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In recent times we’ve become a frightfully healthy lot.

Yup – the days of munching our way through piles of buttered batch bread, gallons of milk, and meat-and-potatoes with a side of more potatoes are increasingly numbered.

We juice; we detox; we TRX with enthusiasm.

Indeed, these days we even have a dedicated healthy town for 2016.

Step forward the majestic seat of Navan; home of Pierce Brosnan, Hector Ó'hEochagáin, and Tommy Tiernan… and now the reciprocate of the Healthy Town 2016 accolade.

That means Navan is THE place where folk are going to be getting into serious shape. And from September, it is hosting a full eight weeks of the likes of free heart health screenings, workouts, and nutritional seminars.

Which in turn, we suspect, means the already strapping population of Navan will be making their bid to take over the country before the year is out.

Hat-tip too to Athlone, Portlaoise, Wicklow and Kilkenny – all previous champions of the same initiative, which is supported every year by Pfizer and the Irish Times.

Hector Ó himself is also getting involved for 2016, and he said today that the event was “about inspiring the people of Navan – and people in towns all around Ireland – to make the most of the wealth of clubs, groups, facilities and resources that are at their fingertips”.

Adding that Navan “has so much to be proud of and so many health and wellbeing facilities,” he stated for the record that the 2016 health drive was also going be “great craic” (which it definitely is).

The Healthy Town Facebook page is now up and running with the hashtag #MyHealthyTown also getting off the ground.

You can find out lots more here.


New York-based Pfizer and Allergan, which has its HQ in Dublin, have today merged – creating the world's biggest drug company.

The deal is said to be worth an astonishing €145bn.

In a statement, the company – which will be called Pfizer PLC – has pledged to continue its “discovery and development of new innovative medicines for patients.” And it added that the merger “brings together two biopharma powerhouses to change lives for the better”. 

Head of Pfizer Ian Read will now be chief executive and chairman of the organisation, with Dublin-based Allergan boss Brent Saunders becoming president and chief operating officer.

The move also allows Pfizer to pay a lower rate of corporation tax through its newly-acquired Irish office – potentially saving the company hundreds of millions annually.

The Allergan factory is based in Westport, Co Mayo and employs close-to 1,000 people in Ireland. Principally it manufactures the likes of contact lenses, breast implants, anti-depressants and Alzheimer's drugs – and is also well-known for making the anti-wrinkle treatment, Botox.

Pfizer, which was founded in New York in 1849, is already the manufacturer of Viagra, along with statins, antibiotics and vaccines, and cancer and HIV drugs – some of which the WHO deems "essential" for global healthcare needs. 

It already employs around 3,200 people at seven sites in Ireland – making it one of the biggest providers of jobs in the country.