The Mournes viewed over Carlingford Lough


Eagraiodh crinniu fior speisiul faoi ailse in Chondae Lu inniu 18 la Aibrean 2004 sa Strand, Omeith. Ba e an Leachtoir Pringle o Magh Nuad a thug an caint seo. Chuir se an teolas os ar gcomhair go simpli, suimiuil. Is leir on tuarisc cruin a thug se gur chaith se cuid mhaith ama ar an taighde seo.

A relaxed round table conference took place in The Strand, Omeath, on Sunday 18 April 2004 Commencing at 3.00 p.m. The conference, which was organised by Cooley Environmental and Health Group, heard reasonably definitive answers to questions the Group first set out to answer soon after the Group’s foundation 10 years ago.

Louth is high in the league table of cancer mortality in Ireland. However rates in Louth, for men, are decreasing so that the rate for Louth – if present trends continue – will soon converge with the national average. Rates for women in Louth are also declining but they are not converging with the national average in the way the rate for men seems to be.

The incidence of cancer in Louth in the middle 1990’s shows up a black spot where women under 30 in Drogheda are concerned. The perception that the rate of incidence of cancer in Cooley is especially high is not supported by the statistics. Neither is there any clear evidence that Sellafield is a particular cause of cancer in Cooley or any other part of Co Louth.

Dennis G Pringle, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, NUI Maynooth, suggested these conclusions to the meeting, and they arise from his report “Cancer Mortality and Morbidity in Co Louth” which he presented formally to Cooley Environmental and Health Group in December last.

Cancer seems to have a heavier incidence in urban areas and especially in working class areas. In general terms causes of cancer seem to be pollution and issues of lifestyle. Dr Pringle also opined that the possibility of viral infection as a cause of cancer was not as outlandish as it might seem and could not be completely ruled out.

Sean Crudden facilitated the conference, and Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes chaired the round table discussion very expertly. Politicians in attendance included Fergus O’Dowd TD and Leonard Hatrick, Ardee Town Council. Apologies were received from Terry Brennan MCC, Jim Cousins (Dundalk Town Council) and Arthur Morgan TD.

The report, “Cancer Mortality and Morbidity in Co Louth,” may be downloaded here.

Prof. Dennis Pringle