TAOISEACH Micheál Martin enjoyed the local talent of Club Ceoil Knocknaheeny and The Kabin Studio during a recent trip to Cork which saw him launch Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme.
The musicians, singers and rappers showed off their talents to an impressed Mr Martin during the launch event which took place at Hollyhill Library on Saturday.
The Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme, led by Healthy Ireland in the Department of Health, HSE, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, Cork City Council and local community groups, offers the public and health practitioners increased health and wellbeing programmes on their doorstep to support healthier lifestyles and to empower people to make healthier choices.
Those present learned of the supported programmes including the Stop Smoking Service, We Can Quit Smoking Cessation Programme, Parents Plus Programme, Healthy Food Made Easy, Social Prescribing Service, and Make Every Contact Count (MECC).
Speaking at Hollyhill Library Taoiseach Micheál Martin spoke of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and passing that lifestyle down to the next generation and of how he learned from his late father Paddy Martin.
“I am delighted to see this programme being delivered in Cork. The Healthy Communities Programme will support not only the physical and mental health of the people of Cork but will also positively influence other factors that determine health such as in education, social support and the built environment,” he said.
Cork City Council chief executive Ann Doherty said it is “heartening” to see the partnership and engagement being further enhanced in the northside of the city where Cork City Council’s Community Section already does a lot of work with its interagency partners and community organisations to improve quality of life through the Healthy Cities agenda.
Head of Health and Wellbeing with the HSE/Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Gabrielle O’Keeffe said that the ongoing yearly investment of just over €1 million by the HSE will fund the delivery of a range of programmes and that the programme will also fund new posts, with a Community Food and Nutrition Worker to be in place next year.
Speaking toat the event, Mary Moon who took part in the We Can Quit programme said that it was the best thing she has done to get her life back.
Ms Moon, who had been smoking for 25 years and who had a grand-nephew on the way who she didn’t want coming into the world knowing she was a smoker, took part in the course six years ago.
“It was the best thing I did to get my life back. Now I’m more present in my life because I'm not constantly at the back door having a cigarette.
“The change within the first six weeks in my skin and my hair was softer and I'm able to walk up a hill now without losing my breath. I enjoy my life now,” she said.