Carlow Town

By the Drogheda Phrenz Group


We’ve been lucky this year

It may be hard to believe

Some trips to arrange

Lotto funding we did receive.


It’s to Carlow we go

And it looks like the train

We all have a travel pass

So nobody’s paying.


We played plenty of pool

And snooker as well

Kieran is happy

It’s easy to tell.


The rain came down

But it didn’t dampen our mood

A look at the museum

And then back for food.


So it’s Jimmy the taxi

He really was sound

He even approached us

With a phone that he found.


It’s venison on the menu

It was a delightful sight

Would you eat that again Owen?

Yeah, I think I might!


And true to his word

Three nights on the trot

The dishes were large

But he ate the lot


The breakfast as well

The plate was stacked high

You’ll never eat that Owen

Sure I’ll give it a try.


Amanda also loved the food

And each night cleared the plate

Relax for a while and

Good times with her mates


Tremendous food

From a hotel with class

The Talbot in Carlow

You really can’t pass


All’s going well

We all want it to last

But as Frances states

It’s going too fast


So I set the clock early

But not for the gym

It’s a steam room and sauna

A jacuzzi and swim


So the bag is packed

I’ve left nothing behind

We meet in the lobby

A better group you can’t find


Carlow’s a really nice town

With a Liberty Tree

If we ever come back

You can count on me.

Stigma and Friendship

By Barry Hurley, Mental Health Advocate, April 2017

Imagine your life stops for two weeks then starts again. Nothing has changed, except, you have been told you have schizoaffective disorder.

What do you tell your family? What do you tell your friends? You might consider telling your boss, but what if everyone at work finds out? Serious questions may be raised about your abilities. You might be seen as unreliable. How must that feel? If you tell someone that could be the first thing they think of each time they meet you. Common reactions from people diagnosed with mental illness include:

Shame: ‘I hope no one finds out’

Terror: ‘What will happen to me now?’

Grief: ‘My life is over.’

Disbelief: ‘It must be a mistake.’

Anger: ‘Why me? It’s not fair’

Fear of isolation: ‘No one will want to know me now’

Mental illness can be a very disempowering, isolating and lonely experience. So, during Green Ribbon Month, don’t let people be isolated and alone. Be a friend – because:

‘When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state, 
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate, 
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, 
Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope, 
With what I most enjoy contented least; 
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state, 
Like to the lark at break of day arising 
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.’

(William Shakespeare, Sonnet 29)

So, be there. Reach out. Don’t let anyone be alone. That someone could be you