Family matters

Each week in the Health Supplement of the Irish Times another person from the world of ‘Health’ is profiled in the On the Couch column. I usually enjoy these articles for the insight they allow into other people’s lives. While many of the people featured have achieved great heights in their careers, it’s always good to see how ‘family’ remain a big part of their lives. If asked When or where are you happiest? without fail the response is “with family and friends”. Who or what makes you laugh? Again, it’s usually family, and especially the children who feature the strongest.

Well this week those simple, yet very special pleasures in life have been taken away from Maurice Neligan, a pioneering Irish heart surgeon (now retired), who writes his own column Heart Beat for the same said Health Supplement. His daughter, Sara (aged 31) and a nurse herself, was stabbed to death in her Dublin apartment this week. I was deeply saddened to hear of this news.

Maurice Neligan is not afraid to give his frank and honest opinion on the present crisis in the Irish health service. He is an ‘expert’ voice on health matters in this country and deserves to be heard. He does not deserve this tragic loss in his life. My heart goes out to him, and to his wife and all his family at this awful time. Maurice Neligan has issued a statement saying that the family is devastated and they have requested privacy. I sincerely hope this will be respected.

This week’s contributor to the On the Couch column responded to the question of What is your greatest fear? with the reply “severe injury or death to any of my loved ones in my own lifetime”. Enough said.

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