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Following the untimely death of 16-year-old Michael Cornacchio in Cork earlier this week, the HSE has issued a warning to the public over the dangers of a synthetic drug known as U-4.

Michael was found unresponsive in his bedroom in Deerpark, Friars Walk on Monday, and despite medical intervention was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following the teen's death, David Lane, Co-Ordinator of Drug & Alcohol Services with the HSE, spoke with RTÉ, and highlighted the dangers associated with the drug which many may mistake for cocaine.

"It hasn't appeared in an Irish context previously. We are aware that this particular drug has been implicated in deaths in the United States, other parts of Europe and the UK," he explained.

"So we are issuing this public health message to let people know that it has made an appearance on the streets in Cork. We are appealing through various networks in Cork city for drug users to avoid taking the substance."

Echoing these sentiments, Dr Eamon Keenan, HSE National Clinical Leader for Addiction Services, said: "The substance has been discovered in Ireland for the first time. In this case this substance was sold as something else and bought as something else, cocaine."

"You never know what you're buying when you go into the drug market. There is no security or control."

According to The Irish Independent, the HSE has advised the public to dispose of the drug, which has been linked to 50 deaths in the United States since 2015, if they believe they are in possession of it.

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Despite providing essential, often life-saving services within our health system, newly-qualified nurses in this country face low starting salaries and increasingly tough working-conditions.

Understandably, the Irish Nurses And Midwives Organisation is now desperately appealing to the government to improve pay, hours, staffing levels, and post graduate opportunities.

But while unions and politicians remain embattled, ordinary, hard-working nurses are struggling – sometimes desperately so.

Indeed, recently one nurse felt compelled to take to a Facebook page that offers support to those working in the industry.

In a powerfully penned post that has now garnered significant traction online, the unnamed mother makes her compelling argument for pay restoration – whereby the penalties inflicted on the public service sector by Troika-led austerity are eased or abolished.

The nurse has chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect her husband and children; here is an extract from her post

I, like thousands of others, went to college for four years and got my nursing degree.

I got married to a tradesman. We got a mortgage for a three bedroomed house and we had two children. 

We could pay for our mortgage. We had one family holiday a year. We had two cars. Neither of us had new cars but the cars we bought got us to our jobs and back home again. 

We lived a normal life. Nothing fancy. But we got by. Then the banks and the government decided to gamble with our lives. My husband lost his job in the crash. 

And I was forced to take on all the bills including the mortgage. 

It was tough but I did OK. We sold my husband’s car for €3,000. We tightened our belts. 

Then the government decided to punish us even further for their mistakes. They introduced USC. Again we tightened our belts even further. My husband was getting the odd job here and there but his weekly wage was gone. We were struggling to get by.

Gone was the yearly holiday. Gone were the day trips away. Gone was the monthly night out for the two of us.

As if that wasn't enough punishment the government decided that because I'm a nurse, I must pay PRD (Pension Related Deduction). A tax that was only to be introduced as an emergency tax but for some reason we are still being forced to pay. 

We were already at rock bottom… but that destroyed us. Santa suddenly hadn't got a lot of money. Toys were second hand from charity shops. Food was bargain basement end of life food. And our mortgage? I just can't pay it any longer.

I try to pay some money off it but the money that I used to pay for the mortgage is now going to pay USC and PRD. Anything I have left is going on paying for heating, electricity and the kids’ food and schooling. Our heating is one fire in the sitting room and hot water bottles. 

And now the banks have decided that they're going to take our home. They're going to leave us homeless. I've tried to talk to them but they don't want to know. 

I've tried to come to a deal with them to pay off as much as I can but it isn't good enough. They are completely heartless. They want the house. 

We are now going through the repossession courts desperately trying to save the last thing we have left, our little family home. 

I'm used to being verbally and physically abused in my job. I'll never get used to the ward being constantly short staffed and always overcrowded though. Every working day is a nightmare but it's not as tough as constantly going hungry everyday and coming home to see my husband a shadow of his former self.

We were once just a normal couple going about our simple lives and now we are a very broken couple who are desperately trying to save the last thing we have left, the roof over our heads. 

And has our government even tried to help us save our home? Not at all. In fact they haven't even tried to stop the courts from taking our home at all and yet they are responsible for our home being taken from us.  

Have they tried to restore our pay? No. Instead they are trying to lay the blame at our feet that if they restore any of our pay that we will put this country into another recession. How dare they.

They talk about recovery non stop. What recovery? The only ones I see in recovery are the banks and all the self serving politicians! 

Not one of them have tried to help us and yet they're happy enough to hand themselves pay rises of €5,000 each. They make me want to vomit. None of them care. Not one of them. 

I'm a nurse. I'm no longer a proud nurse. I'm well and truly broken and I don't think I'll ever live a normal life again. 

I'm in tears writing this. My heart is just broken. We can't take much more. 

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A renewed appeal for vigilance has been issued to Tipperary and north Cork residents following the confirmation of yet another case of measles in the region.

Addressing the outbreak, which came to public attention in May, public health consultant Dr Kevin Kelleher reminded Morning Ireland listeners that specific steps should be taken if you suspect you or someone you know has been infected with measles.

According to Dr. Kelleher, symptoms – which include high fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and a red rash – should not be ignored, with those exhibiting signs of the condition advised to stay at home, contact their GP and avoid visitors.

With 38 confirmed cases since the outbreak earlier this year, Dr. Kelleher explained: "This case is still part of the whole group of cases that we’ve been speaking about for the last two or three months and it just shows how the trend can go on."

Reminding the public that measles is 'quite infectious', Dr. Kelleher explained: "It does just need a bit of contact like being in the same place as someone for a brief period of time."

In addition to advising Munster residents of the latest case, Dr.Kelleher explained that some confirmed cases were as a result of being imported into the country and not specifically connected to the outbreak.

"The cases we’re talking about have come about as a result of people travelling to parts of Europe and coming back with measles as a result," he explained.

"Your measles vaccine is as important as having your passport ready," he explained. "Because there are parts of Europe where people often go on holiday where measles is still endemic."

According to the HSE, vaccination is the best method of prevention.

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Inspired by New York's hip Meatpacking district, it's often been touted as one of the capital's most chic eateries since launching close-to four years ago. 

And certainly, Fade Street Social – part of celebrity chef Dylan McGrath's string of restaurants – draws in a seriously cool crowd, including the likes of Beyonce and Jay-Z, who ate there in March 2014.

However, the Food Safety Authority Of Ireland has today revealed that Fade Street Social was last month ordered to CLOSE DOWN by environmental health officers.

Shut for a full day on July 15, the FSAI ordered the closure because it "deemed that there is or there is likely to be a grave and immediate danger to public health at or in the premises". 

On its website, Fade Street Social boasts that it serves "the very best of homegrown produce," adding that "freshness is the real hero".

When Beyonce and Jay-Z visited the spot two-and-a-half years ago, the Irish Independent reported that Queen Bey tucked into the pumpkin flatbreads garnished with fresh rosemary, parmesan, onion purée, sliced chestnut and fried mushroom, while her rapper husband opted for a classic strip steak and a serving of chips.

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The HSE has issued a warning in Ireland against Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is mainly spread by ticks and people who engage in outdoor activities are likely to be more at risk of being in contact with the disease-carrying ticks.

The HSE said that those who work in forest or grassy areas should be extra aware of tick bites by using insect repellent, wearing long clothing and checking for ticks after a day outside.

In a small number of cases, Lyme disease can cause severe debilitating heart and nervous system issues.

"Ticks are tiny spider like creatures that feed on the blood of mammals and birds and will also feed on the blood of humans and occasionally dogs," said Dr. Paul McKeown, HPSC Specialist in Public Health Medicine.

"Ticks are more numerous and more active in the summer months and protecting against tick bites protects against Lyme disease. The most effective way to prevent Lyme disease is by preventing tick bites."

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