88% of parents say their children contracted a bug or virus at school according to Haven Pharmacy survey


  • 38% of parents say general vitality and well-being is their biggest healthcare concern for their kids as they prepare to go back to school
  • Half of all parents say their local pharmacy is their first port of call when they have queries about their child’s healthcare, while 18% say they check online first and just 13% say they turn to their GP first
  • 75% of parents say their own energy levels are dramatically affected during back to school season
  • Don Conroy, legendary artist, lends support to Haven Pharmacy ‘Back to School Expert Hands Colouring Competition’ for children

Nine out of ten parents say their children have contracted a bug or a virus from school, according to a new survey conducted by Haven Pharmacy, the independent co-operative pharmacy group with 52 stores nationwide that provides expert, impartial and relevant health advice to customers. The survey also reveals that parents are most worried about their kids’ general vitality and well-being (38%) as they head back to the classroom in September, with other key concerns including ‘colds and flu (31%)’, ‘head lice (18%)’ and chest infections (13%).

Over 500 Irish parents took part in the survey to tie in with the launch of the Haven Pharmacy ‘Back to School Expert Hands Colouring Competition’ which is being supported by well-known artist Don Conroy. Don has designed a back to school inspired illustration for kids to colour and be in with a change to win some great prizes! Copies of the illustration can be picked up in any of the 52 Haven Pharmacy outlets nationwide.

The Haven Pharmacy survey found that when it comes to looking for advice on a child related healthcare issue, nearly half of all parents (48%) said their local pharmacy would be their first port of call. Nearly one fifth (18%) said they would check their query online first, while 15% say they would ask a family member. Just 13% said they would turn to their GP first, with 5% saying they would ask a friend. 91% said the information received from their pharmacist has always been reliable, with the remaining 9% saying they don’t normally think to ask their pharmacist for advice

Over half of all respondents (53%) say their family fall victim to illness during the changing seasons, with one in five (21%) saying that a family member is sick every month. One quarter (26%) say they visit their pharmacy weekly, while a further 24% say they visit once a fortnight.

Interestingly, a significant 75% of parents confirmed that their own energy levels are dramatically affected during the early back to school months, while 46% said their kids also struggled to maintain energy levels and focus on schoolwork as the year progresses. As a result, it’s probably not surprising that 55% of families said they regularly take a multi-vitamin or effervescent tablet to help boost their energy levels during the busy back to school period and the changing seasons.

When it comes to healthcare spending, 58% of customers fork-out €20 a month on prescription medication at their local pharmacy, with a further 31% of customers spending up to €50 each month. In addition, 92% of customers spend up to €50 a month on non-prescription items.

With 48% of parents saying that cost is one of the hardest aspects of getting the kids back to school, Haven Pharmacy is offering up to 33% off a range of ‘Back-to-School’ items in store such as Vitamins, head lice treatment, dental and skin care products this August and September – helping parents to save on cost and ensure our little academics are in the best of health for the new school year!

Speaking about the survey results, Pharmacist at Haven Pharmacy Looby’s in Palmerstown Dublin, said:  

“As these survey results show, it’s very hard to escape the bugs and viruses that are associated with back to school, but it’s heartening to hear that nearly half of all parents turn to their pharmacist first to get advice. We would always encourage parents to come and talk to us if they have any concerns. With over 200+ pharmacists and 400+ staff in 52 stores nationwide, we are best placed to provide practical advice and treatments on everything from seasonal sickness to school bugs, bumps and bruises. And given that 75% of parents worry about their energy levels, we will also ensure that they are looked after too. So whether you need a pick-me-up, a confidential chat or some sound advice on everything from a common aliment to a chronic condition, please come and talk to us.”

Don Conroy, the legendary Artist and longest serving member of the Den, said: “I’m delighted to be working alongside Haven Pharmacy on this wonderful initiative. Colouring is a great way for young people to be introduced to the creative form, and can kick-start their imagination, opening up the creative journey that will enrich their lives. This can be echoed in our children’s schoolwork as they become more comfortable expressing themselves in their written and creative endeavours. Colouring can also be a welcome relief from studies, especially just having had the entire summer off! I want to wish all the children who take part in this year’s Expert Hands Colouring Competition the best of luck and I look forward to seeing the entries!”

To enter the Haven Pharmacy ‘Expert Hands Back to School Colouring Competition’, just pop into your local Haven Pharmacy and pick up a copy of Don Conroy’s illustration

The competition will have two separate age categories for kids aged 4 – 7 years old and 8 – 12 years old

‘Haven Pharmacy – you’re in expert hands.’

For more information, visit www.havenpharmacy.ie or

find your local Haven Pharmacy on Facebook

Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards announce Poetry category for 2016 awards

BGE IBA 2016

Submissions now open for ‘The Listowel Writers Week Irish Poem of the Year’

The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards are delighted to announce the addition of a new award category for the 2016 awards.  The category will be titled the ‘Listowel Writers Week Irish Poem of the Year’ and this latest addition will fulfil a long-held ambition of the awards organisers to include poetry on the awards roster.

Listowel Writers Week is one of Ireland’s finest and longest running literary festivals, which holds a cherished place in the hearts of all those who love Irish literature.  The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards and Listowel Writers Week look forward to a long and fruitful association in celebration of Irish poetry.

Now in its eleventh year, the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards brings together the entire book community – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians –.to recognise and celebrate the very best of Irish writing talent. Each year, hundreds of books are submitted for consideration across a range of categories including Novel of the Year, Popular Fiction, Non-fiction, Crime, Children’s, Sports, Short Stories and Cookery.

The ‘Listowel Writers Week Irish Poem of the Year’ is open to single poems of no more than 70 lines, published between the 1st November 2015 and the 1st October 2016, in any of the following contexts: a collection of poetry by a single author; an anthology of poetry; or an established Irish journal or magazine that has been in existence for at least six months within the period of eligibility.

Poems must be original i.e. neither a reprint nor adaptation of a previously-published work, and all poems must have been or will be published during the qualifying period.  The author must be Irish by birth, citizenship or long-term residence.  Only one poem per poet may be submitted.

A panel of judges, chosen by Listowel Writers Week, will select the shortlist of four poems. All submitted poems will be read and chosen anonymously. The shortlist will be announced, along with the other Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards shortlists, at the Awards launch in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on 25th October 2016.  The winning poem will be judged by a combination of the panel and the online voting public who will also have an opportunity to vote for their favourite poem.

The ‘Listowel Writers Week Irish Poem of the Year’ will be announced, along with all the other winning titles, at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards gala ceremony on Wednesday, 16th November in Dublin’s Double Tree by Hilton hotel.

Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Executive Director Alastair Giles said: “We are delighted that we’re now in a position to add a poetry category to the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards roster.  We’re especially delighted that the new sponsor is Listowel Writers Week, an organisation with a highly-respected reputation within the literary community.  Poetry is central to the Irish literary tradition and we look forward to seeing an enthusiastic response in terms of submissions for the new award.”

Listowel Writers Week Chairperson, Liz Dunn said: “We, at Listowel Writers Week, continuously endeavour to promote and support established and emerging poets of all genres and ages through our annual workshops, events and competitions. We are thrilled to be sponsoring this prestigious award which recognises the prominence and importance of published Irish poets both nationally and worldwide.”

Full details on how to enter and prevailing Terms and Conditions are available to view at writersweek.ie  or www.bgeirishbookawards.ie


GSK Cork announce new Pharmaceutical Technical apprenticeship programme


  • Three year programme offers school leavers a unique path to a chemistry based qualification while working alongside leading global talent
  • Deadline for applications is 31 August

GSK in Cork today announced the launch of a new Pharmaceutical Technical apprenticeship programme. The site, which has 450 employees, will be the first of the global healthcare company’s Irish manufacturing sites to offer an apprenticeship in this area, which is a new discipline for the company.

GSK, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, employs 1,800 people across four locations in Ireland – Dungarvan, Cork, Sligo and Dublin. The company is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

In operation since 1975, GSK’s manufacturing facility in Cork produces the active ingredients for nine of GSK’s medicines, including treatments for cancer, depression and Parkinson’s disease. A highly skilled workforce at GSK is essential to the future of the site as a world class facility and initiatives such as the Pharmaceutical Technical apprenticeship programme aim to ensure a consistent pipeline of future talent for the operation.

Improving the quality of pharmaceuticals and ensuring that they are manufactured to the highest standard of compliance at all levels is vital. As a Pharmaceutical Technical apprentice, the successful candidate will gain a strong understanding of a broad range of pharmaceutical equipment and processes as well as an understanding of their potential impact on product, quality and patient safety.

Successful applicants will work alongside some of the industry’s leading technicians, learning and the skills and techniques that will help ensure that GSK products, processes and equipment are world class standard.

The Pharmaceutical Technical apprenticeship is a three-year programme, leading towards a foundation degree in Applied Chemical Science Technology from Kent University, UK. As well as earning an internationally recognised qualification, participants will gain valuable on-the-job experience, a competitive base salary and access to GSK’s benefit scheme.

The recruitment in Cork is part of a wider GSK apprentice programme across its global manufacturing sites where it plans to recruit 80 apprentices in 2016. GSK Cork currently has 12 Engineering Apprentices, and this is the first time it will offer a non-craft apprenticeship. Online applications are now being accepted at: http://ie.gsk.com/ie/careers/apprenticeships for the Cork-based opportunity, until 31 August 2016.

Launching the new programme, Joanne O’Flaherty, Head of Validation in Primary Global Manufacturing and Supply, at GSK said: “I’m delighted that Cork is the first Irish GSK site to offer the Pharmaceutical Technical Apprenticeship. As a global manufacturing site, it’s important that we have a strong pipeline of talent to play a key role in helping the company produce medicines, serving millions of patients around the world.”

Outlining the future career that the GSK Pharmaceutical Technical apprentice could look forward to, Joanne added: “The new programme is part of GSK’s continued commitment to building capability and developing careers within the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Our new apprenticeship programme is an exciting and unique opportunity to be part of an important area of our business. GSK has now invested over €700m in the Cork site since its inception in 1974 and initiatives such as the Pharmaceutical Technical apprenticeship programme further illustrate GSK’s commitment to the region. The programme offers successful applicants a significant opportunity to work with one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies and progress their career while also earning a recognised qualification.”

Fergus O’Brien, Talent Acquisition Manager, GSK Ireland said “As well as studying towards a qualification, apprentices will gain valuable on-the-job experience alongside the industry’s leading talent as well as a competitive base salary.  The GSK apprenticeship programme is part of GSK’s overall Early Talent programme which includes a number of additional programmes such as internships, student placements and graduate, post grad and ‘Future Leader’ programmes.

For more information or to apply online, see: http://ie.gsk.com/ie/careers/apprenticeships/  


Average gambling spend during Euro 2016 was €105 – 20% more than predicted


  • 84% of us tuned into watch a football match at some point
  • 60% of those who travelled to France funded the trip with savings while 19% took out a credit union loan
  • 66% of people spent time on Facebook following the matches or looking up content related to the tournament

New research conducted by Livewire, the sponsorship specialists, shows that Irish people spent considerably more on food, drink, gambling and sporting memorabilia during the Euro 2016 football tournament than usual.

Before Euro 2016 kicked off, Livewire teamed up with Ignite Research to survey 1000 people on their plans for the tournament as part of the Livewire Euros Insider. A second poll was conducted in the week of the final had ended to gauge if consumer behaviour had matched what people had originally planned. Below is a list of the key results from the research.

Spending Trends – Food, Drink, Gambling and Memorabilia:

  • Before the tournament began, those who planned on gambling had estimated they would spend an average of €85. By the end of the Euro 2016 however, their average spend had risen to €105, 20% more than they had originally intended
  • Those who were planning to buy football memorabilia thought they would spend €44, however the average spend was €150, over 3 times their original estimate
  • Those who planned on spending more on food and drink during the tournament had estimated they would spend an average of €122 more. By the end of the Euro 2016 however, their average spend had risen to €133, 9% more than they had originally intended

Who watched the games?

  • 84% of us tuned in to watch a match at some point
  • Livewire research highlighted that 90% of us planned to watch Euro 2016 on television at home
  • While just over a third of women planned on tuning in to Euro 2016, it turns out that 80% of females polled after the tournament said that they watched a match at some point
  • Livewire estimates a total of €4million was spent on advertising across RTÉ and TV3 throughout Euro 2016, considerably more than was spent on either Euro 2012 or the 2014 World Cup. On the whole, the gambling sector made up 11% of all adverts shown during Republic of Ireland matches.

Who went to the Euros and how did they fund the trip?

  • 6% of us made the trip to France to enjoy the tournament and help Irish supporters earn the reputation of the ‘Greatest Fans in the World’.
  • Of those who travelled to France, it seems that many had been planning their trip for some time, with 32% saying they used savings to fund their trip while an additional 28% reported they had saved specifically for the tournament.
  • Interestingly, 19% of those who travelled borrowed from their Credit Union to fund the trip.


Digital trends and second screening:

As with other recent sports events, the explosion in second screening and digital activity during matches has continued. While TV remains king for live match viewing, the role of social and digital media for further fan engagement is clear.

  • 43% of people who watched some of Euro 2016 used a second device to look at content or follow the tournament. Computers/Laptops were most popular at 23%, with smart phones a close second on 21%.
  • 66% of people spent time on Facebook following the matches or looking up content related to the tournament.
  • WhatsApp was also popular with 28% of respondents saying they used this service and a quarter of those questioned used Twitter to follow matches or look at content.


Jamie Macken, a Partner with Livewire, says:

“Livewire, in partnership with Ignite Research, has highlighted some interesting trends with regard to consumer behaviour during the Euros. The tournament seems to have lifted people’s spirits – it’s obvious there was a sense of optimism around the country and this was evident in the fact that many spent more on food, drink and household goods than they originally intended to. Of course, this is also good news for sponsors.

TV continues to be the most popular way to consume live sport but sponsors and advertisers must utilise social and digital media to capture the hearts and minds of fans.”


For further information, check out http://www.livewire.ie/the-wire

or follow us on @LivewireIRL