Stuart Mangan, a young man who died as a result of rugby-related paralysis, has had a scholarship established in his name which hopes to make it feasible for those who suffered sport-related paralysis to participate in educational programmes at University of Limerick for periods of up to four years.

The scholarship includes the support of a number of mentors, such as Keith Wood, Denis O’Brien and Stuart’s brother Keith, who will take a personal interest in the welfare of the scholarship winner.

In a rugby match on April 5th,  2009; Stuart, aged 25, was injured and was paralysed from the neck down. He relied on a ventilator to breathe and needed carers 24 hours a day. The scholarship is part-funded by the W2, a consultancy firm that Keith Wood established to support sport related projects for young people.

The UL Foundations and the Disability Support Services at UL currently support over 600 UL students with various and wide-ranging disabilities.


It has just been announced that Queen’s University Belfast and the Irish Equine Centre will implement a new strategy to test for illegal drugs in horses and cattle. It will operate by detecting the biological effects of the illegal substance instead of the presence of the drug itself. As a result, it has the potential to screen large numbers of animals quicker and more efficiently than at present.

Dr Mark Mooney, from the Institute for Global Food Security has noted, “Current tests are expensive, time consuming and have failed to keep pace with black market developments in producing, distributing and administering banned substances. The danger is that these substances go undetected and find their way into the food chain. The new test will help mitigate that risk.”

Project co-ordinator Mark Sherry has said that the new test will lead to faster detection and give testers the upper-hand in upholding the law in the continuous battle against dopers.


University College Cork (UCC) Professor Patricia Kearney has just been named one of six new HRB Leaders. Professor Kearney’s main aim will be to prevent and minimise all the effects of diabetes, including financial, clinical and societal.

Kearney stated, “In Ireland, nearly one in ten adults have diabetes, many of whom are undiagnosed. Currently diabetes costs the states almost €580 million per annum… This programme of work will address specific gaps by determining the real prevalence and incidence of diabetes in Ireland, define the costs of current care models and develop a lifestyle intervention for prevention of diabetes during pregnancy.”

The six new HRB leaders will establish an internationally recognised research group, which will evaluate and design behavioural interventions that will improve our health.

They will improve the national infrastructure to accurately compare the cost-effectiveness of non-acute Irish health services and will identify the necessity for the prevention and treatment of serious illnesses such as diabetes as well as analyse the effect of online psychological interventions for those with multiple conditions such as chronic pain.

They will use cost-benefit analysis to help decision making in an area of resource constraints for personalised healthcare interventions and will use statistical techniques to integrate large health information datasets to improve decision making in relation to healthcare interventions.