Health Organisations – Ireland

Overview of health organisations for people with disabilities Health Service Executive (HSE) Department of Social Protection Press Office of the Department of Health, Ireland Disability Federation of Ireland National Disability Authority Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI) Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Irish Medicines Board (IMB) Revenue Commissioners Information on Rights and Entitlements Medical Cards […]

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Ireland Speaks No Language

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Ireland speaks no language I cannot hear with my heart. Sings no songs I cannot feel by their touch on my lips. Holds no love I cannot embrace with my thoughts. Ireland listens quietly, Unconditionally. ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte, 2013, 2016 #1916 #Ireland1916 #EasterMonday #RTE1916 #Easter1916 #1916Rising #EasterRising © Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & […]

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13!

Thirteen years ago today I moved to Ireland. A teenage dream turned reality. Little did I know that 2,5 years later, my life would be transformed in a way I had never imagined. Still, there are no regrets, and where anger could have lived, none is left for two chronic illnesses that could easily have […]

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Older, and dafter too!

Another year older today, and another year dafter too. Kookier. Most definitely away with the faeries. Never one to take myself too seriously unless needed, I am taking my new number in my stride. Having family and friends I love and who in return, seem to like me enough to give me a place in their […]

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William Butler Yeats @150

William Butler Yeats: Irish prose writer, dramatist and poet; Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. 1865-1939; compiled the Oxford Book of Modern Verse. My favourite Irish author would have been 150 years today. Ireland, myself included, celebrates a man so talented, his words still touches people today. Two years ago, and on my birthday, I […]

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The love revolution

Vox populi: Turnout: 1,949,725 Yes: 1,201,607 No: 734,300 62.1% vs 37.9% Today, Ireland turned a corner by becoming the first country in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote. A corner a lot of people have been struggling with for decades. A fear that many were afraid of voicing, afraid of a Catholic Church still […]

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Kick-Ass Ireland

Some days I sit still and think about how my life became a dream full-circle. There’s William Butler Yeats, James Joyce and Brendan Behan. Seamus Heaney, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Beckett and George Bernard Shaw. The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Land of Heart’s Desire and Yeats’s grave. Dubliners, Ulysses and Bloomsday. The mountains, lakes, Dublin, Sligo and […]

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Books, Ireland and a few blanks

“To see the real Ireland, the sea, the ocean, the mountains, the patches of green under constantly changing shadows, is to know its people. Despite trying to give Ireland the best of both worlds, it ended up taking up part of me. Lex talionis not applied, I abide by its spirit and ever-welcoming mind.”

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Ireland, still here

“Ireland is still the protagonist in my life that runs away with its stories, and drags me along in its clear chants and rebel songs. I hear tears falling on the sound of uilleann pipes; I feel the waves when I read Seamus Heaney’s ‘Lovers on Aran’. I’ve walked with James Joyce and listened to William Butler Yeats. It feels as if my heart came home. In my mind, I was already part of Ireland.”

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12 years of poetry, books & dreams

12 years ago, on this very day, I moved to Ireland. Sometimes it still feels like a dream within a dream, of seeing, hearing and feeling new stories, of meeting wise and old, playful and young. Thinking back, I always have William Butler Yeats in the back of my mind. He is definitely my favourite […]

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Irish Selfie

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie: “For this challenge, snap a selfie with your camera phone or camera.” Photo was taken in 2004, on Inish Mór, one of the Aran Islands, Ireland. A selfie, one of the few I take really. ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material […]

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Ireland: raining goodwill amidst floods of sorrow

Sending kind thoughts and heartfelt wishes to people in the west and south of Ireland as they are battling ferocious weather once again. Families, friends, ex-colleagues, and strangers are currently battling gale force winds, high tides and heavy rainfall and lost material goods, businesses, pets and a sense of security. In towns where walls once stood, water […]

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It’s not just sport. It’s Irish rugby.

Yesterday Ireland saw what the Irish rugby team is capable of when all parameters are right. It turned out to be an emotional day for many since Ireland has never beaten New Zealand. When the 80 minutes of the game were played, Ireland was ahead. But then came the last 90 seconds. Pure joy changed […]

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Dublin Speaks No Language

Dublin speaks no language I cannot hear with my heart. Sings no song I cannot Feel by the touch on my lips. Hold no love, I cannot Embrace with my thoughts. Dublin listens quietly, Unconditionally. ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material […]

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The right to die (updated)

“In the end, the truly sad thing is courts denying people the right to live their own life and deal with death when someone is so obviously tormented. Sanctity of life is a personal matter, what you or I see in this is not up to a court to decide. Not now, not ever.”

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11 years!

There aren’t many things in my life that have outnumbered my years in Ireland as I celebrate my 11th anniversary of living in Ireland today. Once again I had to pinch my arm, making sure that I woke up in Clonsilla, Ireland instead of Belgium. Eleven years indeed. Dreams do come true if you want […]

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Irish skies

WordPress Daily Prompt: Release Me Tell us about the blog post you were most nervous to publish — and what it was like to set it free. Photographers, artists, poets: show us FREE. For me, flying is being released from life, on earth and in my mind. Wonder about how people are able to create machines […]

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Dublin, my Dublin

Pictures of Dublin, my Dublin. Almost 11 years in Ireland, I still consider it a dream come true, a life less ordinary and simply… Ireland: the love of my life. (Apologies if images are grainy, some were taken with an old-fashioned camera)

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2014 Budget plea to the Irish government

“A heart transplant is easy enough these days, but brain transplants belong in the world of fantasy. Because of that, urgent reconfiguration of existing services should be done.”

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Dublin’s day once again

“What I love about GAA games is that kind of rebellion, and the hunger and passion children grow up with today for their native sports. Remember Winston Churchill once said that “We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.” A wonderful lack of respect for anything British almost. And whereas babies in Belgium are born with a bicycle between their legs, Irish babies enter this world with either a hurling stick or a ball in their hands.”

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Worstward Ho, by Samuel Beckett

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” (from Worstward Ho, 1983; Samuel Beckett 1906 – 1989) Irish Writer, best known for his play Waiting for Godot in 1952 and winning the Noble Prize Literature  in 1969. ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication […]

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Shortlisted!

After a holiday which wasn’t really a holiday – flying home because a family member passed away is hardly reason to have that excited holiday feeling – and trying to sleep while having half an eye fixed on the Ireland Blog Awards 2013 website every so many hours for the last week or so, I […]

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W.B. Yeats in Sligo, Ireland

In July I visited Sligo in the west of Ireland, where William Butler Yeats is engraved in Drumcliffe near his beloved Ben Bulben mountain. Since I am a big fan of Irish literature, and have a very definite weakness for Yeats’ poetry and life, I took several pictures from a different angle. I was trying […]

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The Second Coming, by William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some […]

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From The Frontier Of Writing, by Seamus Heaney

The tightness and the nilness round that space when the car stops in the road, the troops inspect its make and number and, as one bends his face towards your window, you catch sight of more on a hill beyond, eyeing with intent down cradled guns that hold you under cover and everything is pure […]

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Ireland, a masterpiece

The Ireland I now inhabit is one that these Irish contemporaries have helped to imagine. (Seamus Heaney) Ireland is where strange tales begin and happy endings are possible. (Charles Haughey)

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Dingle, the golden hour

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour by Cheri Lucas Rowlands on July 12, 2013: The Golden Hour. In photography, the “golden hour” is the first and last hour of sunlight of the day. Photographers venture out on sunrise hikes or sunset treks to capture a magical shot, due to the quality of the light during that […]

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Famine

Ever since Dublin became my hometown, the Irish Famine sculptures by artist Rowan Gillespie on Custom House Quay haunt me. The statues are ‘walking’ on towards emigration ships like the Jeannie Johnston and they describe so well the hunger Irish people went through during the Great Famine, called Gorta Mór in Irish (Great Hunger), between 1845 and 1852, […]

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Faith in Ireland

Good things sometimes fall apart so better things can fall together. This is the case for people aiming to improve their lives, careers and relationships after hardship happens. Sometimes they get there from the word ‘go’ while others may require more time to reach their destination. Having faith is often necessary to be successful and […]

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Disability is never cured with one pill alone

So it seems I’m on the warpath. It also appears that if you want to change things, you have to work very hard to get it done. And hope your adversaries are willing to at least listen for one second to what you have to say. Is it worth it? Not if your voice is […]

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An Irish General… and me

The places that we pass through day after day, or even once in a lifetime, leave in their small way, echoes and traces of themselves upon us. But so often when taking self-portraits or pictures of friends, the places themselves become a softly blurred mush of indistinct semi-nothingness, the limelight stolen by our smiling faces. […]

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Irish: A Manner of Speaking

Once again I am finding myself in WordPress-Blog-space. It’s a happy space if you ask me. Slowly I am learning about blogging and about writing and I am finding my own voice. When I received the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge email about slang and phrases that are unique to where bloggers live, I need not […]

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