialist, GUH; Geraldine Murray, Director of Nursing, GUH; Emer Burke, Clinical Nurse Specialist, GUH; Liam Martin, Irish Heart Failure Alliance.

Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity visited University Hospital Galway with the Heart Failure Patient Alliance on May 10th to mark the launch of #RaisetheFlag, a campaign to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of heart failure. For those experiencing symptoms, we encourage them to visit their GP and ask the question “Could I have heart failure?” For more information, please visit

Local Medtech Company Announces Community Partnership

Pictured from left: Teresa Murray, HR Manager, Surmodics; Tom Greaney, COO, Surmodics; Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí; Gary Maharaj, CEO, Surmodics; Teri Sides, Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer, Surmodics; and Patricia Hall, Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist, Croí. Pic Gerry Stronge.

Ballinasloe based leading medical devices company Surmodics have just announced a unique community partnership with local heart and stroke charity, Croí. Commencing this year and continuing for the next five years, Surmodics have committed a significant financial contribution to Croí by way of support for Croí’s out-of-hospital stroke support programme.

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. In Ireland, an estimated 10,000 people have a stroke-related event every year with as many as 7,000 per year requiring hospitalisation. There are an estimated 30,000 people living in the community with disability as a result of stroke, making it the biggest cause of acquired disability in Ireland.

Since opening its centre five years ago in Newcastle Galway, Croí has broadened its mission to include stroke. Over the past few years Croí has been developing out-of-hospital supports for stroke survivors and their carers. Tom Greaney, Chief Operating Officer at Surmodics, commented:

“We look forward to working closely with Croí to help build their out-of-hospital stroke support programme. This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for Surmodics to support Croí’s mission to prevent disease, save lives and promote wellbeing, a mission that Surmodics as an organisation also shares. We are proud to support Croí and play a part in the great work that they do for our community,” says Greaney.

Welcoming the Surmodics 5-year pledge to support Croí, Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman of Croí, said “We are indebted to Surmodics for this very generous and significant commitment. We aim to utilise this contribution by developing and expanding our stroke survivor post-hospital discharge support offerings in the area of education, carer support, risk factor management, survivor empowerment, and communications rehabilitation.

We aim to facilitate monthly community stroke support meetings in Galway and Mayo and we plan to design, develop and test an evidence based self-management and self-care programme to help stroke survivors live the best possible life they can.”

Mr O’Reilly went on to say that “In recent years, there have been significant advances made in hospital-based stroke care with many more people today surviving a stroke.

The significant needs of stroke survivors and their carers post hospital discharge however are very varied, and unfortunately at both a local and national level, community based supports are greatly in need of resources.

Stroke survivors have huge needs in term of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and psychological support and Croí’s efforts in this regard are in early stage development.

This generous gift from Surmodics will greatly assist our work in this regard and will make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of people impacted by stroke in our community. We are indebted to the management and staff at Surmodics for partnering with us on this important work, and it is great to see a successful local company getting involved in their local community in this way.”

Raise the Flag on Heart Failure this May




This May, it’s time to take action and raise the flag on the danger signs and symptoms of heart failure.

Heart failure is a specific heart condition with many causes, the most common being heart attack, heart disease, heart valve disease, high blood pressure, an irregular heart rhythm, certain infections of the heart, or heart problems you were born with. Heart failure affects over 26 million people worldwide, and is increasing in prevalence. As many as 1 in 5 people over the age of 40 will develop heart failure in their lifetime. It occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. Heart failure is a chronic and often complex condition which can take years to develop or it can happen quickly at times.

The earliest symptoms of heart failure are often very subtle, but it’s dangerous to ignore them. Early diagnosis of heart failure is very important so as to ensure optimal treatment, and this can significantly benefit those living with the condition. That’s why Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, are joining with The Global Heart Hub and over 20 organisations across 15 counties worldwide to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of heart failure.

On May 10th and on the following three Fridays (May 17th, May 24th and May 31st), we invite you to join us and raise a red flag on heart failure. By raising a red flag, we aim to highlight the danger signs and symptoms of heart failure. For those experiencing these symptoms, we encourage them to visit their GP and to ask the question “Could I have heart failure?”

Unfortunately, awareness of risk factors and the signs and symptoms of heart failure is very low across the world. Red flag symptoms include breathlessness, fatigue and swollen limbs. Signs of heart failure may also be associated with an underlying heart problem. Heart failure signs and symptoms may include:

  • Coughing/wheezing
  • Extreme tiredness or no energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • More frequent urination, especially at night
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shortness of breath, even when lying down
  • Swelling in the ankles/feet/stomach
  • Weight gain over a short period of time (>2kg over 2 days)

By themselves, any one sign of heart failure may not be cause for alarm. But if you have one or more of these symptoms, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any heart problems, you should visit your GP and ask the question “Could I have heart failure?”.

Islanders come out in force to make health a priority

A series of free Healthy Ireland health and wellbeing days were delivered across Inis Oírr, Inis Mór, Inis Meáin, and Inishbofin islands over the past month, with great attendance from Islanders and involvement from the local schools.

Over 200 people took part in the events, which included health screenings (pulse, blood pressure, weight, and BMI checks); healthy cooking tips and Q&A discussions with a Croí Dietitian and residents of the islands about changing dietary habits and impact on health; yoga; relationship and sexual health education; resources on mental health and wellness; exercise and fitness tips; citizen information advice; and more.

“This initiative was a coming together of diverse community groups all with a unified aim to promote health and well-being throughout the islands off County Galway. It was a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle across all age groups. The good news is that many health conditions such as heart disease and stroke are preventable and our aim is to offer individuals the opportunity to engage in risk factor screening along with offering practical advice in relation to healthy eating, physical activity, overall health and wellness and lots more,” says Suzanne Seery, Lead Dietitian, Croí.

Healthy Ireland is a Government-led initiative which aims to create an Irish society where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health, and where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society. The series of health and wellbeing events on the Islands were supported by Galway County LCDC’s Healthy County Galway initiative. Many community and voluntary organisations were present. These included Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity; Galway Rural Development, Healthy Ireland at your Library; Western Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce; Galway Sports Partnership; Galway Citizen Information Centre; Irish Rural Link; Pieta House; and AIDS West. The Healthy Ireland Fund is supported by the Department of Health, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Pictured: Members of the Healthy Islands team, made up of 10+ community groups from across county Galway.

After Croí’s visit to Inisbofin, our Dietitian Suzanne and placement student Christine received a lovely note from the students at Inishbofin National School, and are delighted to see that they had fun learning about healthy eating!

“We learnt so much about healthy eating, and we will keep all the information you told us for the rest of our lives.” 

25 years of cycling the Corrib in aid of Croí

Pictured at the launch of the 25th Annual Tour de Lough Corrib Cycle, in aid of Croí. From left, Christine Flanagan, Croí Fundraising Director; Paddy Keating, long-time Croí Cycle participant; Mary Cullinane, Corrib Oil; and Bernard Dempsey, Corrib Oil. Image credit: Johnny Ryan Photography.

It’s time to dust off your bike saddle and get in gear as registration is now open for the 25th Annual Tour de Lough Corrib cycle, in aid of Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity. The Croí charity cycle takes place on Sunday, June 9th, 2019 around Lough Corrib, in association with long-time sponsor Corrib Oil, the cycle’s main sponsor for 25 years running!

This is the biggest charity cycle in the West of Ireland, and promises to be even bigger and better this year to celebrate 25 years!

All abilities are welcome – cyclists will have a choice of a 45km, 80km or a 120km route. The cycle starts from the sports pavilion in Dangan and will take the route via Headford, Cong, Maam Valley, Oughterard, back to Galway, finishing at Croí House. Roadside assistance, support vehicles and plenty of refreshment stops will be provided on the day, along with a post-cycle celebration event in Croí House. Enter as an individual cyclist or get a team together, with group photographs happening at Croí House after the event.

“It’s incredible that this year we are celebrating the 25th cycle, and we have so many long-time cyclists that have been with us from the beginning,” says Christine Flanagan, Croí Fundraising Director. “It’s a fun cycle along a great route, and all abilities are welcome to join us. Every euro raised helps our team to continue our work here at Croí, leading the fight against heart disease and stroke in the West of Ireland.”

Registration is free and essential at, and cyclists are asked to fundraise for Croí. All cyclists will receive a technical t-shirt. Cyclists that reach a fundraising goal of €150+ will receive a specially designed 25th anniversary cycle jersey and entered into a raffle to win a fantastic bike package to the value of €1,000! Take part in this special 25th anniversary event and help Croí lead the fight against heart disease and stroke.

Learn more at or call Croí on 091-544310 to register now.