Letters to the Editor: It’s time for us all to move past the ‘poo taboo’

May 15th, 2023 3:00 PM

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EDITOR – Ahead of World IBD Day on Friday May 19th, I am writing to urge readers to not be shy! 

If you have symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), please do get checked out.

IBD covers a number of conditions in which the digestive tract becomes inflamed, swollen and ulcerated, with the two most common being Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

We believe that there are at least 40,000 people living with IBD in Ireland. However, it is likely that many more remain undiagnosed.

Unfortunately, we know that far too many people ignore bowel symptoms, choosing to endure symptoms for many years. 

Indeed, a recent survey found that while four in 10 would seek advice from a GP or healthcare professional in the event of symptoms, an equal number would do nothing or adopt a wait-and-see approach. 

Common symptoms of IBD include diarrhoea or loose stools, blood in the toilet bowl, fever, fatigue, anaemia, weight loss, cramps and abdominal pain. With ulcerative colitis, there can also be a feeling of being unable to completely empty the bowel. If these symptoms persist for more than three weeks, I would urge people to visit their GP.

As part of our ‘Poo Taboo’ campaign, Crohn’s and Colitis Ireland has launched an online symptom checker at crohnscolitis.ie.

People can use this in the privacy of their own homes to see what further action they may need to take.

Early diagnosis means early treatment and the likelihood of experiencing a rapid improvement in symptoms and, hopefully, remission.

For more information on IBD, and the services provided by Crohn’s and Colitis Ireland, readers can call the Support Line on 01 5312983 (Mon/Wed/Fri, 9.30am-12.30pm).

Prof Colm O’Morain,

Crohn’s & Colitis Ireland,

Carmichael Centre,

North Brunswick Street,

Dublin 7.


Our future is bright if only we can protect it

EDITOR – One of our TDs thinks making a safer future for West Cork is a terrible thing, according to your recent front page headline.

In TD Collins’ view, the much more intense rains, storms and droughts we will all suffer by failing to reduce our climate emissions will be ‘pro-rural’!? We will all enjoy that for sure.

Turning our back on ‘green jobs’ – the new economic opportunities around a safer future – will be all ‘pro-rural’.

Letting climate destruction crush our struggling biodiversity will be great for the tourists that come here for our distinctive quality environment.

And lastly, for now, just how stupid will we be if we bring extreme weather chaos to our farmers?

I don’t recognise the ‘rural Ireland’ Collins presents – he wants us to all walk into the future looking backwards – to some glorious rural Ireland of the past.

Rural Ireland has a bright future if we act to protect ourselves from the worst of climate destruction, if we grab those green jobs, if we look after our farmers who will face a very different kind of weather, and if we act to restore the nature that so many of our tourists come to enjoy. Walking backwards – no thanks, Michael!

Mark Robins,



Collins’ climate policy stance is laudable

EDITOR – I applaud your providing front-page lead story coverage of TD Michael Collins’ laudable stand against the government’s ‘climate action’ polices.

However, it’s regrettable that your inside page reports about ‘West Cork’s Climate Challenges’ are entirely one-sided, in that they ignore abundant scientific evidence that goes against claims of a ‘climate emergency’. 

For reasons of space, I cite only one fact: that more than 1,500 scientists worldwide have signed up to the independent Climate Intelligence Foundation (Clintel) to counter fear mongering generated by misleading computer modelling. Bear in mind big mistakes have been made in economic and pandemic modelling in recent times.

For long, the climate change issue has been politicised, even weaponised, by various political groups as a means of population control to serve only those in power, and those who seek power, whose motives are far from altruistic. 

Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities which it clearly does not at present, as Michael Collins TD so rightly points out.

Geoff Ward,



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