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University Of Limerick

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A student at the University of Limerick has died following an incident on Monday, September 25.

Sophie Coll, originally from Barna, Co Galway, suffered critical injuries after taking a fall in an off-campus house.

It's understood the 19-year-old was treated at University Hospital Limerick Intensive Care Unit, but later died as a result of her injuries.

Those in the local community have described the death as a “tragic accident.”

The President of UL, Dr Des Fitzgerald, has offered condolences on behalf of staff and students.

"It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you of the sudden death of UL student Sophie Coll, 2nd year, BBS International as a result of a tragic accident on Monday September 25," he said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Sophie's parents Rory and Carol, her sisters Stephanie and Abbie, her friends, housemates and fellow students," he added.

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"This is a programme close to my heart,” Dr Des Fitzgerald said following the announcement that the University of Limerick plans to introduce designated smoke-free zones around the campus.

The university president announced that the third-level institution ultimately plans to become a 'No-Smoking' campus which means that the use of electronic cigarettes, electronic cigars, electronic pipes or other such electronic nicotine delivery systems intended to simulate smoking will be prohibited.

UL will be following in the footsteps of Athlone institute and Westport College who have completely banned the use of tobacco products on campus.

University College Dublin and Trinity College are working in the same vein as UL, with Dr Fitzgerald asserting that the plan will reinforce the University of Limerick's positive reputation.

"UL has an outstanding reputation for its campus, for the care and support it provides students and for its sports culture, and the Healthy Campus Initiative is an important step in developing this further," he said.

With the introduction of designated smoke-free zones and the establishment of support programmes for staff and students eager to quit the habit, Dr Fitzgerald is confident that the entire student body will benefit from the move.

“Through this initiative we aim to create a model of excellence and to promote a healthy environment in which to develop the minds and bodies of our students,”he continued.

The number and location of the smoke-free zones has yet to be finalised, but the Limerick Leader has confirmed that some areas will be introduced as early as next month.

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It looks like we're all starting 2017 with a brand new organ in our bodies that we never knew we had.

Scientists at the University of Limerick have discovered a new organ in our digestive systems called the mesentery. 

Basically, the mesentery works like a belt of tissue to keep your intestines in place in a way that means it doesn’t have to be attached to your abdomen.

"The mesentery, which connects the intestine to the abdomen, had for hundreds of years been considered a fragmented structure made up of multiple separate parts," reads a UL statement. 

It has only recently been classified as an organ separate to the intestines, as it has been discovered that it is actually one continuous structure. 

Although its complete function is still unclear, the discovery opens up “a whole new area of science”, according to J Calvin Coffey, the UL researcher who first discovered it.

"When we approach it like every other organ… we can categorise abdominal disease in terms of this organ," he told the Irish Times

“Now we have established anatomy and the structure. The next step is the function. If you understand the function, you can identify abnormal function, and then you have disease."

Gray’s Anatomy, the world’s most famous medical textbook, has even been updated to include the new definition.

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According to emerging reports, the University of Limerick has issued a warning to all students regarding their sexual health.

Amid a recent chlamydia and gonorrhea outbreak, the university has circulated an email advising students of the potential dangers associated with contracting the infections.

"The Student Health Centre has been notified that there is an outbreak of Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia on campus." read the email. "These are sexually transmitted diseases as a result of unprotected anal, vaginal or oral sex."

It has been established that there have been 10 reported cases of the infections which, under the HSE guidelines, constitutes an outbreak.

Both STIs can be contracted through unprotected sex, but those who are carrying the infections may not exhibit any symptoms.

Commenting on the outbreak, the University of Limerick issued a statement, saying: "As is best practice, UL has rolled out an awareness campaign contacting every student directly."

"In accordance with HSE protocols students are being urged to present to the STI and/or the GP clinics run by the UL Student Health Centre should they have concerns with regard to any element of their health and to get the necessary treatment."

Advising students on current protocol, they added: "All students who present are currently being seen with or without an appointment and UL will continue to work closely with the HSE to ensure all awareness and treatment protocols are fully adhered to."

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Every year there are obstacles to navigate before you can officially declare yourself 'going' to Electric Picnic.

Money is usually the first hurdle. Then even when you do have the cash to hand (thank you conveniently-timed birthday), you have to make sure that tickets are actually still available.

And that's not all: securing the weekend (not to mention the Monday afterwards) off work is another mountain to climb – especially when the rest of your office is scrambling for the same privilege. 

It's a struggle that Limerick woman and recent UL business graduate Emily Culhane knows only too well.  

In a recent contribution to the Electric Picnic Facebook page, she reports that she was told by her boss: "If you cared about your job, you'd sell your Electric Picnic ticket."

She refused, however, and now – as detailed in a screen-grab Emily included in her post – she has been issued her P45.

"EP better be worth it," she declares in response. 

RTE 2fm also this afternoon picked up on the incident – with the radio station sharing Emily's email and message on its own Facebook page. There, it received hundreds of likes – as well as plenty messages of support.

"That's dedication, right there, upgrade that woman to VIP," said one user.

Another reckoned she'd made the right decision: "Shes a legend," they said. "Electric Picnic is the best 3days u could hav answer on the planet. Defo worth it. Enjoy." And a third user generously offered: "Sure we'll all chip in & get her a few beers."

Ms Culhane recently graduated from the University Of Limerick with a degree in Business Studies. On her LinkedIn profile, she describes herself as "an ambitious individual with the ability to think on my feet and build long-term relationships".

She adds: "I am motivated, honest and easy to talk with… Through years of sport I have developed a great ability to engage in teamwork."

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