Mayo GAA Creates Healthy Partnerships for 2020

Mayo GAA has joined forces with both Mindspace Mayo and Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, as its official health partners for 2020.

Mayo GAA will work with both partners throughout 2020 to raise awareness of the services both Mindspace Mayo and Croí can offer to supporters to ensure they can stay on top of their mental and physical health. One of the highlights of this partnership will be a special one off Mayo jersey carrying the Croí logo on the front of it for the upcoming Allianz football league game between Mayo and Kerry in Elverys MacHale Park on February 29th. We also thank our main sponsors Intersport Elverys for allowing us to produce this one off jersey for this game.

Commenting on the initiative Mayo GAA chairperson Liam Moffat said, “The mental health and wellbeing of everyone involved in our game is a growing focus for us, and we are proud to partner with Mindspace to encourage our players and supporters to stay connected and ask for help if they’re struggling. Mental health is an issue affecting so many workplaces, families and sporting organisations. We shouldn’t shy away from it and I encourage anyone who needs support to reach out.”

“Likewise Croí offer vital services to people all over the country and in particular the West of Ireland on raising awareness about the risk factors for heart disease and stroke. In particular, the launch of Croí Third Age Mayo is putting the spotlight on heart health for the over 55’s across the county. We look forward to working with both organisations aswell as engaging with our clubs and supporters on how they can look after themselves both on and off the pitch in 2020”.

Mindspace Mayo’s Project Manager Peadar Gardiner praised Mayo GAA’s holistic approach to youth mental health as a positive step in the right direction. “We are delighted to partner with Mayo GAA. It’s encouraging to see important community organisations such as the Mayo GAA elevate mental health by recognising it as an essential aspect in the lives of their players, members and the broader community.Mayo GAA’s decision to truly commit to the outcomes of the partnership by encompassing club, community engagement, education and fundraising across the Mindspace service will make this partnership a game-changer.”

Croí CEO Neil Johnson added: “This great partnership allows us to highlight the importance of healthy and active ageing across County Mayo. In Ireland and across the world people are living longer, and Mayo has one of the highest rates of people over the age of 55 compared to the rest of the country. As we age, heart disease and stroke become more prevalent. Croí Third Age Mayo promotes and supports the heart health and well-being of the over 55 population in the county. We are excited to share more at the upcoming Mayo and Kerry game on February 29th. We’re very grateful to Mayo GAA for supporting us in putting a spotlight on heart health for over 55’s.”

Aurivo raises €40,000 for heart and stroke charity

A cheque to the value of €40,000 has been presented by Aurivo representatives to the heart and stroke charity ‘Croí’.

According to a statement issued by Aurivo today, Friday, February 7, the company’s employees organised numerous fundraising events for the charity as part of the co-op’s ‘Charity of the Year’ programme.

Commenting on the announcement, Donal Tierney, Aurivo’s CEO, said: “Aurivo is delighted to give back to the local community and support Croí and their work. We take great pride in our Charity of the Year programme and it is an important part of our Corporate Social Responsibility and Origin Green Sustainability Strategy.”

The funds raised by Aurivo staff and matched by the co-op will be used to refurbish Croí’s three self-contained apartments that are open 365 days a year and have been used by people from all over Ireland.

Speaking about the partnership with Aurivo, Croí CEO Neil Johnson said: “This generous support by Aurivo will allow Croí to continue to provide much-needed accommodation for people at a time when they need to be as close as possible to a loved one who is receiving cardiac or stroke care in Galway University Hospital. We were delighted to engage with Aurivo throughout the year in support of their fundraising efforts and our community nurses have been involved in health-check programmes for Aurivo staff and at local marts.”

Concluding, Pat Duffy, Aurivo chairman, said: “Our dedicated staff have put in huge effort to host fundraising events throughout 2019.

“The Charity of the Year Programme allows our staff, members and customers to work alongside one another in the local community to raise vital funds for our charity partners.”


Kavanagh Group support Croí’s life-saving work in Mayo

Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, is delighted to have been chosen as Kavanagh Group’s 2020 Charity of the Year, and the two organisations have lots of great events planned to help raise awareness of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke across County Mayo.

On Friday, February 7, the Croí Health Team visited four of the Kavanagh Group stores, including Westport, Castlebar, Kiltimagh and Claremorris, delivering free heart health checks to customers and to celebrate the launch of this great new partnership.

“We are so delighted to have been chosen by the Kavanagh Group as Charity of the Year. Our work in Mayo is so important – we want to raise awareness of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke as so many of these cases are preventable! The support of Kavanagh Group allows us to continue our life-saving work and support the people of Mayo,” says Christine Flanagan, Croí Director of Fundraising.

The Kavanagh Group employs over 1,100 people across Ireland and the UK and is one of Ireland’s largest independent retailing companies, operating 14 supermarkets along with a number of other businesses, including the Wyatt Hotel, O’Cee’s Coffee Shop, and SuperValu Homewares Store. “We are very excited to join forces with Croí in the fight against heart disease and stroke. We want to promote good health and well-being with our employees and customers, and Croí’s work in Mayo is so important for the community,” says Noel Kavanagh Jnr, Managing Director.

The Kavanagh Group have lots of exciting events planned for 2020 in support of Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity. Keep an eye on their social media pages and @croiheartstroke. For heart health information, please visit for expert advice from the Croí Health Team.



The findings of a major research study from The National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC) and The National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) call into question the validity of recent changes to treatment recommendations for a certain type of blood pressure patient.

The study has challenged an element of the new, lower, blood pressure thresholds recommended in recently released American medical guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure (also termed hypertension).  These US guidelines changed the definition of hypertension from a blood pressure of 140/90 or more, to a blood pressure of 130/80 or more. Subsequently, guidelines from European clinical societies also recommended that most adults being treated for high blood pressure be treated to the new lower target of 130/80.

These high blood pressure guidelines are observed widely in Ireland and as a result, as many as 150,000 patients with a bottom blood pressure number of over 80, but a normal top blood pressure number below 130 are potentially at risk of being over-treated according to the NIPC/NUIG research. This is because the study found that this specific type of blood pressure pattern does not appear to be adversely affecting their health. Of note, blood pressure levels are denoted by two numbers, one above the other where, for example, a blood pressure level may be written as 130/80.  The top number is known as the systolic, and the bottom number is known as the diastolic reading.

The NIPC and NUIG investigation, led by Prof J William McEvoy, Medical and Research Director of the NIPC, was conducted in collaboration with US investigators and is today published in a leading international medical journal, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The JAMA published investigation looked specifically at the new (lower number) diastolic blood pressure threshold set at 80 for the diagnosis of elevated blood pressure, which was a reduction from a prior diastolic blood pressure of 90. The recommendation to lower the diastolic threshold for hypertension from 90 to 80 was based on expert opinion (which is a relatively weak type of evidence), not on results from clinical trials (with the latter considered to be the strongest type of medical evidence). 

A specific group of patients is now eligible to be diagnosed with high blood pressure as a result of this changed threshold.  These patients suffer from Isolated Diastolic Hypertension, characterised by a normal systolic (top) number (i.e., below 130 according to new guidelines) but a higher diastolic (bottom) number (i.e., greater than or equal to 80 according to new guidelines).

The report states that approximately 5% of the US adult population are newly diagnosed with high blood pressure (or hypertension) based on the definition for isolated diastolic hypertension contained in the new guidelines. This translates into approximately 12 million adults in the US being newly diagnosed with this condition.

“Though there are differences between American and European guidelines in how high blood pressure is defined, in general both sets of guidelines recommend that a target blood pressure of 130/80 be achieved for those who are receiving treatment to lower their blood pressure”. 

Professor McEvoy, Medical and Research Director, the NIPC

He continued: “The findings from this NIPC/NUIG study have implications for Irish adults since approximately 600,000 are already on treatment for high blood pressure and as many as 150,000 of these may now be eligible for increases in their treatment doses or number of medications.  Their clinicians could now be aiming to get the diastolic (lower) number to less than 80 despite the patient having a normal systolic (top) blood pressure of below 130”. 

He concluded: “This is a concern, because our team found no adverse health outcomes from a diagnosis of Isolated Diastolic Hypertension when the new guideline criteria are used. The absence of negative health outcomes in this group challenges the need to intensify the blood pressure treatment of these adults with higher diastolic blood pressure. Instead the main focus should be on getting the top number (or systolic blood pressure) under control”.

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 Scoops Gold at Top National Awards Ceremony!

Croí and its subsidiary, the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC), scooped 3 top awards at the Irish Healthcare Awards on November 20th at a special ceremony in Dublin. The Irish Healthcare Awards are Ireland’s leading Awards, now in their 18th year, and they recognise innovation and excellence in the Irish healthcare sector.

The work of Croí and NIPC put the west of Ireland on the map when the charity was announced as the overall winner in three different award categories. The charity won gold for the Best Research Paper of the Year for a systematic review of low dose Aspirin in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease conducted by Prof Bill McEvoy, Research and Medical Director, NIPC. A second award was achieved by winning the Best Student Research Project of the Year for a study of severe obesity as a barrier to international travel. Croí won a third gold for the Best Public Health Initiative of the Year in recognition of a unique partnership with the Galway County Local Community Development Committee which delivered a ‘Healthy Islands Roadshow’ together with 24 other Health and Wellbeing events throughout county Galway.

Speaking about the awards, Croí CEO Neil Johnson said, “this is great recognition for the innovative work being undertaken here in the west of Ireland. These awards are a huge endorsement of the dedication and commitment of all our health team and of all  those who support us, as sponsors, volunteers and partners. We are delighted to win these three prestigious national awards which presented Galway and the west of Ireland in such a positive light.”

WhatsApp Image 2019-11-20 at 23.28.18

Have heart this Christmas and send Croí cards!

Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity, launched its stunning 2019 Christmas Card Collection this week, available to purchase in local shops and online at Send a Croí card this Christmas and show real heart, while supporting families affected by heart disease and stroke in your local community.

New this year is an image from Co. Mayo of Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s Holy Mountain. Paddy Finn’s photo of a snowy Long Walk is a top favourite, along with Nathan Wynne’s images from the Galway Christmas Market.

Each pack of Croí cards contains 12 new designs this year, including photographs from local, Galway photographers. All cards carry Christmas greetings in both Irish and English. The pack costs just €6.99, with all proceeds supporting the fight against heart disease and stroke.

The 2019 Croí Christmas cards are available to purchase in local shops, including Joyce’s Supermarkets, Evergreen Healthfoods, Headlines Newsagent and Matt O’Flaherty Chemists. See the full list of locations or purchase the cards online at

Music: Wish Background Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Global Coalition on Aging Launches Cross-Sector Global Alliance

Croí is a partner of GCOA

Global Coalition On Aging Launches Cross-Sector Global Alliance To Promote Greater Attention To And Action On Heart Failure As A Path To Healthier Aging And Health System Cost Savings

Global Alliance on Heart Failure and Healthy Aging brings together experts across the cardiovascular, aging, economics, policy, and communications fields to slow the impact of heart failure as we age through earlier diagnosis and treatment, better care, and awareness

New York – 14 November 2019 – Today, the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) is launching the Global Alliance on Heart Failure and Healthy Aging (the Alliance), recognizing that while heart failure does increase in prevalence with age, it is not a normal part of aging. More than 30 organizations, including advocacy groups, global businesses, and care providers, have united to better quantify the full scope and scale of heart failure risk as the global population over 60 will reach 2 billion by mid-century.

The creation of the Alliance follows 18 months of roundtables, research, and analysis from global leaders across sectors and areas of expertise. This work has led to the realization that heart failure is too often misunderstood by patients, caregivers, policy makers, payers, the general public, and healthcare professionals themselves, leading to a collaborative commitment to promote better practice and awareness of heart failure diagnosis, treatment, and care.

“The increasing global prevalence of heart failure, linked in large part to demographic aging, underscores the urgency of raising its visibility as a global health priority and of addressing it in new and innovative ways,” said Michael W. Hodin, CEO of GCOA. “Early, common and prevailing symptoms of heart failure, like fatigue or shortness of breath, for example, are too often dismissed as simply a normal part of getting older. This complacency unfortunately perpetuates a culture of ageism in many forms—self-inflicted, ingrained in the healthcare system, among patients and family members, and across society.”

The Alliance was created to shine a light on this connection between heart failure and aging and to spur collaborative action across sectors and areas of expertise. To that end, the Alliance Partners are putting forth a Consensus Statement calling on policy makers, healthcare professionals, patient advocates, NGOs, and others interested in addressing the needs of the growing global aging population to take action to educate, raise awareness, and boost research on heart failure and healthier and more active aging.

We know that 26 million people worldwide are affected by heart failure—more than the population of Australia. Over 80% of people living with heart failure in Europe and in the United States are over 65, and heart failure is the most common cause of hospitalization in older adults as well as the leading cause of unplanned hospital readmissions. In the United States, the economic consequence is expected to be a 127% increase in costs to health systems between 2014 and 2030.

The Alliance has already been focused on a number of initiatives at the intersection of aging and heart failure, conducting research and writing reports on clinical best practices across the global heart failure landscape and on the impact on hospitals and health systems when diagnosis is missed or delayed until an acute care situation.

“The economic implications of heart failure for hospital systems, public and private payers, and therefore society at large are huge, especially when you consider the cases that are misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late,” said Nick Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute, a research partner of the Alliance. “Many diseases and conditions that are often associated with aging could be avoided with earlier detection that comes from a better understanding of symptoms.  But in the case of heart failure, we still need clarity of what is at stake given this connection to aging.”

The Alliance structure consists of (1) the Partners representing the global, cross-sector, and cross-discipline nature of the initiative; (2) the Secretariat housed within GCOA to execute upon Alliance strategies; and (3) the Governing Committee, which will work closely with the Secretariat to guide the Alliance agenda, serve as strategic advisors, lend expertise, and enhance the credibility and positioning of heart failure as we age with policy makers, healthcare professionals, caregivers, patients and families.

Inaugural Governing Committee members include: Holly S. Andersen, MD, FACC, Attending Cardiologist, Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of Education & Outreach, The Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute, The New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center; Michele Bolles, National Vice President of Quality and Health IT, American Heart Association; Salvatore di Somma, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Director of Emergency Medicine, Chairman of Postgraduate School of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medical-Surgery Sciences and Translational Medicine, University La Sapienza Rome, Sant’Andrea Hospital; President, GREAT Network Italy; Jean-Luc Eiselé, CEO, World Heart Federation; Daniel E. Forman, MD, FAHA, FACC, Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh; Chair, Section of Geriatric Cardiology, Divisions of Geriatrics and Cardiology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Director of Emerging Therapeutics, Aging Institute, University of Pittsburgh; Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation and GeroFit, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System; Physician Scientist, Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System; Neil Johnson, Non-Executive Director/Founding Member, Global Heart Hub; Chief Executive, Croí—West of Ireland Cardiac & Stroke Foundation; Sue Koob, CEO, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association; and Marc Wortmann, former Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Disease International.

“Eighty-six percent of our members care for patients with heart failure,” said Koob, an Alliance Governing Committee member. “They play a key role in the overall prevention and management of cardiovascular disease and are critical in establishing strong relationships between patients and hospitals. PCNA is proud to drive greater awareness of and global action on heart failure as part of the Global Alliance on Heart Failure and Healthy Aging.”

In addition to the 2019 Alliance projects, the Alliance has a robust research, communications, and advocacy agenda for 2020, including engagement in the World Health Organization’s Decade of Healthy Ageing, to be launched at the World Health Assembly in May 2020, which will mark a major milestone in elevating heart failure on the global policy agenda.

“Heart failure is currently not prioritized because it is not well understood by those most affected, including patients themselves,” said Hodin. “But, one-in-five of us can expect to live with heart failure at some point in our lives. Through the Global Alliance on Heart Failure and Healthy Aging, we are calling on all stakeholders to make healthy aging a reality for those living with or at risk of heart failure.”


The Global Alliance on Heart Failure & Healthy Aging is the result of a series of successive roundtables convened by the Global Coalition on Aging in New York, Brussels, and Chicago throughout 2018. The meetings collectively brought together more than 70 experts from across sectors, disciplines and geographies who identified the connection between heart failure and aging as a new opportunity to improve patients’ quality of life, better meet patient and caregiver needs, and better manage health systems costs related to heart failure by diagnosing patients as early as possible and ensuring their access to the best available treatments. The Alliance is made possible through funding and support from GCOA members Novartis and Amgen.


About the Global Coalition on Aging

The Global Coalition on Aging aims to reshape how global leaders approach and prepare for the 21st century’s profound shift in population aging. GCOA uniquely brings together global corporations across industry sectors with common strategic interests in aging populations, a comprehensive and systemic understanding of aging, and an optimistic view of its impact. Through research, public policy analysis, advocacy, and strategic communications, GCOA is advancing innovative solutions and working to ensure global aging is a path to health, productivity and economic growth. For more information, visit

Official Opening of the Croí Family Room in the Coronary Care Unit at UHG

Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity, recently funded the furnishing and redesign of a new family room for the Coronary Care Unit at University Hospital Galway. The Coronary Care Unit is a specialist unit for patients recovering after a heart attack or with other serious heart conditions. It is the primary heart unit for the Saolta Hospital Group and patients from all parts of the West and North West of the country are cared for there.

Commenting on the importance of the new family room, hospital manager Ms Chris Kane said, “Many of the patients treated in the Coronary Care Unit arrive by ambulance or helicopter with little time to prepare for a hospital stay. They come from all parts of the country and having a family room available makes a huge difference to the families who may travel long distances to the hospital in stressful situations. We are very appreciative of the support from Croí which made the new family room possible.”

Rosetta Reilly from Co Cavan who spent time in the family room earlier this year while her mother was under the care of the Coronary Care Unit said, “Our family were delighted to have use of the Croí Family Room for the duration of our mother’s six night hospital stay. I was here every day and the rest of the family visited daily from Cavan. We were able to have a cup of tea together between visits to the Coronary Care Unit and I was able to rest here too. Living so far from the hospital, it was fantastic to have a home away from home which allowed us to be close to our mother.”

Christine Flanagan, Croí’s Director of Fundraising said, “We are proud of the beautiful space that has been created with the Croí Family Room. Part of our mission here at Croí is to support families faced with heart disease or stroke, and we wanted to provide a calming space for families going through a difficult time as their loved ones receive care in University Hospital Galway.”

To redesign the family space in the hospital, Croí joined up with Interior Designer Rosie O’Connell, who generously donated her time for the project. “Rosie collaborated with the team at the hospital and really helped transform the room into a calm space for families to recharge,” says Flanagan.

“Croí’s work is entirely funded from the proceeds of fundraising events, voluntary contributions and philanthropy. The Croí Family Room refurbishment was made possible thanks to generous donations to Croí’s Patient and Family Support Services fund. Other Croí Patient and Family Support Services include free accommodation in the Courtyard Apartments at Croí, where families can stay close to a loved one who is undergoing surgery or receiving stroke or cardiac care at Galway University Hospital. To learn more about Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity, visit”

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Dr Briain MacNeill, Consultant Cardiologist; Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí; Chris Kane, General Manager, Galway University Hospitals (GUH); and Geraldine Murray, Director of Nursing, GUH at the official opening of the Croí Family Room in the hospital’s Coronary Care Unit.
Dr Briain MacNeill, Consultant Cardiologist; Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí; Chris Kane, General Manager, Galway University Hospitals (GUH); and Geraldine Murray, Director of Nursing, GUH at the official opening of the Croí Family Room in the hospital’s Coronary Care Unit.
Rosemary Walsh, Assistant Director of Nursing; Sinead Duke, Nurse Manager Coronary Care Unit; Christine Flanagan, Fundraising Director, Croí and Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí at the official opening of the Croí Family Room in the Coronary Care Unit at University Hospital Galway. Photo: Brian Harding.
Rosemary Walsh, Assistant Director of Nursing; Sinead Duke, Nurse Manager Coronary Care Unit; Christine Flanagan, Fundraising Director, Croí and Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí at the official opening of the Croí Family Room in the Coronary Care Unit at University Hospital Galway. Photo: Brian Harding.