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Brexit & Ireland, an inside story of the Irish response

Tuesday, 03 September 2019
Need to understand how Ireland helped to shape the EU's response to Brexit? RTÉ's Europe correspondent Tony Connelly tells the dramatic story of the Irish response to this political and economic earthquake. Read More...
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Stanhope Forbes, father of Cornwall's Newlyn School of painting

Friday, 16 August 2019
Dublin-born Stanhope Forbes spent time painting Brittany before founding the influential Newlyn School of painters in Cornwall in the late 19th century. Read More...
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Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...
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Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...
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The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Calls for compulsory heart screening in Scotland following death of footballer

Phil O’Donnell, Motherwell Football Club captain, collapsed and died at Fir Park on December 29th. His death has prompted support for regular cardiovascular check-ups for footballers at all levels in Scotland.

Phil O’Donnell, Motherwell Football Club captain, collapsed and died at Fir Park on December 29th. He was thirty-five years old and is survived by his wife and four children.

Following a post-mortem, the cause of death was identified as heart failure. It is believed that the footballer suffered from a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which stops the heart working as it makes the muscle thicker.

The death of the Motherwell captain comes only four months after Sevilla footballer Antonio José Puerta Pérez died from a similar condition and has prompted support for regular cardiovascular check-ups for footballers at all levels in Scotland.

Footballers in Italy are subjected to a yearly check-up and there have been calls for similar tests to be introduced in Scotland, to try and prevent any further tragedies.

Professor Stewart Hillis, the SFA's medical consultant, has stated his support for such tests: "I have approached the Scottish Executive about this in the past and I will be looking to speak to them again in the near future… If we are telling our youngsters to get out and exercise then let's make sure we are not putting them at risk."

PFA Scotland representative Fraser Wishart has also lent his support to compulsory screenings, stating "The demands on the players' fitness and bodies are more than when I played….We must investigate the demands on them physically and what they put into their bodies in terms of supplements and drinks to keep up fitness”.

Motherwell Football Club have announced that the Main Stand at Fir Park will be renamed the Phil O’Donnell Stand as a way of creating a lasting memorial. The club created a similar memorial in 1995 when the South Stand was renamed the Davie Cooper Stand, after the former Motherwell player died of a brain haemorrhage.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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